Nutritionists will continue to tout olive oil for its high content of healthful, monounsaturated fats, like oleic acid, and polyphenols. The fruit oil practically propelled the entire Western world in antiquity, and is mentioned in nearly every sacred text this side of the Tigris and Euphrates. As a cooking fat, it’s high up on the heart-smart list…which works out, ‘cause it tastes darn good.
(As tip, Consumer Reports has rated Goya brand extra virgin olive oil [from Spain] as the best general purpose olive oil, and as their best buy. I whole-healthy-heartedly concur.)
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Olive oil also has plenty of uses around your home, outside of the sauté pan. There’s no need to waste your expensive Greek or Spanish Extra Virgin for these tasks, just grab a bottle of inexpensive, domestic olive oil for around-the-house use. You can cut down on excess oil by investing in a refillable spray can, such as the Misto.
1. Shave. Olive oil can provide a safe and natural lubricant for a close shave. Rub in an extra teaspoon after washing your body or face once finished.
2. Wood Furniture Polish. Wipe with a teaspoon of olive oil and a soft rag. Add a bit of vinegar of citrus juice to bulk up the cleaning power, and add a fresh scent.
3. Fingernails. Use a bit of olive oil to moisturize cuticles, or mix oil and water and soak your hands before a manicure.
4. Lubricate Measuring Cups and Spoons. Rub or spray olive oil on your measuring tools for easy clean-up of sticky substances like honey, grain mustards, and sugar syrups,
5. Control hair frizz. Comb a bit of olive oil through dry hair to tame the frizz and flyaways on humid days or in the winter.
6. Free a stuck zipper. Use a cotton swab to apply olive oil to the teeth of a zipper, then gently ease the tab down.
7. Care for your kitty. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to your cat’s food to help prevent hairballs, and provide a shiny coat.
8. DIY Lip balm. Mix olive oil and melted beeswax in a 1:1 ratio, with an essential oil for fragrance, and say goodbye to dry and chapped lips.
9. Stop Snoring. Take a sip of olive oil before heading to bed. It might lubricate your throat muscles, and stop yourself, or your partner, from snoring.
10. Shine stainless steel and brass. Rub a bit of olive oil on a clean rag to prevent streaks, corrosion, and tarnish.
11. Exfoliate your face and hands. Rub your skin with olive oil, then scrub with sugar or coarse salt, and rinse.
12. As you bathe. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to your running bath water. You’ll be amazed when you towel off.
13. Remove makeup. Dab a bit under your eyes, on your cheeks and forehead, then wipe with a damp cloth.
14. Cure an earache. Very carefully, use a cotton swab to apply olive oil to the outside ear cavity to help with earaches and excess wax.
15. Remove paint from your skin. Rub on olive oil onto messy hand and arms (or faces) and allow the oil to soak into the skin for five minutes, then rinse with soap and water.
16. Treat lice. Apply olive oil to your youngster’s hair, and leave on for at least 40 minutes. Shampoo twice, then apply a preventative.
17. Stop a throat tickle. Take a sip of olive oil to stop the itchy flicker that is making you cough.
18. Fix a squeaky door. Use a rag or cotton swab to apply olive oil to the top of a problematic hinge in your home or automobile.
19. Shoe polish. Rub down your shoes with just a spray of olive oil to maintain their shine.
20. Personal Lubricant. It works…
21. Soften your skin. Rub olive oil daily on notoriously dry areas, such as your feet or elbows, especially after a shower, shaving, or waxing.
22. Easy clean up of garden tools. Spritz some olive oil on your tools to cut down on dirt buildup.
23. Condition leather. Rub olive oil into worn leather, such as a baseball glove, and let set for 30 minutes, then wipe away any excess.
24. As a hair tonic. Comb some olive oil through your hair for the vintage look of pomade without the build-up, or add a bit to wet hair for grungy, but clean, look.
25. Cure diaper rash. Gently wipe on olive oil to your baby’s bottom to help with the irritation of diaper rash.
Sleep Like a Baby With Olive Oil
Researchers can’t get over the astounding healing properties of olive oil. A staple food in the Mediterranean, this delicious oil has contributed to the cuisine and health of people in the region for centuries. Extra-virgin olive oil is a potent source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. It reduces inflammation in the body, helps control blood sugar and supports overworked adrenal glands — a key issue for anyone trying to heal from insomnia. Did someone say miracle food?
1. Adrenal stress is linked to fatigue. Under chronic stress, the adrenal glands pump out too much cortisol and other stress hormones to help the body weather the storm. This always-on stress environment leads to high levels of oxidative damage and the release of too many free radical molecules. Free radicals damage the delicate ephithelial cells that line our organs and arteries and lead directly to chronic diseases. If you don’t manage your stress, you will quickly slide into adrenal fatigue and your body will start to break down.
2. Free radicals worsen chronic fatigue. In a study, researchers found that elevated free radicals contribute to the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Increased consumption of antioxidants may help reduce these symptoms. That’s good news for people with chronic insomnia and adrenal fatigue, who display many of the same symptoms as CFS.
3. DHPEA-EDA in olive oil fights free radicals. Extra-virgin olive oil contains more of the polyphenol compound DHPEA-EDA, an important antioxidant, than any other oil: up to half the antioxidants in olive oil are DHPEA-EDA. According to a recent study published inMolecular Nutrition & Food Research, DHPED-EDA is the most effective substance known for fighting free radical damage, even when taken in low concentrations.
4. Extra-virgin olive oil cools inflammation. Studies show that fatigue sufferers have higher levels of inflammation in their bodies. This increases insulin resistance and makes blood sugar unstable. As a result, the adrenal glands have to work harder. Olive oil interrupts that cycle, giving your adrenals a well-deserved break. In addition to containing the potent anti-inflammatory oleocanthal, extra-virgin olive oil is also one of the best sources of both oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, antioxidants that also reduce inflammatory chemicals in the body.
5. Olive oil stabilizes blood sugar spikes. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that helps control blood sugar (glucose). A study published in the journal of the German Diabetes Association found that glucose levels were lower in people who ate monounsaturated fats than those who avoided all fats. You must eat healthy fats every day for good health, particularly if you are managing blood sugar problems.
6. Handle with care. Extra-virgin olive oil is best when fresh, unfiltered, dark golden-yellow or green in color, cold-pressed and packaged in dark glass bottles. The extra-virgin olive oil that gives you a peppery hit in the back of your throat has the most antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. These qualities fade with time, so buy smaller bottles instead of gallon-sized jugs that will be well aged by the time you get to the bottom of the container. Purchase the highest-quality olive oil you can afford, as much of the lower-priced varieties have been mixed with less expensive oils. (For more information on how to track down high-quality fresh olive oil, click here.)
Heat destroys the healing benefits of extra-virgin olive oil. It’s best to keep it in a cool, dark place. Refrigeration is an option to maintain its potency and freshness — the oil will go semisolid and cloudy, but will quickly come to room temperature for use. You can keep a small amount in a dark, tightly capped bottle on the counter to toss onto salads or drizzle over food that is already cooked. Use pure (refined) olive oil to cook with at very low temps, because it is more stable when heated. Coconut oil, which contains monounsaturated fats but has a high flashpoint, is better for cooking at higher temperatures.
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