Relieve Pain with Olive Oils

Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil | Olive Oil | Virgin Olive Oil

Could a traditional olive oil have pain and inflammation reducing effects similar to over the counter pain medicine such as ibuprofen, vicodin, and norcos?


Scientists from Italy, Spain, the U.S. and Australia have discovered that Extra Virgin Olive Oil can in fact provide significant health benefits, including the ability to help reduce pain and inflammation.


A Sacred Oil


From ancient Greece to the Holy Land, Olive Oil has been cherished. Celebrated as sacred in Greek mythology, the olive branch symbolizes peace in Hellenic culture. Evidence of this ancient oil was discovered in 1901 at the “Room of the Olive Press” at Knossos on the island of Crete in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. From there olives were pressed into oil over 4,500 years ago and the olive oil was exported to North Africa and mainland Greece.


Cultivation of olive trees spread around the Mediterranean where Olive Oil thrived along with many early civilizations. The bible speaks of Olive Oil, and it has been used by Christianity and Judaism as a holy anointing oil.


Today, the major producers of Olive Oil are Spain, Italy, Greece, Tunisia, Turkey, Morocco and Syria. Nonetheless, the growing popularity of Olive Oil can be seen in the spread of cultivation around the world to countries such as the U.S., Chile, and South Africa. Australia has also become an energetic Olive Oil producer and exporter.


Eating Healthy With Olive Oil

Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil | Olive Oil | Virgin Olive Oil

Moreover, Extra Virgin Olive Oil can contribute nutritional support in the fight against an assortment of health problems including:


  • Arthritis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High cholesterol
  • And in pain management


A research study from Spain has actually shown that higher Olive Oil consumption is associated with leaner body weight (an important factor in prevention of chronic conditions). Another study from the universities of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain looked at how diets including olive oil might offer protection against depression:


  • Bad Fats Linked to Depression
  • Natural Painkiller Discovered in Olive Oil


Recent research has identified the antioxidant called oleocanthal, which is only found in extra-virgin olive oil.  Scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia, found that oleocanthal in olive oil has a potency strikingly similar to that of the drug ibuprofen in inhibiting the cyclooxygenase (Cox) enzyme that causes pain and inflammation. Given the side effects of common pain relieving drugs, finding a nutritional way to reduce pain and inflammation could be an incredible solution for people suffering from pain.


Research on Health Benefits of Olive Oil


Modern doctors have recently researched the consumption of Olive Oil from the perspective of issues such as cardiovascular health, cancer and longevity.


With respect to anti-aging they noted: The more recent studies quite often support that the Mediterranean diet, based in Virgin Olive Oil, is compatible with healthier ageing and increased longevity.


Consumption of olive oil has been associated with:


  • Reduction of total cholesterol and an increase in the high-density cholesterol (HDL-C), which has a protective effect on blood vessels.
  • Improved sensitivity of cells to insulin, which helps to prevent the Metabolic Syndrome. Preventing Metabolic Syndrome is important, because the syndrome increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
  • Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s disease.


Potent Antioxidant – The Power of Olive Oil


Phenolic compounds are potent antioxidants found in Virgin and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. These compounds give unrefined Olive Oils their unique flavors and high degree of stability.


Studies indicate these compounds may be able to:


  • Turn off the activity of genes that produce the kind of inflammation that causes coronary heart disease.
  • Decrease production of inflammatory chemicals called thromboxanes and leukotrienes.
  • Decrease the production of the most damaging form of cholesterol, oxidized LDL cholesterol.
  • University of South Australia researchers note that compounds from the olive were found to be antimicrobial against various bacteria.
  • Furthermore, Olive Oil is just the beginning of anti-inflammatory foods.


Enjoying Olive Oil


The amount of olive oil associated with protection against inflammation is only two teaspoons a day, which is easy to achieve. A slight amount of Olive Oil can make a simple salad dressing, and a little olive oil can also be used for dipping bread, instead of butter. Additionally, Olive Oil can also be used in baking.


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Olive Oil Diet Known to Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Olive Oil Diet Known to Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

In most common health cases, doctors prescribe a low fat diet to prevent a variety of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. While numerous studies have shown that high fat diets may increase the risk of certain diseases such as cancer and diabetes, it appears that it is the type of fat that counts rather than the amount of fat. Because of the these studies, we now know that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats such as the ones found in olive oil, nuts and seeds protects us from many of these chronic diseases.


A recent Spanish study published in the scientific journal Diabetes Care showed that a Mediterranean style diet rich in olive oil reduces the risk of type II diabetes by nearly 50% compared to a low fat diet. Type II diabetes is the most common and preventable form of diabetes.


