7 Health Benefits of Olive Oil and How to Consume

Olive oil is commonly used for many different purposes including for cooking, beauty treatments, healing and even as a fuel for traditional oil lamps. Its special quality has been widely known through centuries. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which are considered as a healthy dietary fat. This kind of fat may lower the risk of coronary heart disease by improving related risk factors. It reduces total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, while raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol levels. Olive oil also contains valuable antioxidants that can strengthen the immune system and protect the body from the damaging effects of free-radical molecules. Other health benefits of olive oil are:olive oil

  1. Providing anti-inflammatory agents, like oleocanthal, that act as a natural ibuprofen-like substance. It can be a natural therapy to reduce the severity of arthritis.
  2. Keeping the blood pressure in healthy levels. High blood pressure levels are often caused by atherosclerosis, also called hardening of the arteries, which occurs when oxidized particles of LDL cholesterol stick to the walls of the arteries. Eventually these particles build up and form plaque, narrowing the blood vessels and putting a heavier workload on the heart as it pumps oxygenated blood to the entire body. A specific compound in olive oil called oleuropein can prevent the LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and sticking to the arterial walls.
  3. A good diet for diabetics who are at high risk for heart disease. Olive oil is linked to lower triglyceride levels and may help to offset a propensity for high triglyceride levels that many diabetics suffer from, which puts them at risk for heart disease. According to a research, the diet rich in olive oil is not only great to prevent belly fat accumulation, but also insulin resistance and a drop in adiponectin. Adiponectin is a hormone that regulates sugar and fat metabolism, improves insulin sensitivity, and has anti-inflammatory effects on the cells lining the blood vessel walls.
  4. Reducing the risk of getting cancer, particularly colon, breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. A study in 2005 said that oleic acid, which is the main component of olive oil, have the ability to reduce the effect of an oncogene. It is a gene that will turn a host cell into a cancer cell).
  5. Fighting asthma. Olive oil has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits that can improve lung and airway support.
  6. Promote healthy digestion. Olive oil promotes proper bowel movement. It can help in relieving constipation. 
  7. Soothe a dry or sore throat. A sip of olive oil can help lubricate and soothe the throat.


Olive oil should be consumed in moderation since it contains high calories. These are the suggested doses that have been studied in scientific research (source: webmd.com)

  • For constipation: 30 ml of olive oil.
  • For high blood pressure: 30-40 grams per day of extra-virgin olive oil as part of the diet. 400 mg of olive leaf extract four times daily has also been used for high blood pressure.
  • For high cholesterol and to decrease heart disease risk: 23 grams of olive oil per day (about 2 tablespoons) providing 17.5 grams of mono unsaturated fatty acids in place of saturated fats in the diet.
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