Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained from olives, a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin, produced by pressing whole olives and extracting the oil. Olive oil is the most common vegetable oil. It is commonly used in cooking, for frying foods or as a salad dressing. It is also used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps, and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps, and has additional uses in some religions. The olive is one of three core food plants in Mediterranean cuisine; the other two are wheat and grapes.
In one study, olive oil reduced the need for blood pressure medication by 48%. Dozens — if not hundreds — of studies indicate that extra virgin olive oil has powerful benefits for your heart. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid. This fatty acid is believed to have many beneficial effects and is a healthy choice for cooking. Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, some of which have powerful biological effects. It lowers blood pressure, protects “bad” LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation and improves the function of blood vessels.
Olive oil supplements appear to improve inflammatory markers and reduce oxidative stress in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. Consuming olive oil does not appear to increase the likelihood of weight gain. Moderate intake may even aid weight loss.