People who are obese or overweight and have metabolic syndrome are at highest risk for developing this form of diabetes. The study is part of PREDIMED, a long-term nutritional intervention study aimed to assess the efficacy of the Mediterranean diet in the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, and is composed of a multidisciplinary team of 16 groups distributed in 7 autonomous communities in Spain.


The study included 418 participants (None of them having diabetes). Each participant was randomly assigned to either:

Olive Oil Diet Known to Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

  • A low fat diet
  • A Mediterranean diet with olive oil (up to 1 liter a week)
  • Or a Mediterranean diet with nuts (30 grams a day)


After 4 years 17.9 % of the individuals following the low fat diet developed diabetes, while only 10 % of the participants following the Mediterranean with olive oil diet developed the disease.


When the two MedDiet groups (olive oil and nut groups) were pooled and compared with the low fat group, incidence of diabetes was reduced by 52 %. It is critical to note that the reduction of diabetes risk was independent of changes in body weight or physical activity and that the Mediterranean diets that were followed were not calorie restricted.


Previous studies have shown that a Mediterranean style diet rich in olive oil may prevent the appearance of type II diabetes by:


  • Improving blood sugar levels
  • Insulin resistance
  • Blood lipid levels


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Infusing Olive Oil

infusing-olive-oils | Infused Olive Oils

It is possible to make amazing and mouthwatering Infused Olive Oil at home only using dried wild herbs. However, the intensity of the flavor varies with the season, whether the herbs are wild or domestic, how the local growing conditions have been, etc. It quite frankly takes a lot of trial and error. Creating Infused Olive Oil is more art than science and the people who are exceptional at it are grateful and humble enough  to share their valued trade secrets. The oil will pick up the flavor fairly quickly, in the first few weeks, and then slowly intensify. It is okay to leave the herbs in for a long time; eventually all the flavor leaves the herbs and the oil flavor stabilizes.


We typically suggest, when mixing herbs, think salad dressing. Look at some recipes for dressing and substitute the dried herbs for any fresh herbs called for in the recipe. A dipping blend is like an Italian dressing with much more oil than vinegar.


Flavored olive oils and dressings make great gifts but be careful; there are safe and unsafe ways to make Infused Olive Oil. The unsafe way is to put anything in the oil that contains any trace of water or moisture. That would include garlic, lemon peel, fresh peppers, fresh herbs and spices. The oil will not support bacterial growth but the water containing herbs will. Botulism bacteria can grow in this type of environment, even in a sealed bottle. There are a variety of things you can do to avoid this problem.


Mix All the Ingredients, Refrigerate Them and Use Them Within A Week:

infusing-olive-oils | Infused Olive Oils

This is the best and most popular way if you are using fresh ingredients such as fresh basil, fresh rosemary or garlic. Garlic is perfect for adding to pasta dishes, that you can then top with a little grated dry cheese. Fill a decorative 1-litre bottle with extra virgin Olive Oil. Add a clean head of garlic (whole if desired), and leave to marinade for a few days. You can also use lemon peel, fresh or dried peppers, ginger, rosemary sprigs, etc. Alternatively, you can use a recipe for Italian salad dressing but cut down on the vinegar or lemon juice.


Preserve the Added Ingredients:


Maybe you have seen garlic or herbs mixed with oil. The way it is done commercially is to first preserve the water-containing garlic, herb, etc. with a strong brine or vinegar solution, then put it in the oil.


The vinegar solutions used commercially are usually up to 4X’s stronger than the vinegars you find in the supermarket. You can find them at commercial food supply outlets. Many of the herb mixes have both salt and vinegar which both prevent bacterial growth. Commercial vinaigrettes and sauces also have chemical preservatives not usually available to the home cook.


Dry the Herbs to Remove all Water, Leaving the Essential Oils:

infusing-olive-oils | Infused Olive Oils


This can easily be done with a food dehydrator or simply by leaving it in the sun. After the spices and herbs are dry, you can add them to the Olive Oil. Whole sprigs of thyme, rosemary, dried peppers, etc. can decorate the inside of the bottle this way.


Press the Olives with the Spices:


Putting lemon, garlic, etc. in the olive press with the olives is the safest way to flavor oil. You must have your own olive press The oils from the added ingredients intertwine with the olive oil and the watery part of the spice’s is removed along with the olive water.

At this point, you could add essential spice oils to the olive oil to achieve the same effect.


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Olive Oil Known to Reduce Arthritis Inflammation

Olive Oil Known to Reduce Arthritis Inflammation

Did you know that oil, called oleocanthal, prevents the production of pro-inflammatory COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes – the same way ibuprofen works?


