Olive Oil: Everything You Need To Know

New Delhi: You have probably heard that olive oil is good for your health, but do you know why? And since oils are the source of fat, can they be part of a healthy diet? Here are some amazing facts and benefits of olive oil.

Nutrition Info

All oils have about 120 calories and 14 grams of fat per tablespoon. With those high tallies, it’s always a good idea to measure precisely when cooking to avoid sneaking extra calories into your dishes. Olive oil is high in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). MUFAs may help lower cholesterol when you swap them for the saturated fat in your diet (like using olive oil instead of butter). Olives are also rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, plant compounds with cancer-fighting properties.

Types of Olive Oil

Olive oil is commonly available in extra-virgin, virgin, and light varieties. Extra-virgin oil comes from the first press of the olives; it has a low amount of acidity and is typically the most expensive. It has a green color and strong olive flavor, making it best for dipping bread or drizzling over salad and veggies (more usage tips below). Virgin oil is produced in a similar fashion to extra-virgin (from pressing already crushed olives) and it’s slightly more acidic.

Extra-virgin and virgin olive oils haven’t been refined (oils can be refined — or “processed” — by exposure to heat or chemicals). Oil just labeled “olive oil” may be a blend of refined and virgin oils. Light olive oil is often further refined to remove any color and flavor. Don’t be fooled by the word “light” — that refers to flavor and color only, not calories or fat (light olive oil has just as much as the other types).

Varieties of oils also have varying smoke points, which means you can heat certain types to a higher temperature before they start to smoke and burn. Extra-virgin and virgin oils have a much lower smoke point than refined olive oils. This means they’re not good for high-heat cooking — frying and stir-frying or even some extended sautéing.

Health Benefits of Olive oil

1.Good for digestion

Olive oil is known to work wonders when it comes to your colon and gastrointestinal tract. It helps stimulate the digestive system and make the food move smoothly. Olive oil helps speed up bowel movement and hence is great when one suffers from constipation.

2. Helps treat depression

According to experts, olive oil helps to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain. Most anti-depressants also work towards stimulating the production of serotonin, the happiness hormone.

3. Promotes brain health

Extra virgin olive oil comes with a good amount of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids that are great for your brain and memory.

4. Improves skin health

There are plenty of olive oil benefits for skin that are becoming very popular. Vitamin E present in olive oil improves skin health to a great extent. It treats acne, inflammation, and even dryness. It improves skin elasticity and the anti-oxidants, and minerals present in olive oil help fight the free radicals.

5. Promotes hair health

Olive oil benefits for hair are also known to work, and more and more people include it in their hair routine. Olive oil is a great way to moisturize your hair and bring your hair back to life. It comes with smoothing properties that are fast gaining recognition all over the world. The Vitamin E present in olive oil makes your hair very strong and also prevents hair fall to a large extent. When it comes to dandruff, olive oil is known to be a helpful remedy. It reduces scalp irritation, and this further helps to reduce dandruff.

So if you’re looking to make olive oil a part of your daily diet or health routine, then make sure to invest in only good quality olive oil for the best results.