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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 March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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