A few words about olive oil
Simply put, olive oil is the extract of the olive fruit. Olives are picked from the trees, transferred to the mill and pressed. From then on, olive oil is mainly (but not solely) categorized from its level of free oleic acid per 100gr (acidity %). The lower this level is, the purer the olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil, is the unrefined olive oil with an acidity % of less than 0,8 (<0,8%). With a fruity aroma, bitter and pungent flavour, this is the only oil you need in your kitchen.
What you are looking for in a good extra virgin olive oil is:
Fruitiness, having pleasant spicy fruit flavors characteristic of fresh ripe or green olives.
Bitterness (a good thing as far as olive oil goes), creating a mostly pleasant acrid flavor sensation on the tongue.
Pungency, creating a peppery sensation in the mouth and throat.
And mostly, balance. Balance of all the above.
Health benefits of a rich in extra virgin olive oil diet
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the very few (if not the only one) HEALTHY fats. Everyone agrees on this. Τhe world famous MEDITERRENEAN DIET, listed on UNESCO‘s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list, has extra virgin olive oil as an integral ingredient. It promotes healthy living and has been proven to protect our body against many diseases. Here are only a few, of many, quick facts:
– Daily consumption can help to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
– Oleocanthal and oleacein, natural chemicals of a good extra virgin olive oil, present anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties helping to reduce the risk of various forms of cancer.
– Studies have indicated that regular consumption of olive oil can also help to decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
– It has been demonstrated that a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil, low in saturated fats, rich in carbohydrates and soluble fiber from fruit, vegetables, pulses and grains is the most effective approach for diabetics.
– Extra virgin olive oil also works wonders for babies. It is easy to digest and helps gastric function, preventing the phenomenon of constipation and colic. It helps in the absorption of vitamin D, very important for babies and growing children. And more …
And last but not least, don’t forget that extra virgin olive oil has been used for centuries in ancient Greece for cosmetic purposes.
From face exfoliate, make up remover to hair shining & strengthening … the list is long! No wonder why so many modern-day beauty products have extra virgin olive oil as their main ingredient.