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About Olive Oil

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The History of Olive Oil

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Types of Olive Oil

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Health Benefits of Olive Oil

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Nutrition

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Cooking with Olive Oil


Health Benefits of Olive Oil

The greatest exponent of monounsaturated fat is olive oil, and it is a prime component of the Mediterranean Diet. Olive oil is a natural juice which preserves the taste, aroma, vitamins and properties of the olive fruit. Olive oil is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed as it is - freshly pressed from the fruit.

The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidative substances. Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the "good" cholesterol) levels. (1-3) No other naturally produced oil has as large an amount of monounsaturated as olive oil -mainly oleic acid.

Olive oil is very well tolerated by the stomach. In fact, olive oil's protective function has a beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more naturally than prescribed drugs. Consequently, it lowers the incidence of gallstone formation.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil can imporve your health! Low in cholesterol and rich in antioxidants, olive has had special medicinal and religious significance for the people around the world, especially for the people of Mediterranean for thousands of years. Olive oil that has not been refined or industrailly treated, (i.e.Olive Treasure Extra Virgin olive oil) is particularly rich in antioxidant and other substances, that gives the best health benefits of Olive Oil. According to medical resources daily consumption of Extra Virgin Olive oil helps to reduce the risk of heart diseases, malignant tumors, blood pressure, the aging process and increase memory power and cares for your skin.

The health benefits of olive oil have been recognised by many ancient physicians like Hippocrates, Galen, Dioscorides, and Diocles. In recent years, modern doctors and nutritionists have realised that extra virgin olive oil, particularly, contributes significant nutritional value to human health.

You should not be too surprised if you read that people in the Mediterranean region, where the bulk of olive oil is produced and enthusiastically consumed, have reaped immense health benefits from olive oil.

Olive Oil and Cholesterol

Researchers at the University of Minnesota, for one, have discovered that while Greek, Cretan and other Mediterranean men consumed almost as much dietary fat as Americans, they had much lower rates of heart disease. The difference was attributed to the Mediterranean’s consumption of extra virgin olive oil, which is largely monounsaturated fat.

Researchers at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain found in a study that a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil helped to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and, perhaps more importantly, stimulated an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol.

Researchers at the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands discovered that simply following a low fat diet reduced total cholesterol but HDL cholesterol also declined; in contrast, a high fat diet based on extra virgin olive oil also reduced total cholesterol but HDL cholesterol actually increased.

This is all very good for those concerned about their cholesterol levels, especially the good HDL cholesterol, and the effects on the human circulatory system.

About Cholesterol

Cholesterol is not a water-soluble substance: it floats around in our bodies, attaching itself to proteins and making them lipoproteins. Two types of cholesterol are formed. LDL or low density lipoproteins, is the so-called “bad” cholesterol; it accumulates in bodily tissues and sticks to artery walls as plaque, causing arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) if left unchecked. The other type is HDL or high density lipoproteins, the “good” cholesterol, which helps prevent artery-clogging deposits. The levels of these two cholesterols are affected by the types of fat that we take in daily.

The structures of different fats are described as saturated, mono-unsaturated, and poly-unsaturated. Saturated fats come primarily from animal meats. They are thought the greatest damage to our health, because they increase levels of LDL resulting in arteriosclerosis.

Poly-unsaturated fats come mainly from vegetables, seeds, nuts, and grains. They lower the body’s overall cholesterol level, but to do so they reduce both LDL and HDL. You may want LDL lowered, but you would want HDL increased. There are also tests indicating that in higher doses polyunsaturated fats may do more damage than good, increasing the risk of nervous system problems, brain synapse connectivity, gall bladder stones, and perhaps even cancer, unless their action is controlled by antioxidants.

Monounsaturated fats are found in varying amounts in all fats. They lower LDL but promote increases in HDL. Thus, the best oil you can use is that has little saturated and polyunsaturated fats content but has plenty of monounsaturated fats.

Fortunately, such an oil exists: olive oil. In olive oil you find some of the lowest levels of saturated and polyunsaturated fats, averaging only 10 to 15% for saturated and 8 to 9% for polyunsaturated. More significantly, olive oil has by far the highest level of monounsaturated fat among all oils, about 75% to 80%.
 

