Olive oil, made from the fruit of the olive tree, is packed with anti-inflammatory compounds, antioxidants, and plenty of other heart-healthy nutrients. It’s a staple food in the Mediterranean diet, thanks to the healthy fats it contains. In fact, studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil has the most abundant health benefits of vegetable fats. Olive oil benefits include the ability to lower inflammation, support brain health, fight depression, and even provide protection from cancer. (1)

Olive Oil Benefits

1. Protects Heart Health

Olive oil benefits include the ability to protect the heart from disease, as a food that fights inflammation. For one, extra virgin olive oil can help strengthen the immune system by lowering inflammation levels. But by reducing inflammation, the compounds in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) fight hypertension and reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems. (2)

2. Helps Fight Cancer

Olive oil benefits the body as a high antioxidant food. In fact, EVOO contains powerful compounds, such as polyphenols, that have been studied for their anticancer properties. For example, research suggests that extra virgin olive oil may be a beneficial diet addition for cancer prevention, breast cancer in particular. (3)

olive oil benefits

3. Aids in Weight Loss

Olive oil benefits include the ability to aid in weight loss and obesity prevention. While healthy fats help control blood sugar levels and reduce cravings, quality olive oil high in polyphenols supports metabolic health. Also, the Mediterranean Diet is easy to adhere to. One study looked at the impact on weight gain, and found this high olive oil diet to significantly slow age-related weight gain. (4)

4. Supports Brain Health

Amazingly, quality olive oil also supports brain health. You see, healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil can help regulate mood and allow for clear thinking. The brain is made up largely of fatty acids, and so are cell membranes. Furthermore, by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, olive oil also helps protect the brain from age-related cognitive diseases. (5)

5. Fights Mood Disorders and Depression

Olive oil benefits include the ability to fight mood disorders and depression. Healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil have anti-inflammatory and hormone-balancing properties. For example, studies have shown a link between healthy fats and a reduced risk of depression, and olive oil is being investigated to prevent recurrent depression. Olive oil can also help fight insomnia and ensure a better night’s sleep, as demonstrated in an animal study. (6, 7)

olive oil benefits

6. Great for Boosting Skin Health

Thanks to the antioxidants it contains, olive oil benefits include improved skin health. The antioxidants work to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals, UV light damage and inflammation from food allergies. Olive oil also contains a healthy dose of Vitamin E, which can help hydrate the skin, fight infections, and speed wound healing. It works as a natural remedy for acne, as well as a natural eczema treatment. (8)

7. Can Help Prevent or Treat Diabetes

Olive oil benefits include the ability to help prevent or treat diabetes. For one thing, the fatty acids in olive oil work to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. But also, healthy fats naturally help stabilize blood sugar. When blood sugar is lower, the body does not need to call on insulin. This trait of fatty acids can help fight and even reverse diabetes. (9)

8. Helps Balance Hormones

Olive oil benefits include the ability to balance hormone levels. Healthy fats like olive oil work to regulate the adrenal, thyroid and pituitary glands. Olive oil also provides the body with Vitamin E, which can help regulate estrogen production and reduce PMS symptoms. Balancing hormones also plays a critical role in bone health post-menopause. (10)