Vegetable oils are useful for the body, but olive oil is deservedly popular, which is widely used in cooking, folk medicine and cosmetology. The product has a rich chemical composition, is rich in natural fats, vitamins, amino acids, which take part in the biochemical processes of the body. Despite its widespread use, before taking olive oil, it is important to familiarize yourself with its composition, properties, contraindications and other information.
Olive oil is obtained from the fruits of the olive tree. Greece, Spain and Italy are considered the birthplace of the culture, where the best varieties grow. During the production process, the fruits undergo several stages of processing, which eventually allow you to get a high-quality product with the maximum content of useful components. The uniqueness and benefits for human health lies in the composition, which is rich in the following components:
- Energy value – 100 grams contains 884 kcal.
- Oleic acid — 60-80%.
- Saturated fatty acids — palmitic, stearic, arachinic.
- Linoleic fatty acid (omega-6).
- Vitamins B4, E, K, A.
- Minerals Na, K, Ca, Fe;
- Phenolic compounds.
- Terpene alcohols.
Natural substances included in the composition favorably affect the work of internal organs and systems, provide a person with energy, are considered an excellent preventive tool in the fight against many diseases.
There are several types and varieties of olive oil on the market, so when choosing, attention should be paid to the method of production, taste characteristics, color, smell and shelf life of the product:
- Unrefined cold pressed.
- Refined or refined.
- Oil cake – oil of the second pressing.
- Technical, or “lamp” – of low quality, which is not used for cooking. It is used in industry for the lubrication of parts.
The first two varieties are considered the most useful. They are widely used for cooking or preventive treatment of various diseases. Their composition contains the maximum amount of substances useful for the body. The best option is cold-pressed oil, without the use of chemical and heat treatment. What is the use of cold-pressed olive oil? – preserves food characteristics, has a rich composition, natural taste and aroma. A product that is amenable to heat treatment partially loses its properties.
The benefits of olive oil are due to the balanced composition, the presence of unsaturated fats in it, which are extremely necessary for the human body. By adding it to food or taking it on an empty stomach, you can reduce the risks of developing a number of diseases, improve the functioning of the body, provide it with useful nutrients. Use allows you to get the following therapeutic effect:
- reduces the level of “bad” cholesterol” in the blood;
- improves metabolic processes;
- normalizes the work of the circulatory system;
- accelerates tissue regeneration;
- reduces the risk of developing cancer;
- strengthens and enhances immunity;
- improves intestinal peristalsis, normalizes the process of digestion of food;
- normalizes sleep and adjusts the activity of the central nervous system;
- neutralizes toxins, removes slags;
- normalizes blood pressure;
- prevents the leaching of calcium from the body.
The high content of linoleic acid has a positive effect on the work of the visual system, increases visual acuity, normalizes the work of the vestibular apparatus. The benefits of olive oil for women are due to a reduction in the risk of breast cancer, and this product is also widely used in cosmetology to strengthen nails, hair, restores youth to the skin, slows down the aging process. Participates in metabolic processes, reduces weight, eliminates the formation of blood clots in the vessels, eliminates stagnant processes in the bile ducts.
The benefit for pregnant women is that the components included in the composition have a positive effect on the growth and development of the fetus, take part in the development of the nervous, bone and brain tissue of the fetus. Increases the resistance of the expectant mother’s body to various diseases.
The benefits of olive oil for the body are obvious and proven, but if a person with fanaticism uses it, adds it to food, takes it on an empty stomach, it can cause serious damage to health.
Harm and contraindications
Despite all the positive aspects of the product, it is necessary to use olive tree oil correctly, excluding contraindications, which are not so many, but they are there:
- acute pancreatitis;
- obesity of the last stage.
The daily dose should not exceed 2 tablespoons, while it is recommended to take it in the morning. What is the use of olive oil on an empty stomach? During this period, there is a better assimilation of all useful components. Excessive and regular use of the product can lead to disruption of the digestive system, fatty hepatosis, diabetes mellitus.
How to choose and store?
When buying olive oil, it is important to pay attention to the shelf life, also preference should be given to the product in a glass container. Darkened glass eliminates oxidation, stores useful substances for as long as possible. It is recommended to buy in supermarkets or trusted outlets. Preference should be given to the product of the first cold pressing. After buying and opening the bottle, it should be stored at room temperature, in a dark place, used for 1-2 months.
If there is sediment at the bottom of the bottle, this is not an indicator of poor product quality. These are microparticles of fruits that were formed after filtration.
Olive oil is a real storehouse of vitamins, fats and antioxidants, so it is recommended to use it for everyone. The main thing is to know what harm and benefits olive oil has for the body, how to choose and use it correctly.