olive oil

Benefits of olive oil

olive oilMany people wonder what type of oil to use when preparing their food recipes. Olive oil is one of the healthiest types of oil in the world. The oil, which is part of the Mediterranean diet, provides many health benefits. It has been used by various communities all over the world for different purposes. This article will address the health benefits olive oil and give some tips on how to use it.

 Description

Olive oil is made from green olives. The process includes crushing olives and then pressing them to obtain the oil. The olives used to make olive oil are obtained from the olive tree called Olea Europea. The term ‘olea’ in Latin means oil. It is therefore no surprise that olives are a rich source of oil. The olive tree is a traditional tree crop which is native to the Mediterranean region. Most olive oil comes from this region nowadays. Olive oil is available in different grades. The grade will reflect to what degree the olives have been processed. The healthiest type of olive oil is called extra virgin olive oil. Since this is the best quality of olive oil, it is usually also the most expensive type of olive oil sold in supermarkets. Extra virgin olive oil does not only provide the most health benefits, but it also has the most delicate flavour. Olive oil is used for a wide variety of purposes. While it is most often used in cooking, it is also used in cosmetics. Another use of olive oil is for medicinal purposes or it is used to make soaps. In some communities, olive oil is also used for traditional lamps. For these lamps olive oil is used as fuel. Moreover, while olive oil is originally from the Mediterranean countries, it is used on a global scale. Currently, Greece is the country with the highest olive oil intake per person. According to the North American Olive Oil Association, an average of 24 liters are consumed by a Greek person per year. Italians and Spaniards are also high on the list. It is estimated that Italians and Spaniards consume about 15 liters per person per year.

History

Olives are considered to be one of the oldest foods in the world. It is believed that olives are originally from Syria or Crete, Greece. They were first found in the Mediterranean region about seven thousand years ago. For many communities in this region, the olive tree has played an important role in their everyday lives. The olive oil was not only used as a source for food and fuel, but olive oil was also used as a medicine. Moreover, the olive tree also has a symbolic meaning. The tree is said to symbolize wisdom and peace. There is no consensus with regards to the fact how olive trees were introduced in the United States. However, it is known that the first olive trees only appeared in the United States between 1500 and 1700. Spanish colonizers were most likely the first ones to bring olive trees to this part of the world. The trees were transported over the Atlantic Ocean. While most of the olive trees have directly been transported to the United States, it is also said that the trees were brought to the US through Mexico. Since the Spanish colonizers had colonized various parts of South America, they have introduced olive trees in this region first. While olive oil is now consumed by many people all over the world, it still plays an important role in the diet of many Mediterranean countries. Not only has olive oil become very popular recently, but the Mediterranean diet is said to spread to different parts of the world. This is mainly due to the fact that this diet is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. Olive oil also plays an important role in this process. The health benefits of olive oil will be explored later in this article. Nowadays, most of the olive oil is still cultivated in the Mediterranean region. Spain produces 36% of the total olive oil production, Italy produces 25% and Greece contributes 18%. These countries, and its surrounding countries, are responsible for consuming almost two-thirds of the total olive oil produced. While these countries will most likely continue to lead the olive oil production industry, there are a few countries which have also started to produce olive oil. These countries include Australia and Chile.