Olive Oil and Heart Disease

Studies have shown that people who consumed 25 milliliters (mL) - about 2 tablespoons - of virgin olive oil daily for 1 week showed less oxidation of LDL cholesterol and higher levels of antioxidant compounds, particularly phenols, in the blood.(4)

But while all types of olive oil are sources of monounsaturated fat, EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil, from the first pressing of the olives, contains higher levels of antioxidants, particularly vitamin E and phenols, because it is less processed.

Olive oil is clearly one of the good oils, one of the healing fats. Most people do quite well with it since it does not upset the critical omega 6 to omega 3 ratio and most of the fatty acids in olive oil are actually an omega-9 oil which is monounsaturated.

International Olive oil council quotes in their website, "... The lowest rates of death from coronary disease are currently recorded in the countries where olive oil is virtually the only fat consumed". Olive oil lowers the levels of total blood cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol - "bad cholesterol" and triglycerides. At the same time it does not alter the levels of HDL - cholesterol - "good cholesterol" (and may even raise them), which plays a propective role and prevents the formation of fatty patches.

Olive Oil and Rheumatoid Arthritis

A study in Greece showed that people who had the lowest lifetime consumption of extra virgin olive oil had two and a half times greater probability of developing rheumatoid arthritis than those with the highest lifetime consumption. If you know somebody who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, you must be familiar with the pain and inconvenience it can cause. A rheumatologist of the Arthritis Foundation, which did the research, cites that adding olive oil to your diet could help you protect yourself against rheumatoid arthritis. And, the spokesperson added, since the type of oil consumed in Greece is extra virgin olive oil, that offers additional protection.

Olive Oil and Antioxidants

Among the major components of extra virgin olive oil are antioxidants. Olive oil provides beta carotene (pro-vitamin A) and tocopherol (vitamin E) which are excellent buffers of acids produced in the gastrointestinal tract and those resulting from body metabolism. Extra virgin olive oil contains 88% of its vitamin E in the form of alpha-tocopherol, which is easily synthesised by the body. These are very important antioxidants that prevent the oxidation of LDLs. Such oxidation can cause damage to ordinary cells, nerve cells and arteries and lead to arteriosclerosis, coronary heart disease, or even cancer.
 

Be Young

Olive oil has a positive effect on the growth and development of the human organism and on its struggle against ageing as is rich in Vitamin E and provitamin A. Currrent research has shown that a liberal use of oilve oil could prevent memory loss and sustain mental agility in healthy elderly people. Olive oil appears to have a favorable effect on bone calcification, and bone mineralization is better the more olive oil is consumed. The addition of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to a diet that is not changed in any way has a lowering effect on blood pressure. Regular consumption of olive oil decreases both systolic (maximum) and diastolic (minimum) blood pressure.

Medical studies have indicated that diets which are deficient in vitamin E accelerate the breakdown of certain fatty acids, a process which invariably leads to aging. The vitamin E content in olive oil is thought to provide a defence against such effects, and thus help maintain mental faculties and muscular control longer and better. Among other benefits, the vitamin A helps prevent and minimise the development of skin wrinkles.

As we get older, our digestive capacity becomes markedly reduced resulting in more difficulty to absorb nutrients from food, especially vitamins and minerals. Olive oil is very digestible and its nutrients are easier to digest. It also has beneficent effects in aiding digestion and stimulating the appetite.

Another problem associated with aging – bone calcification – can be rectified by olive oil consumption. Studies have shown that a diet containing enough oleates as well as a moderate supply of essential fatty acids is needed for healthy bone mineralisation – a process that aids the developing bones in children and prevents calcium loss in adults.
 

Olive Oil and Cancer

Spanish researchers suggest that including olive oil in your diet may also offer benefits in terms of colon cancer prevention (5). Their study results showed that rats fed diet supplemented with olive oil had a lower risk of colon cancer than those fed safflower oil-supplemented diets. In fact, the rats that received olive oil had colon cancer rates almost as low as those fed fish oil, which several studies have already linked to a reduction in colon cancer risk.

