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7 Surprising Benefits Of Olive
With a history over 7,000 years old, the olive tree is one of the oldest known cultivated trees in the world — grown even before the invention of written language. All parts of the olive tree, the oil, fruit, and leaf, have been revered by many cultures and religions including the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Olives and their oil held a very special place and were used daily for their extraordinary health gifts.
Today, science has caught up with olive’s historical fame. Study after study is racking up to validate the many health virtues of the olive tree. Olives, its delicious oil, and its leaves are praised by doctors around the world as being at the very “heart” of the highly beneficial Mediterranean diet. Researchers have confirmed that those committed to this type of diet and style of eating are rewarded with important cardiovascular advantages, cognitive protection, profound overall health support, and the potential for longer life.
OLIVE’S HEALTH BENEFITS
What is so wonderful, is there’s even more to olive than its highly researched heart benefits! Research shows all sorts of possibilities in many other areas of our health. Here are just a few of the reasons olives (and their extracts) shouldn’t be missed.
Who doesn’t want to stay of sound mind as they age? Keeping our brains healthy and sharp is something we all hope for. Unfortunately, time and other factors can take their toll and lead to oxidative stress and damage in our brains. That’s where many of olive’s beneficial compounds (hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, oleocanthal, oleuropein & maslinic acid) can come into play for supporting healthy brain function for a long time to come.
We all know what it feels like to have the discomfort associated with inflammation and the concerns that it brings. Researchers have recently discovered not just one but two unique compounds in olive that can help support a healthy inflammation response. One is called oleocanthal — found exclusively in the oil. The other is maslinic acid and is concentrated primarily in olive leaves. The research shows that by regulating a healthy inflammation response, an olive extract that includes these two compounds can give you an alternative way to handle the burn, and much more.
Help ward off winter with olive’s immune-supportive properties. Olive leaf is very rich in a compound called oleuropein. Oleuropein is one of the natural compounds that gives genuine olive oil its distinctive and highly sought after pungent taste. And it’s also the same compound that research shows can support healthy microbial balance throughout your body. Bottom line, olive extract might be your golden ticket to a healthy immune system. To be of real benefit, look for an extract that’s concentrated to at least 15% oleuropein for maximum benefit.
Move over calcium and vitamin D. Oleuropein, the same compound in olive that supports our immune system, has recently been shown to have healthy effects on our osteoblastic bone-building cells. Supporting healthy bones is just one more reason to consider adding a top quality olive oil and olive extract to your diet and supplement regimen.
What’s the secret behind healthy glowing skin? Well, taking care of your skin from the inside out isn’t just another old wives’ tale. It’s the way to attain true, healthy skin. The Greeks and Romans seemed to know this thousands of years ago, using olive oil as a skin tonic. Today we know it’s the unique polyphenols that make olives, olive oil and their extracts the perfect food for your skin. Aging skin is a result of oxidative stress. The key is eating a diet rich in antioxidants (olives, anyone?) thereby keeping skin inflammation in balance. Hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol are olive’s natural occurring antioxidant duo for protecting, nourishing and supporting healthy skin from the inside out!
No benefit list on olive would be complete without the heart-healthy mentions. Olive oil has a solid reputation for being good for our hearts. But how? For starters, the special compound hydroxytyrosol found exclusively in olive is where 99% of all the research has been focused. In fact, in Europe, their equivalent to the FDA considers hydroxytyrosol so important they allow a heart health claim if an olive product has 5 mg or more per serving. Their research shows it may support healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels (already within the normal range), and protect the heart itself. Hydroxytyrosol is also a vital supporter of healthy antioxidant function in the face of oxidative stress to our heart cells.
#7 Aging & Cellular Health
Ongoing damage to our cells is behind many of the unwanted symptoms and conditions that plague us as we age. Whether it’s the health of our skin and hair, brain health, digestive function — you name it, keeping our cells healthy and optimally functioning will go a long way. The good news is that nature provides some amazing phytonutrients to support this process. And olive is at the top of that list! The polyphenols & antioxidants tucked inside olives support a healthy oxidative stress response. What this means for you is healthier cells and healthier aging. It’s not just about living longer, it’s about feeling good as we grow older.
BEST WAYS TO BENEFIT FROM OLIVE
Olives are downright delicious — perfect on their own or tossed into salads, pastas or any dish longing for a little tang. A daily drizzle of authentic extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is another surefire way to reap the rewards of olive’s many health benefits. (Just make sure you’re not getting duped by counterfeit EVOO that’s adulterated, mislabeled, or rancid. It’s sadly more common than you may think!)
Want access to olive’s full range of goodies without having to consume excessive amounts of olive oil and the calories? Special processing techniques now allow for extraction and concentration of the special compounds from olive fruit, oil and leaf for ease of use in supplement form. To guarantee maximum potency, look for a standardized extract that contains at least 5 mg of hydroxytyrosol/tyrosol and 15% oleuropein content, and ideally the whole spectrum of olive (oil, fruit, and leaves).
Olive (the oil, fruit and leaf) is more than a heart helper. Since the health benefits gained from the polyphenols in olive depend on how much is consumed, consider taking a standardized extract for guaranteed potency. That way, you KNOW you’ve got olive on your side.
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