Olive oil benefits

Preparing olives.

Olive oil benefits stretch from great flavour to less heart and neurological disease; it is a powerful anti-inflammatory. What are the facts?

While olive oil benefits are well known, and that the people of the Mediterranean are among the most robust in the world, the reasons are complex.

Could it be the afternoon siesta, the red wine, the garlic, or the tomatoes? Perhaps it is all the fish they eat.

Or maybe it is the extra exposure to sunshine as they sit on the terraces enjoying a less hectic lifestyle. Do they smoke less?

Perhaps they eat less dairy and red meat and more fish and fowl. Do they exercise regularly?

Or is it really the olive oil benefits? Most probably it is all of the above.

It has now been shown the humble olive contributes greatly to the well-being of the people of the Mediterranean.

Generally speaking we need fat to survive, but mostly we eat too much, and the wrong kind. Large amounts of the saturated type, principally of animal origin, reportedly clog the arteries causing high blood pressure and heart disease, Alzheimer's and a host of other illnesses.

However, olives have zero cholesterol, and the unsaturated fat gives well-being, as compared to that from animals, which supplies us amply with death-giving oils, if not eaten in moderation with a diverse and rounded vegetable diet. It is not pleasant to contemplate, but those who want to live long in the land avoid the ostrich, head in the sand approach.

This page was last updated by Dr Barrie Lewis on 24th April, 2020.

Olives and olive oil decanter benefits.

Broadly speaking, unsaturated fats come in two kinds:

  1. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids, (PUFAs), which are found mainly in seed oils such as sunflower, soyabean and maize oil.
  2. Mono-unsaturated fatty acids, (MUFAs), which are found in small quantities in most oils, but are especially high in olive oil and the avocado.

Whereas polys are known to lower HDLs, the friendly fats in our blood streams, monos raise the high density lipoproteins.

High HDL is associated with a low rate of heart disease and stroke. Poly-unsaturated fats are nutritious, BUT we eat too much of them; they lower the HDLs, remember, which is not good.

Drive through Holland, and you will be impressed by thousands fields of grazing cows; red meat, dairy, high cholesterol and high unfriendly LDLs.

Drive through Greece and you will be lucky to see a cow, but everywhere you will see tens of thousands of olive trees. Believe you me, I have just been there.

High HDL, low cholesterol, low LDL olives. Is it any wonder that stroke and heart disease are so prevalent in the Netherlands, and so absent in Greece?

Olive oil benefits

Olive oil benefits gives you some useful tips into the whys and wherefores of this Mediterranean fruit, togther with some delicious, healthy recipes.

"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

Greek proverb

Sure, there are other factors. There is nothing simple about health. The Dutch love their cigarettes too. Every pack says: Roken is dodelijk; smoking is deadly, but they ignore it.

In 100g of Olive Oil,

Mono-unsaturated fats 74
Saturated fats 14
Poly-unsaturated 8
Cholesterol 0
Vitamin E 12 mg
Energy 884 kcal

Yes, like all fats, olive oil contains a large amount of energy. Healthy energy. Vitamin E is known for its anti-coagulated properties (prevents clots forming).

Athena's gift

Athena's gift is a short story by Bernard Preston, DC, at your olive oil benefits. Thereafter we look at oleocanthal, a natural anti inflammatory and how it benefits your chiropractic help.

Photograph of an olive seedling.

Whilst pondering Olive Oil benefits it is perhaps interesting to delve for a moment into ancient Greek mythology. Myth has it that the goddess Athena, probably the only just god amongst that pantheon of capricious deities, fell in love with a beautiful city and wanted to live there so she could protect it. However Poseidon, god of the sea, had other ideas as to who should have the freedom of that blissful city.

So they agreed to an unusual challenge. Unlike most gods, instead of demanding something, they agreed that whoever could make the best gift to the city would win.

In the centre of the city was a rock called the Acropolis, where the competition was held. Poseidon was the first to make his offering.

Striking the rock, water gushed out. "This is my gift to the people of this beautiful city. I shall be your god."

The people oohed and aahed. In that thirsty land, water was everything.

"Just wait," said, Cecrops, the appointed judge. "Let me taste." After a small sip, he said, "This water comes straight from the sea, Poseidon."

