Olive Oil: Can it Improve Your Life?

Olive Oil

Is olive oil an everyday source of health and wellness? Many believe its incorporation into the diets of the world’s “Blue Zones” is the secret to longer living[1]. “Blue Zones” are areas of the world where people live longer and experience lower rates of chronic disease. 

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) can have massive benefits for brain health, which can help delay symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. That said, not all olive oil is created equal. If you want to reap the health benefits, you should pay attention to the oil you buy. Below, you’ll find a quick checklist to make sure you’re taking home the best olive oil.

When combined with other healthy lifestyle choices, like taking a daily walk or getting adequate rest, olive oil can have serious benefits for your health.

The Health Benefits of Olive Oil

Healthy eaters hail the Mediterranean diet as incredibly beneficial, but it seems olive oil’s specific benefits might just be the key to this diet’s success. Regions that grow olives have populations with lower rates of cancer, type 2 diabetes, cognitive decline, and heart disease. 

Researchers at the Alzheimer’s Center at Temple University focused on the benefits of EVOO on the brain specifically. Domenico Praticó, the director of the Alzheimer’s Center, and other researchers are surveying the relationship between EVOO and the brain. High-quality EVOO has fat compounds that can clear out communication channels between brain cells by flushing out proteins that clog them. 

Oleocanthal, a polyphenol found in olives, can flush out amyloids, which develop plaque related to Alzheimer’s[2]. In mice testing, EVOO can rinse out tau, a protein that inhibits memory and language skills in humans. 

Other health benefits from olive oil include:

  • Oleic acid, a fatty acid found in olive oil, can reduce inflammation 
  • EVOO contains beneficial antioxidants, which might reduce risk of chronic diseases 
  • People who consume olive oil have a reduced risk of stroke
  • EVOO may prevent heart disease by shielding LDL cholesterol from oxidation, reducing excessive blood clotting, and bolstering blood vessel lining
  • Moderate olive oil intake does not increase weight gain and might even be associated with weight loss
  • Olive oil supplements can reduce oxidative stress and improve inflammatory markers in people with rheumatoid arthritis
  • When taken together, olive oil and fish oil can improve morning stiffness, joint pain, and hand-grip strength in people with rheumatoid arthritis
  • EVOO is antibacterial and can fight against Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that can cause stomach cancer and stomach ulcers[3]

What To Look for When Buying Olive Oil

The quality of your olive oil will directly impact the health benefits it can provide. Higher-grade olive oil has wonderful health potential, while lower-grade olive oil is usually not as flavorful or as useful. 

Below, you’ll find a compiled a list of specific things to look for and do while you’re buying olive oil. This should help you make sure you’re getting the most out of this addition to your healthy lifestyle:

Extra Virgin

If you want the best olive oil, look for bottles labeled “extra virgin.[4]” Bottles labeled “Olive Oil” or “Light Olive Oil” are actually refined oils. This isn’t a bad classification per se, but these olive oils are not the best you can find. EVOO is usually a much more flavorful and high-quality olive oil. 

Praticó reports that EVOO has the highest concentration of disease-fighting polyphenols. Take two tablespoons per day for the best benefits. Examine labels very carefully to make sure the olive oil you’ve picked up is actually extra virgin. Some companies will tout an EVOO that is not actually extra virgin-grade. 

Dark Bottle

Buying olive oil in a dark bottle is an absolute must. Light exposure can ruin those disease-fighting polyphenols and affect the aroma and flavor of the olive oil. Choose olive oil that comes in a dark bottle, or, preferably, an opaque bottle. Store the bottle in a cool, dark place to best maintain the oil’s quality. 

Correctly Dated

Olive oils have vastly different shelf lives. A best-before date could range from six months to three years. Some people confuse olive oil with wine, believing that an aged olive oil is better than a fresh olive oil. This is not true. Olive oil tastes best when fresh. Avoid purchasing an olive oil that is just a few months away from its best-before date. Remember: the olive oil will begin to degrade after you open the bottle and expose its contents to oxygen. 

From California or A Similar Region with Rigorous Testing Standards

California began standardized olive oil testing in 2014. Using retail samples, a study found that 82% of unregulated EVOOs tested below standard, while only 10% of regulated EVOO tested below standard. If you start taking EVOO every day but still aren’t seeing results, check if the oil was standardized by California. This simple step can also ensure quality before you make an olive oil purchase. 

Do A Taste Test

The best way to determine whether an olive oil meets your standards is a taste test. If the olive oil burns the back of your throat, that potency indicates high levels of oleocanthal (the polyphenol that flushes out Alzheimer’s plaques). 

Some stores even have tester tables for oils and vinegars. You can take your purchase a step further and buy olive oil from a local vendor. Farmer’s market sellers will usually encourage taste testing before you take home a bottle of olive oil. 

