Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Benefits of Olive Oil

Olive oil is beneficial for the gallbladder and liver, strengthening and developing body tissue. It is a general tonic for the nerves, and it increases the secretion of bile, acting as a laxative. Olive oil, though high in fat, is said to dissolve cholesterol deposits. 

Olive oil is 73% oleic acid, one of the two fatty acids that helps form the cerebral and nervous tissue. Because of this, olive oil positively affects the cerebral growth in babies. It also has the same linelenic acid concentration as breast milk. It favors the mineralization and development of bones, thus fighting osteoporosis.  It is an amazing immune enhancer, helping the body protect against bacterial, viral, and fungal infection. Olives and their oil are high in Calcium and Vitamin E.

Olive Oil makes a great deep conditioning hair and body treatment, too. Apply on hair from the ends up toward the scalp and leave on as long as possible before shampooing out. Olive Oil may be used as a skin conditioner, too. Simply apply (sparingly) on body and leave on for a few minutes, then get in a tub of warm water and 'marinade' for as long as you'd like.  Be careful when you get out, because the tub will be slippery. This treatment may be showered off as well, it's just not as relaxing as the tub. Use caution as the shower floor will become slippery.

When shopping for olive oil, look for 'extra virgin', 'first pressed', or 'cold pressed'. This means the olives are gently pressed without any heat, offering the highest amount of nutrient and flavor. Oil from the second pressing is sold as 'virgin'. Oil from subsequent pressings is processed with chemical solvents at high temperatures and is sold as 'pure', 'light', or 'refined'. 

The first pressing is superior in taste and health, being the most coveted. And we love it on fresh salads!


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