If you have to know something about Mediterranean food, it would be that it can’t be without olive oil.
I love this fact because in my Mediterranean kitchen I ALWAYS use this precious healthy oil. I mean literally..at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
As you may know, cooking with hydrogenated oils is one of the sources of unhealthy fat that can kill you slowly over time. However, even if you eat a good quantity of olive oil daily you won’t notice any remarkable change in your weight or cholesterol level. That’s because not all fat is the same.
Olive oil nutrients
Olive oil contains:
- Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene
- 70-85% of its fat is monounsaturated, omega-9 fatty acid.
- A long list of Polyphenols, in a combination that can’t be found in any other oil, working as powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. That’s more remarkable with Extra Virgin olive oil.
- strengthens the cellular walls of blood vessels and lowers cholesterol level and blood pressure
- Many studies conducted recently in universities like at Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research Institute in Milan, Italy, concluded that olive oil intake helps considerably to reduce many cancer types risks. Being a source of anti-inflammatory and antioxidants keeps the cells healthy and even protects their DNA in a way that keeps cancers really away.
- Regarding the gut health, many Polyphenols in olive oil have been shown to slow the growth of unwanted bacteria, including bacteria commonly responsible for digestive tract infections. (source)
- Some studies conducted on laboratory animals suggest that olive oil can be good also for bone health as it found that better blood levels of calcium have been repeatedly associated with olive oil intake.
- Recent French studies found that visual memory and verbal fluency can be improved with what the researchers called “intensive use” of olive oil. Do you remember when I told you we use olive oil in literally every meal?!
Olive oil grades
There are grades of olive oils.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO): derived from the first pressure of olive, with free acidity limited to 0.8%
- Virgin Olive Oil (VOO): the first pressing too, but with bigger free acidity (oleic acid) up to 2%
- Pure ( rather refined) Olive Oil: can be a mix of EVOO and VOO but lacks some of the nutrients as it’s refined to change its delicate flavor.
- cold pressed olive oil: means very low heating was applied when mechanically pressing the olive to extract the oil.
How to store
Try to store your olive oil properly and consume in 2 months, as its nutrients begin to degrade after this time even if properly stored.
Put in non-transparent glass jar in a dark and dry place.
Use a smaller non-transparent jar for your consumption of 2 weeks, to avoid frequent olive oil contact with air.
How to use
- Make a salad dressing by mixing it with lemon juice, chopped garlic, salt and pepper.
- eat with bread at breakfast.
- Add to mashed potatoes.
- Drizzle over sautéed vegetables.
- add to pizza dough.
Do you use olive oil in your meals? Did you notice how your health is improving since you begin using it? Tell us more about your experience in a comment below.