How To Incorporate Olive Oil into A Healthy Diet

You’ve learned about the benefits of olive oil and used our guide to help you find the perfect bottle. Olive oil is most beneficial when used as an everyday dietary supplement. As with any healthy choice, consistency is key. 

Another healthy lifestyle choice for seniors is a medical alert system that fits the rhythm of your day and provides consistent support and protection. If you’re a daily walker, you might find that the On-the-Go Wrist Watch Medical Alert + GPS + Pedometer from Alert1 fits your active lifestyle.

Consume Your Olive Oil 

Olive oil “best practices” often get confused with how wine should be handled. Wine is most delicious after aging, sometimes for many years. On the contrary, olive oil is highest quality when fresh. Don’t be nervous to use your EVOO regularly. This rich oil is perfect for everyday cooking. For best results, you can use your older olive oil for cooking, and your fresher olive oil as a garnish on top.

Two Tablespoons of EVOO Per Day 

Praticó recommends two tablespoons of EVOO per day for maximum health benefits. Make sure to use our tips for finding the best olive oil possible, or it will not provide the same boost to your health. 

Add Olive Oil to Your Favorite Dishes

If you use a different oil for cooking, and don’t feel interested in taking a tablespoon of olive oil or two per day, you can add olive oil into your diet in other ways[5]. Drizzle olive oil over soft cheese, toast, a baked potato, steamed veggies, or other simple dishes. As mentioned above, it is best to use the freshest olive oil you have as a garnish. The flavor is incomparable and will enhance everyday foods.

Other Tips and Tricks for a Healthy Lifestyle

Incorporating olive oil into your diet is just one of many healthy lifestyle changes you can make. At Alert1, we believe that a healthy lifestyle consists of an array of practices that include:

  • Staying active: take a daily walk, or try a group exercise class to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle
  • Focusing on mental health & managing stress: consider using prayer, music, or meditation to benefit both your mental and physical health
  • Reducing risk of infection: get annual vaccinations and flu shots to prevent infection
  • Keeping up with doctor’s appointments: an annual physical can help diagnose and treat major health issues
  • Taking vitamin supplements (when necessary): doctors might recommend vitamin B6, vitamin D, calcium, or vitamin B12 to support your immune system
  • Eating a healthy diet: lean meats, fruits, and vegetables can protect you from bacteria and viruses that make you ill
  • Being social: connect with family, friends, and loved ones for a richer, more supportive life
  • Using a medical alert system: an In-Home + On-the-Go + Fall Detection medical alert system supports you at home and out on the town

A Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) Can Supplement Other Healthy Lifestyle Choices and Changes

A healthy lifestyle relies on consistency. Positive changes might include a regular exercise schedule or adding olive oil to your diet. If you are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle, or you’re just interested in making some healthy changes, a button alarm system for the elderly is an addition that provides consistency and comfort. 

  • Peace of mind: Reduce stress for you and your loved ones with the knowledge that you’ll have support in the event of an emergency, especially if you live alone
  • Ease of mobility: Leave the house without stress when you use an On-the-Go + Fall Detection medical alert system
  • Improve independent living: Fall detection technology is wonderful for seniors who live alone because it can sense a fall and send an emergency alert even if you cannot press the button
  • Emergency support: 24/7/365 Command Centers offer the support of highly trained and certified agents, ready to help you at the push of your medical alert system button

A healthy lifestyle needs consistency, but it might take you a few tries to figure out your own routine. Alert1 does not lock you into a long-term contract. Alert1 encourages members and potential members to try out our monthly payment plans for maximum convenience. You won’t be charged for “false alarms” or multiple button pushes. Your medical alert system provider is here to support your health and happiness. Like consuming olive oil for better health, using a medical alert system fits right in with other healthy lifestyle choices. 

 

 

 

 



[1] Robertson, Ruairi. 2017, Aug. 29. Why People in “Blue Zones” Live Longer Than the Rest of the World. Healthline.com. Why People in “Blue Zones” Live Longer Than the Rest of the World.

[2] Parkinson, Lisa, Keast, Russell. 2014, Jul. 11. Oleocanthal, a Phenolic Derived from Virgin Olive Oil: A Review of the Beneficial Effects on Inflammatory Disease. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Oleocanthal, a Phenolic Derived from Virgin Olive Oil: A Review of the Beneficial Effects on Inflammatory Disease.

[3] Palsdottir, Hrefna. 2021, Jul. 26. 8 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Avocado Oil. Healthline.com. 8 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Avocado Oil.

[4] Leal, Micah A. What’s the Difference Between Olive Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil? Southern Living Magazine. What’s the Difference Between Olive Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

[5] Alleman, Gayle A. 2021, Feb 19. Ultimate Guide to Olive Oil. HowStuffWorks.com. Ultimate Guide to Olive Oil.