By inhibiting these enzymes, inflammation and the increase in pain sensitivity associated with them is can be dampened. Additionally, researchers have found the intensity of the “throaty bite” in oil is directly related to the amount of oleocanthal it contains. Virgin olive oils from quality olives, usually tend to have the highest oleocanthal levels.


A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry in 2015 payed close attention specifically at the benefits of oleocanthal for rheumatoid arthritis. After thorough studies, researchers found that this compound had a drastic impact not only on chronic inflammation but also on other severe inflammatory processes as well.


Extra Virgin Olive Oil: More Than Inflammation


Extra-virgin olive oil has a variety of benefits beyond stemming inflammation. Several studies have shown benefits for heart health, bone Loss, and neurological diseases (affecting the brain, spine, muscles and connecting nerves)


  1. A study published in Molecules in 2014 discussed the effect of a component of the oil, called hydroxytyrosol, which had a protective effect on the neurological system.  


  1. In another study – this time an animal study – published in the peer-reviewed journal, PLOSOne in 2014, researchers showed that when virgin olive oil was combined with vitamin D, it protected against bone loss.


  1. And one other study, led by Dr. Francisco Perez-Jimenez of the University of Cordoba, Spain in 2005 showed that a compound found in the oil, called polyphenol, promoted heart health.


Getting The Full Benefits of Virgin Olive Oil

Olive Oil Known to Reduce Arthritis Inflammation

Researchers say that about 3 1/2 Tbsp. of the oil is equal to a 200-mg tablet of ibuprofen.  Ibuprofen is generally used to help control pain and inflammation. But serious side effects can occur if it’s used for more than 10 days. Did you know that virgin olive oil may actually help you  lessen how much you need to take?


Be aware that 3 1/2 Tbsp. of the oil has more than 400 calories. So, it’s a good idea to use in moderation so that excess calories don’t lead to weight gain.


We also recommend that you don’t heat olive oil to high temperatures (about 410 degrees), because this kills some of the beneficial properties of olive oil. At lower temperatures, you can sauté vegetables (300 degrees) or fry breaded items (340 degrees), and reap the benefits of switching out butter for olive oil.  You can also use it at room temperature in salad dressings, as a dip for bread, or for tossing pasta or veggies.


One final word of advise: Protect the oil’s healthful properties by keeping them in a cool, dark cupboard or pantry, (the fridge works too).


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6 Health Benefits of Balsamic Oil

6 Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar Oil | Balsamic Oil

What is Balsamic Vinegar Oil?  Balsamic Vinegar Oil is a reduction made from grapes, but isn’t considered a wine vinegar because the grape juice used is unfermented. The unfermented white sweet grape juice that is used is called ‘must’ and comes from the Trebbiano grapes.


Originated from Italy, this condiment is an aromatic, thick, dark, syrup-like aged type of vinegar, prepared by the reduction of cooked grapes. The grapes are usually pressed, with the fermentation process being hindered.


The best Balsamic Vinegar Oil is prepared in the hills of Modena, in Italy, where unique and flavorful balsamic vinegar is formed. This vinegar is known to be a cut above the other types of vinegar. Unlike the sharp taste of vinegar, balsamic vinegar has a rich, sweet flavor. You need to really taste it to believe it!


Today Balsamic Vinegar Oil is one of the most popular condiments available in American grocery stores and is used in various sauces, marinades, salad dressings, dips, desserts, etc.


The popularity surge of this dark, syrup-like condiment is not only because of its amazing taste, but also because Balsamic Vinegar Oil’s health benefits play a major role in adding points to the popularity chart.

Balsamic Vinegar Oil retains most of the nutrients present the parent grapes and comprises nutrients such as:


  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • And Magnesium…


…All in adequate amounts. As a result, incorporating Balsamic Vinegar Oil in your daily diet will benefit you immensely.


Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar Oil


Balsamic Vinegar Oil has so many incredible health benefits. Some of these include:


  • Risks of heart diseases
  • Cancer and other infectious diseases
  • Decelerating the aging process
  • Controlling diabetes
  • Assisting in digestion
  • And much more…

Let’s have a more in depth look at the different Balsamic Vinegar Oil health benefits.  


#1: Balsamic Vinegar Oil Helps with: Antioxidant Properties

6 Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar Oil

Free radicals damage cell membranes and manifest themselves in terms of premature aging, hardening of arterial walls and cancer.  Oxidation reactions taking place in the human body to produce energy, conduce to formation of cell damaging free radicals as natural by-products.


Antioxidants from Balsamic Vinegar Oil destroy these free radicals and prevent cells from being eradicated


#2: Balsamic Vinegar Oil Helps: Fight Cancer

6 Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar Oil

The grapes from which balsamic vinegar is formed is known to contain a bioflavonoid called quercetin, which has antioxidant properties. Along with vitamin C, this antioxidant strengthens the immune system to fight cancer and other infectious diseases and inflammations.


