We all likely know that what we eat matters. So many delicious foods and spices exist today, and many carry various health benefits. Fruits and vegetables are classic choices when you want to fuel your body with nutrients.
Olive oil and lemon juice aren’t something we necessarily snack on, but they can easily be incorporated into meals. They’re flavorful as well, especially when you can get your hands on a quality olive oil and fresh lemon juice. What’s more is that they can be used together or separately, and they each have their own benefits.
According to Healthline, extra-virgin olive oil (or EVOO, as Rachael Ray famously says) tends to be comprised of 73 percent oleic acid.
If you’re not familiar with this acid, it’s described as being heart-friendly. It’s a monounsaturated fatty acid that contains two important vitamins: E and K. Vitamin E is a type of antioxidant that supports the immune system. It also helps us absorb Vitamin K, so these two go hand in hand.
In addition, Healthline notes that olive oils contain polyphenols. These are yet another antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals, which can wreak havoc on our bodies.
Did you know that lemons originally come from the Mediterranean? Of course, olives are generally grown there as well. Perhaps it’s no surprise that these two powerhouse foods work so well together!
Healthline adds that lemon juice also contains plenty of those antioxidants we love. Notably, lemon juice tends to have quite a bit of Vitamin C. Plus, flavonoids are another benefit that lemons carry. Flavonoids are beneficial since they’re an antioxidant that can also fight inflammation.
As Healthline explores, many claims exist about mixing olive oil and lemon juice for powerful benefits. Some say that the combination of the two can help your body detox. Currently, various studies don’t seem to prove that this is the case.
However, those antioxidants in both lemon juice and olive oil do clean the body, in a way. The fact that they get rid of those free radicals we don’t want around could be considered a type of cleansing.
When it comes to weight loss, the news could be a little more promising. That’s because studies have been done on the vitamin C found in lemon juice as it relates to fat burning.
Healthline reports that the Vitamin C in lemons helps a body create carnitine. This is important because carnitine carries fat into the cells of our bodies, and that fat eventually gets turned into energy because it breaks down. In theory, if you aren’t getting enough vitamin C, those fat cells might not break down like they should.
Another study highlighted by Healthline found that people with lower levels of vitamin C did burn about a quarter of the fat of others with sufficient vitamin C intake. So, it seems that the vitamin C found in lemon juice may provide fat-burning benefits.
In addition to weight loss and clearing out free radicals, many people believe there are numerous other health benefits to combining lemon juice with olive oil. For instance, some people say that lemon juice and olive oil could help with kidney stones and gallstones, improve digestion or ward off the signs of aging.
In general, studies haven’t shown these additional claims to be true. But some people swear by these two ingredients. Hopefully, further research could provide insight into this one day.
Even though there isn’t research proving these health benefits to be true, can olive oil or lemon juice consumption be harmful?
It’s rather unlikely, according to Healthline. In some cases, a person may be allergic to one or the other and wouldn’t want to consume them in that case. The acid in lemon juice could damage your teeth if you tend to have a lot of it. And olive oil is higher in calories, which is something to note if you’re watching what you eat.
Since there are really no side effects, you may want to consider adding lemon juice and olive oil to your diet. One way to do that is to follow a Mediterranean diet, which incorporates plenty of each ingredient.
In general, this diet incorporates plenty of fruits and vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, olive oils, and aromatic spices. Seafood is another part of this diet, and it’s easy (and delicious!) enough to add a twist of lemon juice to these dishes.
The health benefits of lemon juice and olive oil may be debated. However, we do know that they each contain helpful substances that can help fight free radicals and perhaps even inflammation. While you may not want to rely on them for detoxing or weight loss, it shouldn’t hurt to incorporate a bit more of each ingredient into your diet for delicious and healthy benefits.
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