By Diana Cerqueira
November 07, 2012
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Full of monounsaturated fats, olive oil lowers bad LDL cholesterol and reduces your risk of developing heart disease. Results from the Seven Countries Study, which looked at cardiovascular disease incidences across the globe, showed that while men in Crete had a predisposition for high cholesterol levels, relatively few died of heart disease because their diet focused on heart-healthy fats found in olive oil. Look for extra-virgin or virgin varieties—they're the least processed—and use them instead of butter when cooking. Try this recipe:Shrimp With Garlic in Olive Oil
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Much like Windex was used to treat every skin ailment from pimples to poison ivy in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) is the ultimate beauty cure-all in my Portuguese family. Here, five fab uses for the ultra-nourishing kitchen staple you can easily incorporate into your get-gorgeous routine.

1. Get shiny locks. Apply olive oil to shampooed, damp hair and wrap in a warm towel (pop it in the dryer). Allow oil to sit for 20 minutes then rinse. Got frizz? Finger-comb EVOO through styled strands to tame fly-aways.

2. Spa up your bath. Simply, add a few of drops of olive oil to your bath water to soften skin. Or create a paste of olive oil and salt or sugar as an all-over body scrub. In a pinch, use olive oil instead of shaving cream. Legs will look extra silky!

3. Treat dry hands and feet. Rub olive oil into dry, cracked feet before bed then cover them with socks for an overnight softening treatment. To keep cuticles healthy, soak nails in olive oil during your next at-home mani. For yellow-stained nails, add lemon juice to olive oil and rub into tips.

4. Remove makeup (and condition skin!). Warm a couple drops of olive oil with your fingertips and rub on skin to dissolve makeup, then tissue off. Use it in place of your regular night-time moisturizer on extra dry days. The fine layer of oil (it's packed with vitamin E and antioxidants) will hydrate and heal skin while you sleep. In the AM, dab a small drop of olive oil under eyes to depuff–it’s a natural anti-inflammatory.

5. Soften chapped lips. Slick a little olive oil on your pout before going out in the cold to keep from flaking. Already dry? Add a little sugar to olive oil and create a lip scrub. (Put some on a toothbrush and gently buff.)