Health benefits

Olive oil is characterized for being rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. A diet which contains these type of fatty acids is said to prevent various types of diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Different studies found that diets which are high in fats increase these types of diseased. However, it is not necessarily the amount of fat that has an influence on your body, but rather the type of fat consumed. Thus, a diet which is rich in monounsaturated fats actually protects the body from chronic diseases. The monounsaturated fats are to be found in olive oil, seeds and nuts. A study which was published in the Diabetes Care found that adopting a Mediterranean diet can lower the risk of type II diabetes with almost 50 percent. Type II diabetes is not only the type of diabetes which is most common, but it is also a disease which can be prevented by adopting a healthy diet. Another disease which is positively influenced by olive oil is osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is characterized by a reduction of bone mass. This decrease in bone mass can in turn lead to bone tissue becoming more fragile. This means that the possibility of fractures is increased. It was found that olive oil supplements have a positive effect on the thickness of bones. Scientists have said that olive oil might be part of future treatments of the disease. Olive oil might therefore be a solution to the fight against osteoporosis. While it is clear that olive oil has a positive influence on our physical health, it has also been proven that olive has a positive effect on our emotional well-being. According to researchers from the University of Navarra, olive oil can help to protect an individual from mental illness. It was found that a higher intake of olive oil can lower the risk of depression. Furthermore, research has also been conducted on the link between olive oil and a reduced risk of skin cancer. It was found that several components in olive oil may play a role in the prevention of malignant melanoma. This is a type of skin cancer. The consumption of olive oil can slow down the production process of malignant melanoma. These findings are reiterated by the degree of people with skin cancer in the Mediterranean. It is estimated that only three in every 100,000 people in this region develop skin cancer. This number is low compared to Australia, where an average of 50 people out of 100,000 develop skin cancer.


Cardiovascular benefits

The death rate from cardiovascular diseases is also significantly low amongst people adopting a Mediterranean diet. A study which was performed by the Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona explored this field of research. The institution focused on the clinical and biological effects of olive oil. Moreover, they were also curious to find out whether there was an actual direct link between olive oil and a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. The study was published in the Pharmacological Research Journal. The results of the study were that people who regularly consume olive oil has a lower chance of developing cardiovascular diseases. These diseases do not only include high blood pressure, but also stroked and high levels of cholesterol in blood. Furthermore, the study also concluded that regular intake of olive oil can help to reduce endothelial dysfunction. This is a disease which attacks the inner linings of the blood vessels. Also, olive oil can help to reduce carbohydrate metabolism and inflammation. The study also found that while Southern European communities are exposed to many risk factors which could lead to coronary heart disease, the death rate from cardiovascular diseases was low. Olive oil consumption therefore plays an important role in the prevention in these type of diseases. Another study which was conducted in France recommends older individuals to consume olive oil more regularly. The consumption of olive oil on a daily basis can help to protect older individuals from strokes. The study found that daily consumers of olive oil reduced their risk of stroke by 41 percent in comparison to people who did not consume any olive oil at all.

Use of olive oil

While most olive oil is consumed, olive oil can also be used in a variety of different ways. For example, olive oil is often used as a hair treatment. In ancient Egyptian times, many women used olive oil to treat their hair. When using olive oil as a treatment for your hair, start by warming up the olive oil in a microwave. Continue to apply the oil to your scalp and to the tips of your hair. Leave the olive oil in for about 20 minutes and continue to wash your hair with shampoo and/or conditioner. Olive oil can also be used as a lip scrub. In order to do this, combine sugar and a teaspoon of olive oil. If you want to add some flavour to your lip scrub, you can also put in some lemon juice. Your scrub is then ready to use. While this scrub is often used for lips, you can also use the recipe to scrub your body. Olive oil can also be used eye-makeup remover. Olive oil grabs onto products which are also oil-based. This therefore makes is a great pre-cleansing product to remove eye makeup. Once you have used the olive oil as eye makeup remover, continue to wash your face with warm water and face wash.

Select and store

Olive oil can become rancid when it is exposed to heat and light. It is therefore important to pay attention to a few things when buying and storing olive oil. When buying olive oil in the store, make sure that the oil is packaged in a bottle which is dark tinted. A dark tinted bottle will prevent the oil from oxidation when exposed to light. Also, make sure that the oil is stored in a place where it is cool. Thus, it should not be placed close to a place of heat. It is also possible for the oil to be stored in metal containers. However, it might be possible that the oil is affected by metal elements found in the container. When storing olive oil at home, make sure that you store it in a cool and dry place. Moreover, as mentioned earlier, the healthiest type of olive oil is extra virgin olive oil. While this is usually also the most expensive type of olive oil, it does provide more health benefits. This type of olive oil will also have a richer flavour and therefore tastes great by itself, or in combination with bread.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 697x
Added: 24-11-2016 17:44
Last modified: 24-12-2016 13:20

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