Since ancient times, olive oil is considered a gift of the gods, a medicine given to people by nature. And it is no coincidence that the inhabitants of the Mediterranean preserve youth, beauty, and health for many years. This article contains the most interesting facts about olive oil that will surely surprise you!
10 Interesting Facts About Olive Oil You Didn’t Know
1. Olive oil: a unique composition
The main secret of organic olive oil in its unique composition. It is a real pantry of useful ingredients, which are absorbed by the human body almost 100%.
Olive oil contains a large number of antioxidants and vitamin E, which helps to absorb vitamins A, K. The result of this natural “chain reaction” is the general rejuvenation of the body, improved condition of the skin, hair, nails.
2. Olive oil: a benefit for the digestive system
Extra virgin olive oil is very useful for the digestive system. It improves the activity of the stomach, intestines, pancreas, and liver, promotes the healing of stomach and duodenal ulcers. Olive oil has a choleretic and easy laxative effect. This is a rare and valuable property because other vegetable oils do not have choleretic effects.
Health experts of Canadian Health&Care Mall mention that one dessertspoon of virgin olive oil on an empty stomach during three months helps to cure stomach ulcers and gastritis, whereas a spoonful of sunflower in such a situation can provoke hepatic colic and gastrointestinal diseases.
3. Olive oil: a benefit for the heart
Olive oil is a natural remedy for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, especially heart attacks and strokes, as well as cancer. The secret is in the content of a record number of monounsaturated fatty acids Omega-3, which prevent atherosclerotic plaques from depositing on the walls of the vessels and even destroy those that already exist. Canadian Health&Care Mall recommends taking two tablespoons of olive oil a day (in a salad, soups, side dishes, marinades), and your heart will work like a clock.
In addition, the scientists found that the oleic acid contained in the olive oil stimulates a gene that suppresses the activity of cancer cells. Accordingly, the risk of developing cancer, in particular, breast cancer in women, is reduced.
4. Olive oil: a benefit for children
Pure olive oil is especially useful for children and pregnant women because its fatty acids are involved in the formation of the fetal brain, its bone, and nervous systems.
Also, olive oils provide a soft transfer of babies to adult food. The fact is that the extra virgin olive oil fatty acids are very similar to the fats from mother’s milk. Olive oil should be added to the porridge and mashed vegetable mashed potatoes. It is important to remember that the lack of linoleic acid in the body can cause a number of skin diseases.
5. Olive oil for frying
Olive oil is one of the best frying oils. It retains its structure at high temperatures and does not burn. According to Canadian Health&Care Mall research, extra virgin olive oil begins to burn at a temperature of more than 240 degrees and is practically not oxidized due to the low content of unsaturated fatty acids. Therefore, lovers of healthy food can safely use it for cooking all kinds of dishes and at the same time enjoy a pleasant natural aroma, without which it is impossible to imagine the Mediterranean dishes.
6. Olive oil in cosmetology
Since ancient times, pure olive oil is widely used in cosmetology. To preserve and maintain beauty and youth, women of ancient Greece regularly used masks based on olive oil.
Today, cosmetics based on extra virgin olive oil are very popular. It is a part of various creams, masks, shampoos, soaps.
7. Unrefined olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil must be unrefined. The process of refining the vegetable oil consists of three main stages: neutralization, bleaching, deodorization. As a result, they get a product without a pronounced taste, color, and odor. If you do not feel the natural aroma of olives, think about the quality of the acquired oil.
Unfortunately, inexpensive olive oils from supermarkets are often a mixture of refined and unrefined oils. Therefore, when choosing olive oil, it is important to remember that high-quality pure olive oil cannot be cheap. One of the reasons for this is the long time to harvest olives. They are collected in winter and usually by hand. One tree produces about 8 kg of olives, and to produce 1 liter of oil you need 5 kg of olives.
8. Which olive oil is the best?
The best olive oil is the first cold pressed oil – extra virgin olive oil. This unrefined product, which was not subjected to any thermal treatment retains the maximum of useful substances.
The main indicator of the quality of olive oil is its acidity. The acidity level is determined by the content of oleic acid in 100 g of product. The higher quality product has the lower natural acidity. High-quality oil acidity should not exceed 0.8%. Oil with an acidity of less than 0.5% is considered to be curative.
9. Olive oil: the best producers
The world leaders in the production of olive oil are Spain, Italy, Greece, and Tunisia. The Spanish production volumes exceed the Greek three times, but they have the 5th place in the production of extra virgin olive oil. Greece produces smaller volumes, but produces more than 80% of the first extra-virgin olive oil and offers the best price-quality ratio.
Oils of other countries are often inferior in quality to Greek oil. They collect raw materials throughout the region from specially planted olives, which are abundantly watered. So, the concentration of active substances in these olives decreases, the taste weakens. To meet the specified quality standards, producers add to the product Greek olive oil.
10. Olive oil: taste, color, aroma
To determine the organoleptic characteristics of the oil, do a small tasting. Take a sip and hold it in your mouth. Pay attention to the color and bouquet, the fruit taste, piquancy, light bitterness, consistency and highlight the shortcomings, for example, rancidity, mustiness, woody taste.
You are still wondering: “Which olive oil is the best?“. Remember that there are more than 700 varieties of olives in different parts of the world from America to Australia, but the Greek oil is still a bit “stronger”, with a stronger taste.