Olive oil has been singled out as contributing to the healthful and beautiful aging. I am in love with olive oil and no wonder. It’s good for you; its taste is exquisite and its antioxidant properties – characterized by its polyphenolic composition – have the potential to combat degenerative diseases. In fact, a high intake of oleic acid, the monounsaturated fat that is found in extra virgin olive oil, has been shown to be so good that the World Health Organization recommends the Mediterranean diet as the world’s healthiest and suggests olive oil as the best source of fat.
What are the antioxidants in olive oil?
Olive oil is a natural food rich in antioxidants, vitamins and polyphenols. There are as many as 5 mg of antioxidant polyphenols in every 10 grams of olive oil. Polyphenols have been shown to reduce coronary artery disease and may be the substance involved in actually lowering a person’s blood pressure. Additionally, antioxidants will reduce nitric acid levels; a substance in the body known to raise blood pressure. Olive oil contains 1.6 mg, or 2.3 IU (International Units), of vitamin E (a natural antioxidant) per tablespoon. One tablespoon provides 8% of RDA (recommended daily allowance) for vitamin E. This is the vitamin that combats the free radicals that damage body cells and tissues and contributes to aging. Olive oil may be one of the finest sources one can use for delaying the aging process. I feel that it is the best nutritional gift we can give ourselves.
The forever-lovely Sophia Loren is enamored with olive oil and takes two tablespoons everyday. A few years ago, when over 1500 people were recently asked to rate the world’s most naturally beautiful celebrities, the winner was Sofia Loren. She shared one of her timeless beauty secrets: “the odd olive oil bath.” In fact, Sophia’s beauty is so legendary in Italy that it has prompted the Archbishop of Genoa to observe, that although the Vatican is opposed to human cloning, “an exception might be made in the case of Sophia Loren.” When Jeanne Calment, a French woman, who held the record for the longest confirmed lifespan, died at the age of 122, she reportedly attributed her long life remarkably youthful appearance to olive oil. She liberally poured olive oil on her food and rubbed into her skin.
What I do…and you can do
In the morning, upon rising and before eating anything: Take 1 -2 tablespoon(s) of extra virgin olive oil. Remember, all oil has 120 calories. So, you need to consider the calorie intake along with your other food intake throughout the day.