Athletes in ancient Greece rubbed in on their bodies, it has been used to anoint the bones of dead saints and martyrs, cultivated since 5000 B.C., the oil of the olive has been sought after for centuries. Believed to be medicinal as well as magical, this golden oil was the popular choice of all royalty.
I like to use olive oil because of its wonderful taste and exceptional health benefits. Of all of the edible fats, extra-virgin olive oil (EEOO) is the most digestible. This particular type of olive oil comes from the first pressing. Less processed than the other grades of olive oil, it is higher in Vitamin E and phenol, a natural inflammatory.
Like I said, extra-virgin olive oil is the healthiest, but all varieties of olive oil offer benefits. This healthy oil helps our bodies to absorb vitamins A, D and K. Packed with essential monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants olive oil actually helps to slow down the aging process. No wonder sensible diets like mine always suggest using olive oil.
Recent reports about this wonder oil state that it protects against heart disease by raising the good cholesterol (HDL) while controlling the bad cholesterol (LDL). Successfully proven to slow or eliminate the formation of gallstones, studies show that it may even help to protect against colon cancer.
If you aren’t a regular user of this oil of the gods, then you may want to give it a try. There are different varieties with the extra-virgin olive oil being the healthiest choice.
When shopping for olive oil, keep this in mind:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: comes from the first pressing, is less processed and offers the most health benefits
Virgin Olive Oil: comes from the second pressing
Pure: filtered and refined, slight processing
Extra Light: processed oil with added olive flavor
Like most oils, olive oil is not cheap. To keep your olive oil as fresh as possible, keep it in a cool, dark place, preferably in a dark bottle. Too much light or oxygen will cause your precious oil to go rancid.
Enjoy it for cooking and be sure to drizzle a little on your veggies before devouring. You’ll be dining like royalty.
Have you cooked with olive oil in the past? Tell us about it by leaving a comment.