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We all know about the holy grail of healthy oils – olive oil. The cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil is widely known for its many health benefits. Olive oil and olives have a huge role in the much raved Mediterranean diet. Since ancient times, olive tree has been known for its many health promoting properties. It has been called The Tree of Life, The Immortal Tree and even the King of Trees.
But what might not be so familiar to everyone is olive leaf extract. The not-so-well-known little brother of olive oil that comes from the same tree. So what is olive leaf extract and why should you use it? Let’s dig in!
What is Olive Leaf Extract?
Olive leaf extract is made from the leaves of the olive tree also known as Olea europaea. Olive leaves contain lots of oleuropein. This is the beneficial compound that gives olive oil many of its valuable health benefits. It has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help protect your cells from oxidative stress and many other issues. Olive leaves have been used in traditional medicine for centuries.
Olive leaf extract contains up to 40 times more antioxidants than extra virgin olive oil. This way you’ll get all the valuable nutrients for your body without the need to consume unreasonably large amounts of olive oil. Although we still recommend you use olive oil in your cooking – it’s an amazing addition to almost every dish and it’s full of healthy fats. You can find olive leaf on the market as an extract, a powder or herbal tea.
Olive Leaf Extract Benefits & Uses
Olive leaves have excellent antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect us from harmful free radicals that have damaging and aging effects on our cells. Olive leaf extract’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help to protect cells from oxidative damage, they can improve brain function and prevent memory loss, protect skin and prevent premature aging and much-much more.
Research has shown that the antioxidant effects of oleuropein prevent DNA damage that happens when your body is in oxidative stress. When your DNA gets damaged, harmful cells may start to develop in your body. A study conducted in 2011 showed that the compounds found in olive leaf extract can prevent and inhibit DNA damage. (source)
Some studies even show that olive leaf extract has a positive effect on brain function as it has the potential to prevent age-related brain disorders. Studies also suggest the connection between issues with memory and free radicals. The antioxidant properties of olive leaf extract may help relieve the damage done by free radicals. (source)
We’ve talked about free radicals many times in this blog post. So why are those free radicals such bad things? When your body is in oxidative stress, free radicals are damaging your cells. Your whole body consists of cells and when they get damaged, your body starts to age. Of course aging happens to every single one of us all the time, but why encourage it, when there are ways to prevent premature aging?! By the way, this also goes for the aging of your skin cells!
Strong Immune System
Your immune system defends your body against different microorganisms that cause colds and viruses. When your immune system has weakened you’ll be more susceptible to all kinds of diseases. Thanks to olive leaves’ antiviral, immune system boosting properties, olive leaf extract can be a useful supplement for preventing colds and viruses.
Not only can the compounds in olive leaves fight off nasty infections, they can even have antimicrobial properties that kill bacteria and fungi in your body. A study conducted in 2003 showed that olive leaf extract can even fight E-coli cells that are usually found in the digestive system, dermatophytes that cause skin, hair and nail infections and candida albicans that causes oral and genital infections. (source)
Cardiovascular Health Support
For centuries, olive leaves have been used to support cardiovascular health. When consumed regularly, olive leaf extract may help lower bad cholesterol, prevent high blood pressure and to support healthy blood sugar levels. Healthy cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels are essential for good cardiovascular health.
Studies have shown that olive leaf extract can play a role in lowering blood pressure. In a research published in the journal Phytomedicine in 2011, participants were given 500mg of olive leaf extract twice a day for eight weeks. Results showed that participants’ systolic and diastolic blood pressure were lowered. (source)
Polyphenol compounds in olive leaves have been shown to prevent the formation of arterial plaques by reducing the production of the molecules that help plaque stick to your arterial walls. Not only! The polyphenol compounds reduce clumping and formation of clots in your arteries that can also turn into plaque (source). Doesn’t sound too dangerous? Think again. Plaque in arteries is a major threat to your health that increases the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
Furthermore, olive leaf extract prevents the oxidation of bad cholesterol. As a result, oxidized bad cholesterol leads your body into state of inflammation that is damaging to your overall health and also to your arteries.
Olive leaf extract can help reduce and control your blood sugar levels by a number of different mechanisms. When your blood sugar levels are elevated, it triggers inflammation and oxidative stress that in turn leads to diabetes and premature aging in cells.
Olive Leaf Extract Side Effects
Studies suggest that consuming olive leaf extract won’t have any serious side effects. But if you’re dealing with low blood pressure, olive leaf extract can lower it even further which in turn can make you dizzy. We always recommend you consult with your healthcare professional before taking any supplements. Especially if you’re pregnant or being treated for high blood pressure, diabetes or if you’re taking blood thinners.
As you may know by now, olive leaf extract is truly a powerhouse of health benefits. Several studies have already proved it and olive leaves are gaining more and more recognition for its natural healing and health boosting abilities.
The easiest and most effective way to get the benefits of olive leaves, is to consume olive leaf extract in capsule form. Make sure that the supplement you consume is a pure product without any added artificial ingredients. Our Olive Leaf Extract contains 20% of oleuropein. This is the highest amount you’ll find! Grab your bottle by clicking RIGHT HERE.