8 Health Benefits of Olive Oil You Will Be Surprized to Know

Benefits of Olive Oil

Discovering that something that tastes incredibly delicious is also incredibly good for your health can be a delightful surprise. If you haven’t yet realized this about olive oil, you’re in for a treat!

Olive oil has been a dietary staple in Mediterranean cultures for thousands of years, with roots dating back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Even today, it remains the most commonly used cooking oil in the region. Nutrition experts attribute the longevity of Mediterranean populations to their diet, which is rich in healthy fats from olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish.

Compared to other cooking oils, olive oil offers a unique two-pronged approach to preventing chronic and degenerative diseases. This is thanks to the potent polyphenol compounds found in extra virgin olive oil and the high percentage of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) found in all grades. As a result, consuming olive oil has been linked to improved cholesterol levels, better mood, and stronger bones.

Benefits of Olive Oil

Olive oil is rich in polyphenols

Natural bioactive compounds with antioxidant properties are commonly found in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, and olives. Polyphenols can benefit health by combating oxidative stress, which damages lipids, proteins, and DNA and contributes to various diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and dementia. Olive oil contains abundant polyphenols, including hydroxytyrosol and oleocanthal, which possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, neuroprotective, and antimicrobial properties.

Olive oil is heart-healthy

In the PREDIMED study, participants who followed a Mediterranean-style diet that incorporated at least four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day had a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Their combined risk of heart attack, stroke, and death from heart disease was about 30% lower than those who followed a low-fat diet.

Additionally, olive oil has been linked to improved cholesterol levels and reduced blood pressure. These benefits are attributed to the presence of oleic acid, the most abundant monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) in all olive oil grades, and various polyphenols. These compounds can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress while modifying cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.

Reduce the risk of certain cancers

Although no food can completely prevent cancer, the consumption of olive oil may contribute to the lower incidence of cancer in Mediterranean countries. Recent research from 2020 indicates that extra virgin olive oil may modify gut bacteria, which can help prevent colorectal cancer. Other studies have found that women who consume the most olive oil have a reduced risk of breast and colon cancer. This could be due to the anti-cancer properties of several components of olive oil, including oleic acid, hydroxytyrosol, oleocanthal, phytosterols, and squalene.

Supports healthy brain function

Oxidative stress has been linked to the advancement of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s. However, the polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil, particularly oleocanthal, are powerful antioxidants that may help counteract this effect. A 2019 animal study discovered that oleocanthal-rich olive oil could restore healthy blood-brain barrier function and lower neuro-inflammation, potentially slowing the course of Alzheimer’s disease.

Combats pain + inflammation.

If you suffer from chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis, incorporating olive oil into your diet could be especially beneficial. Monounsaturated fats found in olive oil have been shown to lower levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker that tends to be high in people with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, extra virgin olive oil contains the polyphenol oleocanthal, which has anti-inflammatory properties similar to those of ibuprofen. Some experts suggest that consuming foods that contain oleocanthal on a regular basis may help reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases.

Boost bone health

In the strange-but-true category, a 2018 study found that women who consumed the most olive oil had higher bone density—results that held true even after accounting for the women’s intake of bone-building calcium and vitamin D. Although inflammation in the body can activate osteoclast cells, which break down bone, researchers believe that the anti-inflammatory polyphenols in olive oil may activate processes that help inhibit bone breakdown and drive bone production.

Supports a healthy microbiome

Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is crucial for various bodily functions, such as digestion, mood, and skin health. Fortunately, incorporating olive oil into your diet may help promote gut health. A 2019 review revealed that olive oil’s polyphenols can lower inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria. The study found that consuming approximately 1.5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily increased the population of healthy bifidobacteria in the gut.

Supports a healthy immune system

Maintaining a healthy immune system is crucial for preventing illnesses such as colds, cancer, and autoimmune disorders. Interestingly, healthy fats can have a positive impact on the immune system.

A 2015 study found that consuming 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily was associated with enhanced growth and activation of T-cells, which are responsible for attacking foreign invaders.

In contrast, consuming the same amount of corn oil, butter, or soybean oil did not have the same benefits. This could be due to the higher levels of polyphenols and MUFAs in EVOO. Additionally, some experts suggest that olive oil may be beneficial in fighting infections such as COVID-19.

How is olive oil used in organic skincare?

Olive oil has been used for centuries as a natural ingredient in skincare, and it’s still popular today for its numerous benefits. As a natural source of vitamins A and E, olive oil can help nourish and moisturize the skin, leaving it soft and supple. It also contains antioxidants that can help protect the skin from environmental stressors and promote a youthful appearance.

In organic skincare routines, olive oil is often used as a carrier oil to dilute essential oils or as an ingredient in facial cleansers, moisturizers, and body lotions. It can be used alone as a gentle makeup remover or added to bathwater for a relaxing and hydrating soak.

Overall, incorporating olive oil into an organic skincare routine can provide many benefits for the skin, leaving it healthy, radiant, and rejuvenated.


Incorporating olive oil into your diet can have a range of benefits for your body. From reducing inflammation and improving gut health to promoting cardiovascular health and supporting a healthy immune system, the polyphenols, monounsaturated fatty acids, and other compounds found in olive oil have been linked to a variety of positive health outcomes. While it’s important to consume all foods in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, the evidence suggests that choosing olive oil as a primary cooking oil and source of healthy fats can be a smart and delicious choice for promoting overall health and wellness.

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