Extra Virgin Olive oil contains a wide variety of valuable antioxidants that are not common in other oils. Olive oil bolsters the immune system against external attacks from micro organisms, bacteria or viruses. Epidemiological studies suggest that Olive oil has a protective effect against certain malignant tumors in the breast, prostate, endometrium and digestive tract. Olive oil's non - saturated fatty acids-mainly oleic acid - decrease the risk of developing breast and colon cancer.

During Pregnancy

It is benefical to consume olive oil during pregnancy and whilst breast feeding. The foetus needs vitamin E to grow. The post-natal development of babies of mothers who consumed olive oil when pregnant is better in terms of height, weight and psychomotor reflexes.

Olive Oil and Beauty

It nourishes, protects and softens the skin and keeps the body and the face young looking. It was widely used for ointments, after baths, massages, face masks or hair. Olive Oil is recommended for chafing the body, for bringing on perspiration, for avoiding body fluids and for dissipating lethargy. When retained in the mouth, it maintains teeth's whiteness and strengthens gums.

Skin

Olive oil has a large proportion of Vitamin A, D, K as well as E, the main source of protection against free radicals that produces cell oxidation. Regular usage of olive oil on skin helps to reduce the risk of skin cancer and prevents wrinkles.

Use pure olive oil to rub your face, hands and all body as a massage to rejuvenate the skin. Wait for minimum half an hour. Can stay longer on your skin. During the ancient times, people were using olive oil to rub the body after the bath.

Hair

Use pure olive oil. Without hair cream or balsam, shampoo your hair rinse well, and dry. Apply sufficient olive oil on your head, comb and rub your hair and massage your scalp with Pure olive oil so oil penetrates all scalp and hair. Cover your head with a towel and wait for 30 minutes. Rinse your hair with lukewarm (300C-860F) water. Then shampoo and rinse with lukewarm (300C-860F) water. Repeat several times latest every week.

Best for Cooking

Olive oil is ideal for frying! Olive Treasure Extra Virgin Olive oil with its distinctive olive aroma and flavor is a versatile, healthy and delicious natural addition to any meal. It can resist high temperatures without breaking down as opposed to other vegetable oils. Food fried in olive oil has a lower fat contention than food fried in many other oils, making Olive Treasure extra virgin olive oil more suitable for weight control. Olive Treasure olive oil is being used on salads, added at the table to soups and stews and for dipping. It can also be eaten naturally without any other processing.

Olive Oil, good for every body function

Olive oil is nature’s storehouse of many healthful nutrients like vitamins A, E, D and K. Other nutrients found in olive oil are:

  • Magnesium-rich chlorophyll encourages formation of healthy red blood cells.

  • Squalene, a precursor to phytoesterols, helps reduce acidity.

  • Phytoesterols (in the form of beta-sitosterol) assists in preventing cholesterol absorption.

  • Caffeic and gallic nutrients stimulate the flow of bile which helps alkalise food coming out of the stomach, reducing stress on the pancreas.

  • Phenolic compounds protect against fermentation of fats and cholesterol, and may promote higher production of fat-digesting enzymes in the pancreas.

  • Cycloartenol lowers the amount of cholesterol in free circulation and increases excretion of bile to mop up excess acidity and increase alkalinity of the food coming out of the stomach.

Olive Oil has been shown to have beneficial effects on virtually every aspect of body function, development and maintenance, including brain development, bone structure, digestion, aging process, the condition of skin and hair, metabolism, and on plaque formation in the blood vessels.

There is so much scientific evidence now that establishes the health benefits of olive oil. You will be hard put to find any other food that has so many positive effects on so many different parts of the body and their functions.

These health benefits can be derived from all forms of olive oil; however, refined oils undergo a lot of high temperatures during processing which destroys or alters the antioxidants, and thus have very little, if any, vitamins left. In order to gain the maximum medicinal benefit, you should use only Extra Virgin olive oil.
 

References :

http://www.healingdaily.com/detoxification-diet/olive-oil.htm

http://www.oliveoilindia.com/olive.htm

http://www.olive-treasure.com/olive-oil-health.html

http://www.explorecrete.com/nature/olive-oil-health-benefits.html
 

 

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