Continuing with heath advice, today some information with regards to Olive Oil.
Have a nice week-end.
Maria Luisa Duarte
Sunshine in the kitchen
"..good for the heart and circulation, a liver healer, bowel regulator and maintainer of sexual health."
The use of olive oil dates back to 4 -5,000 years BC. in the region of Egypt and the Mediterranean.
Olive oil always enhanced the diets and the flavor of foods. Long recognized for its beneficial effect on human health, now many scientific studies suggest that olive oil is one of the reasons for the lower rate of cancer among people of the Mediterranean.( approx. half the U.S rate.)
Olive oil, (which is 76% monounsaturated fat), is appreciated for its health benefits: good for the heart and circulation, a liver healer, bowel regulator and maintainer of sexual health.
In Greece olive oil has been considered numinous for millenniums. Numinous has to do with the supernatural, with being holy, with having qualities impossible to describe or understand Ñ but of which you experience the effects. Numinous was sensed.
Well, for better or for worse, olive oil is becoming a little less numinous nowadays as scientists are starting to probe into its biological mysteries and magic. Its amazing properties are no longer sensed but proven through lab tests, population studies and graphs. The incidence of coronary disease in Greece is very low. The hypothesis was that this could be due to the extensive consumption of olive oil. To ensure experimental conditions, Crete seemed the ideal choice. Cretans consume 30 kilos (60-70 pounds) of olive oil a year per person. 90% of all fats there was provided by olive oil! A thirty year study confirmed the hypothesis.
The role of olive oil in the prevention of cardiovascular disease is indeed unique. Heart disease is in direct proportion to the concentration of cholesterol in the blood. Olive oil, due to its fatty acid composition, has a beneficial impact on controlling cholesterol levels.
Fatty acids are substances found in fats and oils. Fatty acids can be: Cholesterol, when it does not exceed certain levels, is vital for the structure of cell walls. Cholesterol though, which is synthesized in the liver, cannot move about the body by itself. So special vehicles, called lipoproteins, are provided for this purpose. The two main types are LDL and HDL. LDL are large trucks that carry cholesterol to the cells. Roads between cells though are often too small for LDL trucks, so the latter get stuck and as time goes by they completely clog blood vessels. HDL are smaller trucks that carry cholesterol away. So the more HDL the easier to unlock roads and rid the body of unwanted cholesterol. Or to state it another way, what the body really needs is a good HDL/LDL ratio.
The action of fatty acids: We all know that animal fats, which contain saturated fatty acids, vertically increase blood cholesterol levels. But here's what happens with unsaturated fatty acids: Polyunsaturated fatty acids lower both LDL and HDL levels in the blood, that is they do not really affect their ratio. Monounsaturated fatty acids on the other hand control LDL levels while raising HDL levels. No other naturally produced oil has as large an amount of monounsaturated as olive oil -mainly oleic acid. And furthermore, the modest amount of well-balanced polyunsaturated in olive oil is well protected by antioxidant substances.
It is widely believed that antioxidant substances such as vitamins E, K and polyphenols Found in olive oil provide a defense mechanism that delays aging and prevents carcinogenesis, atherosclerosis, liver disorders and inflammations. Since olive oil is not tortured during extraction these substances are left unspoiled making the olive oil very stable, even when frying. So contrary to common belief, products of deterioration at frying are much lower in olive oil than in other oils.
Due to its chemical structure, olive oil is of unrivaled organoleptic value and thus the oil best suited for human consumption. It is very well tolerated by the stomach. In fact, its protective function has a beneficial effect on gastritis and ulcers. It is a cholagogue, it activates the secretion of pancreatic hormones and bile much more naturally than prescribed drugs. Consequently, it lowers the incidence of cholelithiasis (gallstone formation). Its excellent digestibility promotes the overall absorption of nutrients, especially vitamins and mineral salts. It has a positive effect on constipation. Bones need a large amount of oleates and what source could be better than olive oil? Promoting bone mineralisation, it is excellent for infants and the elderly who have bone calcification problems. It also has beneficial effects on brain and nervous system development as well as overall growth. It shields the body against infection and helps in the healing of tissues Internal or external. Olive oil is a panacea, the perfect oil for all ages. And every time scientists look into the reasons behind an olive oil advantage empirically known and employed by the peoples of the Mediterranean it is sure that they will come across evidence of yet another unique biological attribute.
Extra-virgin olive oil is considered by many health experts, including Dr. Andrew Weil, to be the best all purpose eating and cooking oil. This healthy oil is traditionally first cold pressed and unrefined.
This is how X-V ( extra-virgin ) olive oil is produced: first the sun ripened olives are harvested, sorted and chosen for their quality. The olives are crushed on a stone mill, which produces the olive paste which is then pressed in a small hydraulic press. The oil is then filtered through blotter paper. Simple, traditional, healthy.
"Sevitel Greek Association of Industries and Processors of Olive Oil email@example.com"
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