Filed Under: SKIN

EVOO Glow: Olive Oil for Skin with Dr. Simon Poole

What if you could eat your way to radiant skin? Meet Dr. Simon Poole, MD and member of the International Nutritional Academy, Cambridge Global Centre for Health and author of The Olive Oil Diet. Here, we talk to the internationally renowned expert about his “liquid gold” insights.

"The Olive Oil Diet" is your award-winning guide to healthy living. What inspired this book?

The Mediterranean Diet has extraordinary health benefits. Having seen increasing scientific evidence and witnessing its effects first hand, I wanted to help my patients and others understand the most important ingredient at play: olive oil. 

What does the science say?

Studies show Mediterranean Diets reduce a range of health risks: stroke, dementia, cancers, and inflammatory diseases. The key is to consume foods rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds called polyphenols. The science is compelling. For example, research shows regular consumption of extra virgin olive oil can cut the risk of heart disease by 44%.

Can everyone benefit from more olive oil?

Benefits have been seen across a wide range of demographics. Young people consuming a Mediterranean Diet with olive oil have been shown to have better mental health, and older people with early signs of dementia preserve memory and functioning for significantly longer.

How does olive oil affect aging?

The science of aging is relatively young!  What we can say for sure: aging is accelerated by chronic inflammation and oxidative stress (that’s when our bodies are exposed to an excess of "free radicals"). Journals of molecular biology and dermatology show extra virgin olive oil's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can reduce oxidative stress and signs of aging.

Have you personally noticed any changes after adopting this diet?

The Mediterranean experience is definitely a whole body experience. My fitness levels have improved as well as my physical and mental shape. This includes my skin. 

A surprising olive oil fact?

The polyphenol oleocanthal in extra virgin olive oil can induce coughing, similar to ibuprofen. In Italy, the number of coughs indicates the oil's healthiness. It is a traditional saying in parts of Italy that "a healthy oil will give you one cough, a very healthy oil will make you cough twice, but a three-cough oil is the healthiest of them all"

Advice for those looking to eat healthier in 2024?

Embrace the Mediterranean Diet's 7 pillars. Consume 30-50mls of extra virgin olive oil daily. Understand the qualities of high polyphenol extra virgin olive oil.

Favorite recipe?

I love roasting multicolored vegetables (sweet potatoes, greens, onions, tomatoes, chillies, garlic and herbs) in extra virgin olive oil and pouring the juices over a filet of sustainably-sourced fish. At my table, whenever there is extra virgin olive oil left on a plate, it’s never rude to lick it up!


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