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5 Health Benefits of Cooking With Olive Oil

March 20, 2023 4 min read

olive oil

Olive oil is a versatile ingredient used in the kitchen for centuries. Good olive oil has a unique and unmistakable, fresh and nutty flavour. It has a slightly grassy, fruity taste that can vary depending on the variety of olives used. It can range from light and buttery to robust and peppery, depending on the quality and ripeness of the olives.  

When used in cooking, it can add character to dishes, making them more flavourful and appealing. It also plays well as a finishing oil to give dishes a final boost of flavour and complexity. But besides imparting great flavour, olive oil is very nutritious and can help keep chronic conditions at bay. Here are five health benefits of cooking with olive oil.

1. High in Healthy Fats

Not all fat is bad. For optimal health the human body needs fat for energy and to absorb certain nutrients. The trick is to consume healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) found in quality olive oil. As much as 30% of our daily calorie intake should come from healthy fats.  Unlike saturated fats, monounsaturated fats do not increase the risk of heart disease and can even lower the chance of developing severe conditions.  We also need fats that have the correct proportion of essential fatty acids (EFAs), ie. Omega 3 to Omega 6.  This needs to be at a ratio of 3:1 Omega 3 to Omega 6.  Good olive oil contains the correct proportion that mirrors the need of the human body.  These fatty acids are called “essential” because our body cannot produce them on its own, yet needs them for functioning well.  Our current, highly processed Western diets, contain a hi gh excess of Omega 6 fatty acids, which causes chronic inflammation and ultimately leads to chronic disease.  We currently consume on average 16 times more Omega 6 fatty acids than Omega 3.  It is important to - reduce - the intake of fats that are high in Omega 6 (found in “vegetable” oils, seed oils, margarines, processed crisps, cookies, ready meals, condiments etc.) and - increase - our intake of fats with the right proportion of Omega 3 to Omega 6 essential fatty acids (good olive oil as well as fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, spinach etc.).

2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

The antioxidants found in olive oil, such as polyphenols, have been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body. This can help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. Olive oil is by far the highest in antioxidants, culinary oil.  Most other types of oil either contain no antioxidants at all or just insignificant amounts.  Good olive oil will contain upwards of 30 different types of antioxidants that give it its health benefits and make it into a true superfood.

3. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Quality olive oil is packed with vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are essential for healthy skin, hair, and eyesight. Additionally, it is an excellent source of minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium, all of which are important for strong bones and teeth. Quality olive oil is higher in these nutrients than for example sunflower, rapeseed or soybean oils. This can be explained by the fact that an olive tree that lives for many decades is a much more complex organism than a seed-producing grass that has a lifespan of only a few months. The more complex tree that lives through all the seasons of the year and has to deal with a wider variety of challenges, will generate a wider variety of nutrients. 

4. Good for Skin and Hair

When applied directly to some types of skin, olive oil acts as an emollient, meaning it helps to soften and soothe the skin. It is also packed with antioxidants which help to protect the skin from environmental damage. Olive oil can be especially beneficial for dry skin, as it helps lock in moisture and keep skin hydrated.

Olive oil can also help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots. The antioxidants in the olive oil help to reduce free radical damage, which is one of the leading causes of wrinkles and age spots. Additionally, the fatty acids in olive oil help enhance the production of collagen and elastin, which are essential for maintaining a youthful appearance.

5. Boosts Immunity

People have been using olive oil for centuries as a cooking medium and for its medicinal properties. It is one of the healthiest oils you can use in cooking and is often recommended by nutritionists and doctors. But did you know that olive oil also contains polyphenols, potent antioxidants that can help boost your body’s immune system?

Polyphenols are natural compounds found in plants that have a variety of health benefits. They are known to be effective in fighting inflammation, boosting immunity, and protecting against chronic diseases. Studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil (the highest quality grade of olive oil) contains high levels of polyphenols, which can help to protect your body from infection and disease.


Olive oil is an incredibly beneficial ingredient to include in your cooking. It is packed with healthy fats and antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. When used in replacement of harmful fats, quality olive oil can be an excellent way to add flavour to your recipes while providing various health benefits.

If you’re looking for the - best - olive oil in London and the rest of the United Kingdom, look no further than Opus Live Well. Our premium olive oil is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can help protect your body and keep you healthy. Try our olive oil today and taste the difference!