Balsamic Vinegar Oil contains polyphenols which are anticancer agents.


#3: Balsamic Vinegar Oil Helps: Reduce Risks of Heart Attacks

6 Health Benefits of Balsamic Oil

Balsamic Vinegar Oil is low in saturated fat and is believed to reduce cholesterol. Additionally, since it is low in sodium, it enhances heart health and reduces high blood pressure.


#4: Balsamic Vinegar Oil Helps: Control Diabetes

6 Health Benefits of Balsamic Oil

Research reveals that consumption of at least 5 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar a day enhances insulin sensitivity. The greater the insulin sensitivity, the better the diabetes control.


#5: Balsamic Vinegar Oil is a Natural Pain Reliever

In ancient times, folk healers used Balsamic Vinegar Oil to relieve people of their body pain. Furthermore, they also used Balsamic Vinegar Oil to treat wounds and infections.


The antibacterial and antiviral properties in the Balsamic Vinegar Oil help heal wounds.


#6: Balsamic Vinegar Oil Assists Digestion

The polyphenols in balsamic vinegar stimulate the activity of pepsin enzyme in the body. Pepsin is a digestive enzyme, which helps break proteins into smaller units (amino acids).


Furthermore, these polyphenols also assist the intestine in absorbing amino acids expeditiously. Efficient amino acid absorption enables the body to utilize it for cell building, repair and other body maintenance work.


Balsamic Vinegar Oil aids in the digestion process.


Other key health benefits of balsamic vinegar oil

6 Health Benefits of Balsamic Oil

Besides these many incredible health benefits of Balsamic Vinegar Oil, this vinegar also:


  • Reduces the frequency of headache inceptions
  • Strengthens bones (calcium absorption)
  • Energizes the body
  • Slows down aging process
  • Prevents anemia
  • And helps in weight loss by suppressing one’s appetite.

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‘Mediterranean Diet’ & Consumption of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Reduces Risk of Colon Cancer

Extra Virgin Olive Oil | Virgin Olive Oil | Olive Oil

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Additionally, It’s the third most common cancer in both men and women, with approximately 135,000 cases estimated for diagnosis in 2016. Unfortunately nearly 50,000 of those expected to result in death.


The severe risk of developing colorectal cancer is 4.7 % for men and 4.4 %  for women and once diagnosed the survival rate over a 5-year period is an average of 65 %.


The Benefits of the ‘Mediterranean Diet’ and Consumption Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil | Virgin Olive Oil | Olive Oil

The Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and consumption of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has been shown to be beneficial for an array of cancers including:


  • Breast cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Prostate cancer


Recently studies report the MedDiet may play a vital role in reducing risk of colorectal cancer.


One study published in the Journal of Nutrition, investigated 4 diet quality indexes,


  • The Healthy Eating Index (HEI) 2010
  • The Alternative HEI (AHEI) 2010
  • The alternate Mediterranean Diet (aMED) score
  • The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Index


Results of the Mediterranean Diet

Extra Virgin Olive Oil | Virgin Olive Oil | Olive Oil


This study used data from the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC), which included more than 215,000 participants from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. The primary outcomes were overall mortality and colorectal cancer-specific incidents.


The results showed that a higher MedDiet score was associated with a lower CC mortality and lower all-cause mortality in women but not in men. Compared to the other diets, the MedDiet was the only diet to be associated with improved colorectal cancer survival. However, the authors suggest the results should be interpreted with caution and that further research is needed.


Then came a study published in British Journal of Cancer, which investigated colorectal cancer risk in Italy, as the authors were interested in determining the risk in a Mediterranean location.


The researchers pooled data from 3 separate hospital-based case control studies that included a total of 3,745 colorectal cancer incidents compared to 6,804 hospital controls. Food frequency questionnaires were collected and used for this analysis and the authors using the standard MedDiet Score (MDS) to assess adherence to a traditional MedDiet and its relationship to colorectal cancer.


The results discovered that a high adherence to the MedDiet reduces the risk of colorectal cancer by 50 %.

The Role of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the Mediterranean Diet

Extra Virgin Olive Oil | Virgin Olive Oil | Olive Oil

A higher consumption of vegetables, legumes, fish, and monounsaturated fats such as extra virgin olive oil and a lower consumption of meat were associated with a significantly reduced risk of colorectal cancer. While low consumption of cereals and potatoes, along with high consumption of dairy significantly increased risk.

The authors concluded, “this large study conducted in a Mediterranean region confirms a favorable role of MD on colorectal cancer risk.”

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