You have heard that drinking olive oil is good for you, but you are understandably a bit skeptical. In this guide, we break down the benefits of olive oil, explain why some people like to drink it and offer tips for drinking olive oil.
Benefits of Olive Oil
Olive oil has many different health benefits, including:
- Cardiovascular health: Extra virgin olive oil contains two types of healthy fats, monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat, both of which help reduce bad cholesterol levels and, in turn, lower the risk of heart disease and strokes.
- Digestive health: Olive oil lubricates the intestinal tract and may also help reduce the production of gastric acid.
- Inflammation relief: Extra virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal, an antioxidant with significant anti-inflammatory properties.
- Blood sugar stabilization: Olive oil can help reduce glycemic response to high-glycemic foods, which, in turn, can help manage Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
- Healthy skin and hair: Extra virgin olive oil is high in both vitamin E and vitamin K, both of which are essential for maintaining healthy skin and hair.
- Constipation relief: Consuming olive oil may help soften stool and relieve constipation.
Drinking Olive Oil
You may have heard that people in the Mediterranean region drink 1/4 cup (60 ml) of olive oil every morning and, in recent years, consuming oils straight has spread beyond the region and become somewhat popular. If you would like to start drinking olive oil, then you should start off with a smaller amount. Consuming between one teaspoon and one tablespoon (three teaspoons) of olive oil should be enough to get you the benefits without upsetting your stomach.
While you can drink olive oil at any time of day, many people say that they prefer to do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Be sure to pay close attention to your body, as some people with delicate digestive systems find that consuming anything too oily or acidic on an empty stomach can cause gastrointestinal distress. If you find that drinking olive oil on an empty stomach does not agree with your body, then try taking it with a meal instead.
When drinking olive oil for health benefits, you should always choose extra virgin olive oil. This high-quality olive oil contains higher amounts of healthy fats and antioxidants when compared to refined olive oils and thus will provide the most health benefits. For even better results, buy from reputable brands who are transparent about when, where and how their olive oil is harvested and also provide a harvest date so you can make sure to consume the olive oil before it passes its peak. Many conscious U.S. consumers prefer to purchase domestic California extra virgin olive oil, which does not have to travel as far and is subject to rigorous quality control.
Should You Drink Olive Oil?
It is up to you whether or not you want to drink olive oil. Drinking olive oil is certainly an efficient way to consume the antioxidants and healthy fats present in the oil. However, if you do not like the idea of drinking olive oil, then you can always incorporate it into your diet in other ways, such as using it as an ingredient while cooking.
If you want to get into drinking olive oil, but find the taste of olive oil too strong on its own, then flavored olive oil might be able to help you transition to drinking olive oil. At Brightland, we offer numerous flavored olive oils, including basil flavored olive oil, chili flavored oil and lemon flavored olive oil. Drinking flavored olive oil can help you get in the habit of drinking olive oil every day and provide a stepping stone to drinking unflavored extra virgin olive oil. Remember that starting small and working your way up will also make it easier to adjust to drinking olive oil. One teaspoon really is not that much, so start with that if you cannot go for a tablespoon right away.
At Brightland, both our flavored and unflavored olive oils are harvested right here in California. We are transparent about our processes and our harvest dates so that you know you are getting high-quality olive oil that is still at the peak of freshness. Not only that, but we package our products in UV-protected glass bottles to shield them from light damage and preserve their health benefits. Try Brightland today and you will taste the difference in our olive oils.