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What Happens If You Drink Olive Oil Everyday? Top Docs Share the Surprising Health Perks

You'll reduce your risk of cancer and Alzheimer's while losing belly fat, boosting immunity and more!

Olive oil has long been considered one of the healthier oils for dressings, marinades, cooking and bread dipping. But lately, you may have heard that drinking it can provide optimum benefits. Some have already caught on to the craze, with Starbucks releasing an Oleato coffee and bartenders serving olive oil-based cocktails and mocktails. Olive oil is also a longtime staple of the Mediterranean diet, which supports cardiovascular health and longevity. But what happens if you drink olive oil everyday? We spoke to several experts who share their insights on this latest health trend. Keep reading to learn whether you should chug your EVOO or leave it for the frying pan.

What is olive oil?

Olive oil is a healthy dietary fat extracted from pressing fresh, whole olives. “Olive oil contains a healthy monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which has been shown to reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, thereby decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke,” says gastroenterologist Roshini Raj, MD, co-founder of YayDay. “It also contains polyphenols, potent antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and the risk of several chronic diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.”

Olive oil is also a superfood rich in antioxidants and lipids that nourish hair, skin and nails. “It’s beneficial for reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, which is critical for menopausal women,” says Deepali Kashyap, MD, medical director at Galleria Women’s Health. Keep scrolling for more benefits of olive oil.

Is there a benefit to drinking olive oil vs cooking with it?

what happens if you drink olive oil everyday?: woman pouring olive oil

In short, yes. Like eating raw veggies, olive oil packs a nutritional punch. “Anything we can consume raw, except for meat, is always better for us. If we cook it at really high heat, any oil has its smoking point, which means all the good antioxidants are killed, and there are more carcinogenic compounds at that point,” says Dr. Kashyap.

Drinking it may also “allow for easier absorption of its nutrients, since it bypasses the digestive process of breaking down solid food,” explains pharmacist and beauty chemist/nutritionist Benjamin Knight Fuchs, RPh.

For delicious recipes using olive oil, click through for Olive Oil Coffee and Olive Oil Ice Cream.

What happens if you drink olive oil everyday?

There are several benefits to adding olive oil to your daily regimen of vitamins and supplements.

1. It’s heart-healthy

Olive oil is renowned for its cardiovascular benefits. “Drinking olive oil can lead to lower levels of LDL cholesterol. These fats help prevent atherosclerosis and thus contribute to a healthier heart,” explains registered dietitian Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD.

2. Olive oil fights inflammation

Chronic inflammation coincides with numerous health conditions, and the polyphenols in olive oil have anti-inflammatory effects. “By reducing inflammation, olive oil consumption can potentially mitigate the onset and severity of diseases such as arthritis and other inflammatory conditions,” explains Manaker.

3. Olive oil can prevent cancer

Although research is ongoing, some studies suggest that olive oil’s antioxidants, like vitamin E and oleocanthal, have anti-cancer properties. “These compounds have been observed to impede the growth of cancer cells,” says Manaker.

4. Drinking olive oil everyday can help you lose fat

Contrary to popular belief, drinking olive oil every day can be beneficial for maintaining or achieving a healthy weight. Studies have shown that people who were given EVOO oil lost 80% more body fat than those who didn’t. “Its healthy fats promote satiety and can reduce cravings, thereby assisting in weight management efforts,” attests Manaker. Just be careful not to overdo it, warns Fuchs. “Olive oil is calorie-dense with approximately 120 calories per tablespoon, and excessive amounts can contribute to weight gain if not accounted for in overall calorie intake.”

5. It can make you less bloated

If diet and exercise alone don’t rid you of that belly pooch, olive oil could. Drinking olive oil on an empty stomach may help “stimulate bile production, which aids in digestion and may alleviate symptoms of indigestion and bloating,” says Fuchs.

6. Olive oil can make you smarter

Olive oil may also positively impact brain health and improve cognitive functioning. It even staves off neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. “The antioxidants in olive oil combat oxidative stress, which may protect against cognitive decline and improve overall brain function, making it a brilliant addition to a mind-healthy diet,” says Manaker.

7. Drinking olive oil everyday can make your skin glow

what happens if you drink olive oil everyday

Olive oil may contribute to moisturizing the skin from the inside out. “The antioxidants in olive oil help combat oxidative stress and inflammation, which can contribute to healthier, more radiant skin,” says Fuchs.

8. It can help you live longer

In one study, those with a higher consumption had a 19% lower risk of dying from heart disease, a 17% lower risk of cancer death, 29% lower risk of dying from a neurodegenerative disease and 18% lower risk of dying from a respiratory illness.

9. It can ward off sickness

Move over vitamin C! There’s a new germ-fighter in town. “​​The oleocanthal and oleuropein in olive oil have important immune-boosting properties,” says Fuchs. A 2019 study showed that olive oil reduced sick days by 28% in high school athletes.

How much olive oil to drink every day

what happens if you drink olive oil everyday: tablespoon of olive oil

Just 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons a day is all it takes to reap its heart, skin and brain benefits. “Start with a teaspoon and see how you feel. If your body seems to tolerate it, you can gradually increase it to a couple of teaspoons, then a tablespoon and maybe a couple of tablespoons. If you drink it and feel sick, your system is not ready,” advises Dr. Kashyap.

Gradually increasing your intake and choosing a high-quality oil can enhance the flavor and overall experience. Dr. Kashyap says taking it first thing in the morning is best. For best results add it to your breakfast — not in place of it. “Consuming large quantities of olive oil, especially on an empty stomach, may cause digestive discomfort such as diarrhea or nausea in some individuals, particularly in the presence of gall bladder or liver health issues,” warns Fuchs.

Best ways to get your daily dose of olive oil

The type of olive oil you choose matters too. “Your best bet will be to opt for an extra virgin olive oil because it’s the least processed oil form. Extra virgin olive oil is often preferred for its health benefits, flavor and the fact that it retains more natural vitamins, minerals and polyphenols that benefit one’s health,” explains Manaker.

But if the thought of downing the thick oil makes you gag, you can mix it with other ingredients like lemon juice, honey or apple cider vinegar to create a dressing. “Some people also find blending it into smoothies or soups masks the taste,” suggests Fuchs.

Manaker also recommends making a “mocktail” or cocktail using olive oil (but keep in mind that alcohol may negate some of its effects) or mixing about a tablespoon into your morning cup of joe. You can also cook with it on low heat (although not quite as beneficial as raw) or drizzle it over some veggies.

For more healthy superfoods, click through for:

Watercress Is the World’s Top Superfood You Didn’t Know You Needed

Top Doc: Beetroot Is the Superfood That Keeps Your Heart Healthy, Vision Sharp + So Much More

This Delicious Peruvian Superfood Tastes Like Maple-Caramel-Pumpkin and Sends Metabolism Soaring

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

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