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Amazing Benefits Of Olive Oil You Need To Know

Amazing Benefits Of Olive Oil You Need To Know

Olive oil is one of the most hyped about oils on the market today. The oil is acclaimed for its versatility because it can be applied in many different ways, ranging from shaving to cleaning hands to polishing furniture. However, by simply considering these uses, we haven’t even scratched the surface of what olive oil is able to do with our health. Read on to explore more of the amazing benefits of olive oil. You may find yourself surprised by some of them:

1. It reduces the risk of diabetes

Olive oil is credited with effectively protecting us from diabetes. According to Harvard School of Public Health, the healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in olive oil can reduce the risk of diabetes by 50%. Although low fat diets are traditionally recommended to combat diabetes, the result shows that it is the type of fat rather than the amount of fat that matters.

Chronic inflammation is believed to be the root cause of diabetes. Consuming more olive oil which is an exceptional anti-inflammatory agent can help. Substances like oleic acid and oleocanthal in olive oil can reduce the expression of genes and proteins that mediate inflammation.

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2. It saves you from strokes

A study by the University of Bordeaux collected data from three groups of subjects aged over 65 and surprisingly found that the elderly who used olive oil for cooking and salad dressing more often had 41% lower risk of suffering from strokes. The researchers believe that olive oil is effective in dissolving unwanted blood clots in vessels, a key feature causing strokes.

3. It keeps your heart young

It is commonly known that the functions of our hearts and arteries degenerate when we age. It seems inevitable that we may suffer from some heart diseases when we grow old. Don’t be too pessimistic first! A Spanish study published in the British Medical Journal found that olive oil helps lower our blood pressure and protect our hearts from the damage of bad cholesterol. If you want to keep being healthy, you need to stock up on olive oil.

4. It strengthens your bones

A study by Madrid University found that men with the habit of consuming Mediterranean diets which are rich in olive oil had stronger bones. It was discovered that their blood had more osteocalcin, an important protein that contribute to healthy bone formation.

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Another research studying osteoporosis showed a similar result. Osteoporosis is a postmenopausal disease characterized by decreased bone density. The sufferers are more likely to have bone fractures. The animal test carried out by the researchers found that rats not treated with olive oil had much lower level of calcium, which shows that olive oil is a great source of calcium that helps strengthen bones. Doctors even recommend cooking nuts, seeds and beans with olive oil to optimize the effect!

5. It protects you from depression

Usually, we associate diets with our physical health but not mental health. But a Spanish study found that our consumption of fat largely determines the possibility that we suffer from mental illness. It said people who consume trans fat often have 48% higher risk of being susceptible to depression. The researchers suggested that olive oil can trigger higher level of serotonin, a brain chemical that serves as an antidepressant. So a high intake of olive oil can protect us from the attack of depression.

6. It helps prevent skin cancer

While using sunscreen remains the most reliable way shielding us from harmful UV rays, a recent study found that consuming olive oil reduces the risk of malignant melanoma, the most deadly skin cancer.

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The research result highlighted that much fewer residents of the Mediterranean countries suffer from skin cancers than Australians. Mediterranean diet with the frequent use of olive oil is found to be the key to this significant difference. Substances like oleic acid and vitamin E in olive oil are highly resistant to the oxidation caused by strong sunlight, and so they can protect our skin.

7. It helps prevent breast cancer

Regular ingestion of olive oil can reduce the incidence of breast cancer. A Saudi Arabian study found that oleuropein in olive oil has anti-breast cancer properties. A study by Autonomous University in Barcelona even found that the monounsaturated fat and antioxidants in olive oil can suppress the growth of tumors in general.

8. It reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the buildup of the protein beta amyloid in our brains. According to a study published in Scientific American, the animal test conducted has proved that oleocanthal in olive oil helps remove the protein and has the potential to improve memory and learning ability of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

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Also, olive oil polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant, is found to be effective in reversing damage of the ageing process to our brains and delaying the appearance of Alzheimer’s disease.

9. It boosts your brain power

A study by Columbia University made a comparison between individuals who consumed olive oil often and those who never used olive oil in their cooking. The researchers surprisingly found that the ones who consumed olive oil in Mediterranean diets have more gray and white matters in their brains. That means consuming olive oil does not only make you healthier but smarter! Amazing, right?

10. It makes you more attractive

Olive oil contains a wealth of compounds that keep our hair healthy. While vitamin E reduces hair loss, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins can boost hair growth. By consuming olive oil, you don’t need to worry about any problems concerning your hair. What’s more, you can even enjoy having glowing skin because olive oil is a good moisturizer in itself and has strong anti-ageing properties.

Featured photo credit: DUSAN ZIDAR via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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