Here's a few great reasons to include good quality cold pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil in your pantry (and bathroom cupboard).
The benefits of olive oil have been known since antiquity, its a key player in the Mediterranean diet which has proven to be cardio protective and linked to longevity. Olive oil has proven anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial activities. Studies have also shown the phenols in extra virgin olive oil help protect against free radical damage to LDL cholesterol as well as cellular DNA. Basically it's a winner!
Which one should we be buying? Extra virgin olive oil is made from the first pressing of the olives and this is where you get the concentration of these unique phenols. Cold pressed oils retain many of the nutrients, phytochemicals and delicate flavours - whilst other methods of extraction use heat and\or chemical solvents (many of these oils line the supermarket shelves). To prevent oxidation purchase your oil in a tin or dark bottle, we should also be storing it in the cupboard and away from the stove. Never store in plastic.
Olive oil is also great for treating eczema. It reduces inflammation and penetrates deep into the epidermis to nourish the skin. Try adding it to a warm bath with some rolled oats (oats should be wrapped in muslin or packed into an old stocking so they don't block the drain). You can also massage olive oil directly into the skin.
We are lucky enough to have some amazing quality olive oil made here in Australia, (a number of brands are also organic) so try to support our local farmers and buy Aussie made. What a delicious way to protect your heart and your skin!