Olive oil is one of the most commonly used oils, usually associated with olive oil lamps, soap making, olive leaf extractions, olive cultivation, and olive presses. Olive oil contains high levels of oleic acid (73%) while representing a blend of significant amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, making olive oil an essential part of a balanced diet. Extra virgin olive oil is unrefined, and cold-pressed olive oils contain the highest antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds.
Olive oils benefits are abundant, and its consumption is linked to benefits for the digestive system, brain health, vision health, cancer risk reduction, proper immune function, and natural hydration. But what are some other benefits? Is olive oil good for your hair? What about the skin? Or the brain?
Olive oil benefits heart health by reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol while maintaining HDL (good) cholesterol levels. This is especially important for people with obesity, diabetes, hypertension, or chronic kidney disease. Olive oil benefits the cardiovascular system by reducing inflammation throughout the body through direct interactions with adipose cells in obesity, liver cells in fatty liver disease, hepatic stellate cells in cirrhosis of the liver, endothelial cells lining blood vessels in atherosclerosis, and immune cells in autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus.
Olive oil boosts brain health by promoting the production of alpha-linolenic acid (an essential omega-3 fatty acid) and decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation throughout the body. Consumption of olive oil benefits cognitive function by protecting the nervous system's neurons from aging metabolic stress, preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, improving memory function, enhancing synaptic plasticity, and reducing anxiety by decreasing levels of cortisol during stressful events. Olive oil benefits brain health after ingestion through direct antioxidant benefits protecting lipid membranes throughout the nervous system and indirect benefits such as increasing blood flow to the brain, which supplies neurons with important nutrients.
Olive oil improves skin health by helping decrease visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and loss of elasticity. Olive oil benefits skin health by acting as an antioxidant against free radicals that harm collagen and elastin fibers. Regular application of olive oil benefits skin health by improving hydration and reducing inflammation that can lead to acne breakouts.
Olive oil benefits vision health by promoting the absorption of healthy macular carotenoids, which are necessary for visual function. Olive oil benefits vision health by decreasing oxidative stress on the optic nerve, leading to age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Olive oil benefits vision health after ingestion through direct benefits by protecting the eye from oxidative stress by acting as an antioxidant in the retina of the eye.
Olive Oil Benefits For Hair.
Is olive oil good for hair? Olive oil benefits hair health by improving the lipid profile of skin and hair, which means its composition in fatty acids. The benefits of olive oil for hair come in the form of preventing damage and moisturizing dry or damaged hair when topically applied to hair or scalp. Olive oil also benefits hair after topically when used as a pre-wash or post-wash hair treatment.
Olive oil benefits hair after ingestion by protecting the hair follicles from damage and acting as an antioxidant to defend cells against free radical damage.
How to use Olive Oil for Hair?
Olive oil benefits the skin and hair when topically applied because it does not penetrate the epidermal layer of the skin. The benefits of olive oil for hair come from staying on top of the skin and hair and into the cuticle to seal in moisture and prevent frizzing without causing damage through oxidative stress.
To use olive oil benefits for hair, massage a few drops into the scalp and run through the hair. Wrap hair up with a towel or cover the head with a shower cap for at least 30 minutes before washing hair to allow the benefits of olive oil for hair to take effect.