Superfood Spotlight on: Olive Fruit, Oil and Leaf Extract
What You Should Know: Everyone knows about the myriad benefits of extra virgin (raw, cold-pressed) olive oil and it’s super-annoying, yet user-friendly moniker EVOO. And no one ever had to sell us on the benefits of a gorgeous, fresh bowl of olives – this oil-soaked fruit had us at hello. But before we knew about the benefits of soft green olive branches we’d sooner place them in our hair than on our plate. Little did we know, the extract from olive leaves is arguably one of the healthiest things you can put in your body.
Why You Should Use It: Olive fruit and oil are well-known for their rich stores of heart-healthy, skin-loving monounsaturated fats. We’d take a bath in this skin-soothing stuff if we could – and eating a diet rich in olive fats is one of the foremost longevity-touting tenets of the Mediterranean Diet. But the branches of these beautiful trees, anciently-held symbols of abundance and peace, have a whole slew of health benefit to offer too.
Revered by many traditional cultures as a sort of cure-all and referenced in the Bible as medicinal, the benefits of olive leaf extract run the gamut from stabilizing blood sugar, burning fat, fighting chronic fatigue and lowering cholesterol. Olive leaf extract is a great source of apigenin and luteolin – two cancer-fighting compounds thought to be especially protective against breast cancer. Like the oil from the fruit, extracts from the olive leaf are anti-inflammatory, reduce blood pressure, and promote a youthful, supple skin tone. With anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties olive leaf extract is a popular preventative to rely on during cold and flu season.
Lastly, olive leaf extract provides a massive dose of antioxidants. A commonality among so many superfoods, the antioxidant content of olive leaf fights viruses, aging and the free radicals so often associated with Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Let’s Get Together: An infusion made from fresh olive leaves can be made in your own home if you’re lucky enough to live near an olive garden. For the rest of us, bottled olive leaf extracts can be found from such trust-worthy brands as Gaia Herbs.
For super fresh, high-end olive oil we love 5 Ultra Premium and Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oils. These cold-pressed Greek oils should be reserved for the simplest recipes so that the light, fragrant taste of only the best fruit can be appreciated, but the gorgeous ceramic disk bottles are perfect for everyday display.