Athena, no drama queen, came forward and, humbly kneeling, planted a small tree. "This is my gift to you," she said to the townsfolk. "Wait patiently for a few years, and you will experience for yourselves all the olive oil benefits.

"Just a tree?" cried the people. "On the salt water we can at least sail around the world, not to mention season our food."

"Let us not be hasty, my people," advised Cecrops. "We shall meet here again in five years time, and then we shall make our decision."

At the appointed time, the day of the Full Harvest Moon, the people again met at the Acropolis. Poseidon nodded to them, "Just sample the fruit of that Athena's tree. There are no olive oil benefits. It's the most bitter fruit I have ever tasted; worthless. I shall be your god. Come and bow before me before I send a mighty Tsunami to wash you away."

"Wait, let us give the fair Athena a chance to bring a word first about olive oil benefits," said the wise old Cecrops, half snake, half man.

"First, people of the Acropolis, pick the olives and carefully score the flesh a few times, lengthwise, with a sharp blade, careful not to reach the pip. Then place them in these barrels of water. Each day you must change the water. If it pleases you, we shall meet again in two weeks. That is, if any of you want me to be your goddess. Otherwise, I'll just leave, and take my tree with me."

"Bah, just leave, and take your horrid little tree with you," shouted Poseidon. "We don't want your nasty olives. There are no olive oil benefits!"

"No, we shall be fair to the lovely Athena," said Cyclops. "Meet here again in two weeks, people of the Acropolis."

Again on the appointed day, the people of the city met at the Acropolis. "Now people, empty off the bitter water, and fill the barrels with boiling brine. See here, I have brought an egg. Add just enough extra salt until the egg floats." The people did as Athena said.

"See, even Athena can not do without my salt water. I shall be your god," grumbled Poseidon. "How much longer must we wait?"

"Patience, my dear Poseidon," cried Athena lightly. "Patience, is a virtue. Return in another two weeks, people of the Acropolis, and we shall sample the most delicious fruit you have ever tasted. Better even than the fig and the grape. Bring bottles of wine, baskets of fruit, and bowls of Feta cheese, and we shall have a mighty feast. Then you will know all about olive oil benefits."

"Bah," shouted Poseidon, derisively. "Olive oil benefits, now I have heard it all."

At the time of the next Full Moon, in the cool of evening, great crowds of Acropolis people met at the Rock, eager to see who would win the competition. Unbeknown to them a few nights before the finale, Athena had crept silently up to the heights, pouring off the brine, and adding fresh water to the casks, to which she added a few jars of vinegar.

Cyclops was the first to sample the unknown olive. Hesitantly, he took the first fruit, a bright black olive as it so happens, sucked it, finally biting deep into the flesh, munching a few times, tasting before  spitting out the pip. The people hushed. "I'm not sure, may I have another?" he asked.

"Of course," said Athena.

"Bah," said Poseidon. "You see, Cyclops cannot make up his mind. It is a clear cut victory for me."

"And one more? May I have another? I can't quite make up my mind."  said Cyclops. "More, let me sample them with a little wine. Now some Feta too please." Turning to the crowd he cried, "People of the  Acropolis, you must be the judge. I fear I am nonplussed, and deluded. This is surely the most delicious fruit I have ever tasted."  

And so crowds of people surged forward, eagerly plunging their hands into the vats, filling their mouths with olives.

"Careful, careful, my people. The pips! You could break a tooth if you are too hasty. Sample them, one at a time. Chew each one carefully, and take the pips home to plant in your gardens."

And so it was that Athena was declared the winner. So impressed were the people with olive oil benefits, that they renamed their city after the noble Athena.

As the years went by, the people of Athens became a mighty empire, their warriors stronger, and even their politicians became wise. They had no more heart attacks, their skin glowed in the glorious Greek sun, and their women lost weight as they turned from using butter to olive oil benefits for their bread and their baking.


Extra virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal, a compound which acts as a natural anti-inflammatory compound, inhibiting the so-called Cox enzymes that are released by cartilage starved of nutrients, causing inflammation and arthritis.

The amount of anti-inflammatory agent in olive oil is relatively small. Scientist Dr Paul Breslin reports that it would take 500g of olive oil (roughly 500ml) to confer the same amount of Cox inhibition as a single dose (2 x 200mg) of Ibuprofen.

Nevertheless, taken on a daily basis olive oil benefits include a significant natural anti-inflammatory effect.

