Olive oil comes directly from olive tree fruit. It’s a substance that can leave something of a shiny residue when it comes in contact with most surfaces. This liquid is high in fat and is relatively easy to digest. For the most part, olive oil is relatively easy for people to make and extremely versatile.
Overall, olive oil will be made through the process of crushing and grinding the olives themselves and then taking out the oil. Whether people use stainless steel in order to make that happen or stone, the process behind the creation of olive oil is still fundamentally the same.
Olive oil has had a large enough effect on various cultures throughout the world that it is possible to be something of an olive oil connoisseur. Fans of olive oil will look at the color and they will pay attention to where the olives came from in order to develop some objective standards for evaluating different types of olive oil. Olive oil had a primarily Mediterranean origin, and that history still stays with it today.
A lot of great olive oil still comes from the Mediterranean region, or it’s advertised as such. Olive oil has succeeded in becoming a food that’s internationally popular today, partly owing to its versatility in a wide range of different recipes and its nutritional value.
The Mediterranean diet itself is very popular now, as people learn about many of the long-term health beneﬁts associated with eating like this. Olive oil is fundamental to the traditional Mediterranean diet, and this has only made olive oil more popular than it was previously.
The History of Olive Oil
Human beings have been planting olive trees for thousands of years at this point. Olives are among the oldest of all agricultural products as a result. Olive trees are part of the Oleaceae tree family and they can literally last for four hundred years in their own right.
Establishing an exact origin for olive oil is going to be tricky. However, olive oil at least dates back to the island of Brijuni two thousand years prior or so. The cultivated olive tree itself might date back to the Valleys of the Nile, Persia, Crete, or Jordan. People can still say with conﬁdence that olive oil comes from the Mediterranean region and the Near East.
It took some time for olive oil to become popular all around the world. It’s strongly associated with the ancient Greeks and Romans for a reason, although the Egyptians and Phoenicians had a role in developing and popularizing olive oil as well. Olive oil may never have reached the Mediterranean without the Phoenicians. The Romans used olive oil in order to prolong their lives and to look better. The ancient Greeks went a step further, putting olive oil and olives on a pedestal. Many people around the world still do today.
One of the world’s oldest olive tree in La Senia and Ulldecona, Spain
Nutrient MUFA: Healthy Dietary Fat
The idea that all forms of dietary fat are unhealthy is a hopelessly outdated belief in modern times. The consumption of monounsaturated fat (MUFA), which is found in olive oil, can have a wide range of health beneﬁts. People who eat diets that are rich in monounsaturated fat are less likely to get type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. People who eat a lot of olive oil can keep their blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels in check.
Many people will apply olive oil directly to the skin in order to get all of the beneﬁts. However, consuming olive oil directly as food can also make a huge difference when it comes to skin health and appearance. People still need to consume monounsaturated fat in moderation, of course. It’s still high in calories and people will get diminishing returns at some point if they keep on adding more and more olive oil to their diets. However, overall, the monounsaturated fat from olive oil is very healthy. The fact that the Mediterranean diet uses so much olive oil is one of the reasons why it is so healthy in the first place.
Beneﬁts for Your Heart and Brain
People who are familiar with many modern health issues have already heard about how bad inﬂammation is. Ironically, inﬂammation is part of the body’s immune response. The same immune system that protects people from infectious diseases and other problems can turn against them in many cases, attacking healthy tissues and triggering an inﬂammation response that is ultimately going to damage the arteries and other parts of the body.
Excess inﬂammation will put people at-risk for heart problems, hypertension, and almost all of the other diseases that are correlated with different negative lifestyle habits. When people consume more extra virgin olive oil, they may be able to reverse this trend, reducing inﬂammation and lowering their risk of lifestyle related illnesses. Eating some foods promotes inﬂammation. Consuming other foods will reduce it.
Polyphenol antioxidants are incredibly healthy, helping people to reduce their risk of nearly all lifestyle-related conditions. Olive oil has no less than 30 polyphenol compounds. It’s a strong source of essential nutrients like vitamin K and vitamin E. People who consume olive oil will be less likely to develop a wide range of different lifestyle related conditions. Olive oil can also preserve a person’s cognitive abilities, and that includes helping senior citizens improve their memory problems.
Protect You From Mental illness
People often draw a false dichotomy between mental and physical health. The brain is just as much a part of the body as all other organs, however, and something that helps the rest of the body is going to help the brain. Olive oil falls into that category.
According to some research from the University of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, people who consume olive oil might be less likely to suffer from mental illnesses like depression. Fatty ﬁsh and other vegetable oils, which also contain healthy fats, may be able to help people feel less depressed.
When people consider the fact that cellular membranes are largely made from fat, it becomes very clear why olive oil and healthy fat would help people become healthier in the ﬁrst place. The idea that people will either burn the fat they eat or store it is wrong. The fat people eat can be used to protect cells and organs and insulate nerves.
It’s estimated that 60 percent of the brain is made from fat. This is not a macro-nutrient that people should avoid altogether. They just have to make sure that they are literally building their brains with the right type of fat.
Get the Most Nutrients via Olive Oil
Olive oil isn’t just rich in nutrients in its own right. It might actually be able to help people absorb other nutrients from the food that they eat. A recent Purdue University study suggests that people who consume vegetables in conjunction with olive oil might actually beneﬁt from the nutrients in the vegetables more strongly.
Some of these nutrients are going to be fat soluble, so that makes sense. Eating nutrients like these along with some healthy fat would naturally help people get more health beneﬁts. Mixing olive oil with vinegar might be able to help people the most when it comes to absorbing nutrients particularly effectively.
There is some evidence that olive oil is particularly healthy when it is less processed. It’s also a good idea for people to be able to consume the freshest possible olive oil in order to get all of the health beneﬁts. The ﬂavor of the olive oil will tend to be better as well in this state. People who actually eat olive oil as a dip or in a similar fashion will be able to get more beneﬁts out of it than the people who cook with it. However, cooking with olive oil is still not going to destroy all of the associated beneﬁts.
Pro Tips: How to Perfectly Store Your Olive Oil
Heat, oxygen, and light will slowly but surely cause olive oil to break down and degrade. If people store the olive oil in the ﬁrst place, it’s shelf life is going to be much longer. Stainless steel oil cans that were speciﬁcally designed to store food can help make all of this happen. The olive oil will not be exposed to light in these stainless steel cans.
Plenty of these stainless steel cans were actually designed with ergonomics in mind, and they were created in order to make pouring the olive oil that much easier. People should be able to ﬁnd storage units and containers that were created in the Italian style. This should make them better when it comes to both storing and serving the olive oil in theﬁrst place. Italy has a lot of experience with olive oil, and they know how to make it last. They know why olive oil had been so popular all throughout history, and they have helped to share their olive oil and related culinary traditions with the rest of the world.