Some Incredible Benefits Of Taking A Shot Of Olive Oil In The Morning

For decades we have been following the faulty advice to lower our fat intake to a bare minimum when increasing the amount of sugar in everything.

Even a renowned brand of packaged macaroni and cheese contains added sugar, leaving us wondering why noodles and cheese may possibly need to get sweetened.

Understanding why fat is important

Fat is a macronutrient with many benefits, one of which is the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. It is also a building block of every cell membrane in the human body. It provides energy, slows the absorption of other nutrients (so you feel full longer after a meal) and is required for healthy liver function. And let's face it, fat makes food taste better.

Also, did you know that the human brain is more than 50 percent fat? The brain needs fats -- and especially essential fatty acids -- for perfect health. The body doesn't synthesize essential fatty acids so it needs to obtain them from a healthy diet.

Olive oil is Critical to the Mediterranean diet

It is no secret that Southern Europeans who eat a more Mediterranean Diet, consisting of vegetables, fruits, a great deal of fish and plenty of olive oil, have a higher life expectancy with fewer diseases.

An average, Italians and Spaniards consume about 13 gallons of olive oil per person each year. While the entire diet does play a significant role in how healthy men and women are, it appears the use of extra virgin olive oil is the major contributing factor to longevity and health.

In a study published in 2013, researchers followed two groups of individuals for five years. One group ate a higher fat Mediterranean diet while the other group followed a low-fat diet plan. The higher fat group had a lower incidence of heart disease, diabetes and much better success with weight loss.

Olive oil to Decrease inflammation

The high-grade extra virgin olive oil contains around 30 polyphenols that act as antioxidants and decrease inflammation within the body. The monounsaturated fatty acids in extra virgin olive oil aid increase HDL ("good") cholesterol while decreasing LDL ("bad") cholesterol. ) Additionally, the additional antioxidants have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Olive oil for better skin

Our European neighbors have known for many centuries of the many benefits of olive oil -- they use it within the body and out! On the skin, they use it as an exfoliant mixed into a sugar scrub or as a moisturizer. However, you don't have to smear olive oil all over you; drinking it will offer known anti-aging chemicals, such as antioxidants and vitamin E.

Olive oil for weight loss

From the Mediterranean, many men and women start their day with a quarter cup of olive oil. The oleic acid in olive oil has a satiating effect. As mentioned above, it also slows the absorption of other nutrients, so you will feel full longer and will not have to reach for that mid-morning sugary snack. While the calories in olive oil may be high, the overall intake of calories throughout the day will drop when you're just not that hungry.

Olive oil for a healthy gallbladder

Drinking olive oil can greatly increase the production of pancreatic juices and bile (which, incidentally, gives poop its brownish color). With oil, the risk of gallstones decreases and bile is important for the breakdown of fats so they can be absorbed into the intestinal wall.

Olive oil for colon health

The polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil act as antioxidants to rid the body of free radicals that could otherwise damage cells, or even lead to cancer.

A study found that drinking olive oil inhibited colon cancer at various stages of the disease. So why don't you use it to fend off cancer to begin with? This is not to say that you should skip those recommended colonoscopies after age 50, but go ahead and add olive oil to your daily regimen as a preventative measure.

Olive oil to manage blood sugar levels

Olive oil has the ability to keep blood sugar levels . In 1 study, blood sugar levels stayed lower on those who ate their meal together with olive oil, compared to a group of individuals eating a meal made out of corn oil. This makes sense because corn is a starch and has the ability to raise blood sugar levels more than olives.

How to start your day with olive oil

With all this talk of the great benefits of olive oil, let us talk about how to take action. We know, of course, that it may be a little difficult to start your day with an entire shot of olive oil on an empty stomach first thing in the afternoon. In fact, if oil is consumed in large amounts, it may actually upset the stomach that is not used to it. Here are a few more ways to go about it.

First, start with a tablespoon and increase the amount over time. Another option is to mix olive oil in a blender with a cup of warm water and the juice of a lemon. It makes it far more palatable and the lemon juice can help with the easier digestion of the oil.

Additionally, lemon juice has been linked to enhanced liver function. A healthy liver generates bile, which in turn is needed for the proper breakdown of fats (and oils) from the small intestine.

Cooking with olive oil

Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil has many benefits when used correctly. You may not want to cook with it at elevated temperatures, however. While it appears to be much more stable than other vegetable oils, all oils break down and lose their nutrients and flavor when cooked on high heat.

Plus, the oxidation that happens during cooking may actually create compounds that attack healthy tissues in the body. For cooking at very high temperatures, it may be advisable to use a more stable fat that's a shorter chain fatty acid, like olive oil or avocado oil.