Natural anti-inflammatory

Natural anti-inflammatory foods, enjoyed daily in the diet have a profound effect on the aches and pains that we may be experiencing. And frankly they just taste great. Olive oil benefits on a salad, a jalapeno in with your eggs Florentine, and a delicious fillet of salmon all take a lot of beating simply for flavour.

Add to your olive oil, the proven benefits of anti-inflammatory omega 3  and you are nearly home and dry.

From a nutritional aspect, chiropractic mobilising of an arthritic joint should always be accompanied by better diet, including olive oil benefits which have been shown to have very similar properties to ibuprofen, without its dangerous side-effects.

Improved diet, exercise and chiropractic mobilisation form a powerful trio in the treatment of arthritis; olive oil benefits may be part of that therapy.

For more information about how subluxations of joints cause arthritis, read here. 


Oleocanthal is the anti-inflammatory phytochemical found amongst all the other extra virgin olive oil benefits.

Richard Gavel is an expert and long-time appointee as Presiding Judge in various major olive oil shows. On the difference of refined and less pure oils he has this to say.

"Refined oils have little or no olive aroma, flavour, or colour; what they have gets there via blending in a few percent of extra-virgin. They also have no bitterness."

In order to enjoy the anti-inflammatory effects of oleocanthal, you have to make sure that you have extra virgin. It is found only in olives and EVOO.

Take a teaspoon neat. It should give a burning sensation in the back of the throat.

Ordinary olive oil have had most of the phytonutrients, including the oleocanthal, removed to reduce the burning and for some unpleasant taste of the natural anti-inflammatory. But simultaneously you lose many of the benefits.

If you find the burning effect of extra virgin olive oil too strong for your palate, then use it, for example, in making authentic hummus recipe where you would not notice the burning taste of oleocanthal; that is where the anti-inflammatory benefits are.

Tingling in arms and hands

Tingling in arms, hands and legs is the most frequent complaint in the questions asked by readers; olive oil benefits may be part of the solution.

Nerve conduction

Every nerve is coated in a fatty "myelin" sheath. Without that sheath, the nerve cannot conduct. Multiple Sclerosis, a "demyelinating" disease attacks that sheath. It all starts with tingling in arms, hands and feet as you lose the passage of those impulses.

The main ingredient of that myelin is a Mono called Oleic Acid; it is is one on the main constituents of olive oil.

Olives and avocados are from another world: they are both fruit, not seeds, hence their fatty acid constituents are so diverse. Different and far more healthy. Do not forget avocado benefits either.

Olive pate

Olive pate is so easy to make in your own kitchen; enjoy it with a salad and on bread with feta cheese for a totally Greek experience.

The marvelous olive is such a versatile food. The Mediterranean people prepare 10 000 dishes with it.

One of them is Olive Pate, so easy to make at home. Really makes your cocktail party... or just a family luncheon.

Or just enjoy it with a dribble of lemon juice on this olive garden salad recipe.

Only depipping the olives is a little tedious, and must be done carefully. No self-respective Greek or Italian will eat the depipped olives; something in the processing ruins them.


No old men sitting in the shade of this beautiful olive tree, but she-who-must-be-obeyed and I took a break on that bench in Naptheon, Polyponesis, the ancient capital of Greece, before Athens. It is where the Greeks go on holiday.

An olive tree in Naptheon.

Do you live in a winter rainfall region? Perhaps think of planting your own olive tree in the garden. They are so beautiful.

Flax seed

Flax seeds and olives make good foils for one another; whereas the former are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, olives have none. Together they have very little omega-6, making them both an important part of the anti-inflammatory diet.

Read more about flax seed nutrition information to go along with your olive oil benefits.

Grinding flax seeds is important, and avoid the oil; it has none of the very important lignans that help prevent breast tumours, and it goes rancid very quickly. Since the refining of wheat we are seriously deficient in them. It is little wonder that one in eight women will needlessly suffer this gross indignity. 

It is all in the lignans.


Most of the day the Chiropractic Coalface is taken up with folk suffering from arthritic joints and neurological symptoms such as tingling in arms and hands and legs and feet; a change from predominantly refined seed oils to that from fruit like olives and avocados would greatly enhance your sense of well-being; olive oil benefits abound.

Foods that lower cholesterol

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