What is Olive Oil?
Olive Oil is a fat obtained from the fruit of the Olea europaea (olive tree), a traditional tree crop of them, where whole olives are pressed to produce olive oil. Olive oil is assessed on three criteria – fruitiness, bitterness and pepperiness – the flavour, smell and colour can vary according to its origin.
Olive oil varieties: (ranked from highest to lowest quality) extra-virgin, virgin and pure.
Extra-virgin olive oil is the first pressing of whole olives and is done within a day of harvest. No more than 1% of the oil is free oleic acid which makes the oil taste sharp. It has the most delicate flavour and is of most expensive type. It has strongest overall health benefits and has a very low acidity rate (under 1%) and is best used for dipping or to dress salads – both because its superior flavour is impaired by heat and because it has a low smoking point.
Virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, but is of slightly lower quality, with free acidity of up to 1.5%. Although its taste is good but is little bland these oils have little or no extra-virgin oil in the blend. The standards for virgin olive oil are the same as extra-virgin olive oil; only the free oleic acid can be up to 3% of content, so the quality is not as good.
Pure olive oil is the cheapest olive oil. It is refined to remove its impurities, and blended to improve flavour. Its flavour is quite bland, so it’s not worth using it on salads, but it is good all-purpose cooking oil.
People have been eating olive oil for thousands of years and it is now more popular than ever, thanks to its many proven health benefits and its culinary usefulness. Olive oil, which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, Monounsaturated fatty acids are considered a healthy dietary fat, as opposed to saturated fats and Trans fats.
What are the health benefits of olive oil?
Olive oil helps in regulation of cardiovascular system. The study found that people who regularly consume olive oil are much less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension (high blood pressure), strokes and high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Depression risk lower with olive oil, as compared to the people using higher with Trans fats. This is because amount of Trans fat consumed is directly related to depression risk – the more they ate, the higher the risk.
Olive oil may reduce breast cancer risk. It protects body against breast cancer. It reduces the growth of tumour cells.
Extra virgin olive oil protects against Alzheimer’s disease. Oleocanthal is a type of natural compound found in extra-virgin olive oil and is known to transfer abnormal Alzheimer’s disease proteins out of the brain.
Extra virgin olive oil helps prevent acute pancreatic, liver protection and inflammation of large intestine.
What are other benefits?
- Olive oil is used in cosmetics, medicine, and soaps.
- It is a good lubricate. It is very useful to use few drops of oil for sticky hinge or creaky knob to stop irritating noise.
- It is also useful if rubbed on the teeth of jacket to get it free.
- Rain boots usually becomes very hard, but if you rub few drops of olive oil it will return the luster of shoes.
- It is a good Moisturizer for body. It is also used as skin scrub.
- It removes eye makeup easily. It is also used to remove paint from hair.