I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Vicky Vlachonis, a pain expert with a Masters of Science in Osteopathic medicine, at the Natural Products Expo held each year in Anaheim, California. She is the go to wellness guru for Gwyneth Paltrow, Katy Perry and Cameron Diaz and recently wrote a book called “The Body Doesn’t Lie” which offers a road map to healing pain for everyone. Paltrow wrote the foreword to the book and you can see why these A-list beauties adore and trust her. Blonde, gorgeous and just absolutely radiant, I felt immediately enveloped by Vicky’s warm and inviting energy as we sat down to talk about the benefits of EVOO – extra virgin olive oil.
Vicky is the chief wellness ambassador for GAEA, an olive oil company with the strictest of standards for production. She introduced me to something – which at first I considered strange – but after trying it became hooked – EVOO wellness shots. I was getting ready to run my first half marathon (in over seven years) and my body was taxed already from all the training. So, Vicky explained the benefits of EVOO and how it can help fight inflammation. Extra Virgin olive oil contains natural alcohol-like chemicals called phenolic compounds that have various anti-inflammatory powers, the strongest of which is oleocanthal. Oleocanthal is like natural ibuprofen—it has the same molecular profile and prostagladin-blocking function. One caveat: Four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil provides the same effect as taking 1/10 of an adult dose of ibuprofen.
Up until that point, my use of olive oil was strictly in cooking up yummy Italian, Greek and Mediterranean dishes. Now, I have a whole new morning routine where I take a tablespoon of GAEA with a small drink of orange juice and I have never felt better! Below Vicky explains a little bit more about this new wellness trend.
What types of juices could the wellness shots be paired with?
The wellness shots can be paired with any freshly made juice but some of my favorites include:
Pineapple due to the enzyme, bromelain, an extremely potent anti-inflammatory.
Lemon due to its many benefits such as being an alkaline booster, immune supported and liver cleanser.
Grapefruit due to lycopene, an antioxidant that can reduce inflammatory.
What is the max amount to take per day?
The purpose of the wellness shots is to show a fun way to get your olive oil intake for the day. According to a study on the Mediterranean diet published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the participants who consumed 4 or more tablespoons of olive oil reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events. Each wellness shot is made with 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, leaving it to your intake preference for the remaining daily tablespoons. I use olive oil in my smoothies, salads and soups—so for me, one wellness shot in the morning is all I need!
Is there an aftertaste?
There can be a slight aftertaste depending on which ingredients are used. For example, if you take a wellness shot with garlic, you’ll have a slight aftertaste but it’s worth the health benefits!
Any other benefits for daily shots besides the anti-inflammatory properties?
There are many benefits to these wellness shots besides the anti-inflammatory properties. High quality extra-virgin olive oil, such a Gaea Fresh, contains a number of health benefits including being high in polyphenols, a powerful anti-oxidant that reduces cancer risk and heart disease. It’s important to note that not all olive oil is created equal. To get the maximum health benefits of olive oil, it must be fresh, high- quality oil.