If you love to cook, you’re probably used to using olive oil in many of your dishes. The Greek poet Homer is said to have referred to olive oil as “liquid gold.” It’s known to be healthy, an essential part of the Mediterranean diet, and a delicious way to flavor food. In this post, we’ll discuss exactly what olive oil is, how it’s made, and some health benefits of this wonderful oil. If you’re interested in purchasing your own gourmet olive oil, look no further than Olive U! We’re proud to stock some of the best olive oil that you can find, and we also offer delicious flavored olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and other delectable gourmet condiments and foods that are perfect for your next dinner party. Shop our website now!
What is Olive Oil?
Did you know that olive oil is technically fruit juice? This flavorful juice is created by grinding ripe olives between two blades. It’s mainly comprised of monounsaturated fatty acids, which is a healthier type of fat. These monounsaturated fatty acids help to lower both the total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol levels, while raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol levels. This is one of the many reasons that olive oil is so widely used and loved by people across the world. Also, high-quality olive oil has high levels of antioxidants, including polyphenols, vitamin K and E, chlorophyll, and carotenoids. You can even find anti-inflammatory substances, such as oleocanthal, which can have a similar effect on the body as ibuprofen. ‘
How is Olive Oil Made?
Once fresh, ripe olives have been picked, they’re washed and then pressed. Farmers used to use two heavy stone wheels to grind the olives into a paste, but that process has been automated to using steel blades or rollers on a machine. The entire fruit is crushed, then the paste undergoes malaxation, which is where a small amount of water is added and stirred into the paste, which causes the oil molecules to clump together. This process is done between 20 and 40 minutes, and then funneled into vats and heated to 82 degrees. This heating process is low enough that the oil can still be referred to as cold-pressed. Once the heating process is complete, it’s sent through the centrifuge, which is a compartment that spends quickly and pushes the solid parts of the oil to the side so just the oil can filter down into a holding container. Once it’s been filtered completely, it can go through many different processes, which can include deodorizing, bleaching, refining, or adding natural flavors.
Health Benefits of Olive Oil
Olive oil is extremely healthy and offers many benefits to individuals who eat it regularly. Some of the benefits include:
Olive oil protects against heart disease: One of the most popular claims for this delicious oil, many studies have found that those who regularly consume high-quality olive oil in their diets have seen the reduced risk of heart disease. It also has been shown to lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels. If you’re interested in lowering your risk factors for heart disease or you have the genetic profile for heart disease, adding olive oil to your diet is an excellent choice.
Olive oil doesn’t contribute to obesity or weight gain: Olive oil has been linked to actually losing or maintaining a healthy weight. A diet that is high in antioxidants has been proven to help individuals lose weight and enjoy better health overall.
Olive oil may help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes: Several completed studies have proven that regular consumption of olive oil can help to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes by more than 40 percent. The high antioxidant content of the oil has shown to help to regulate both blood sugar and insulin levels, while reducing inflammation.
Olive oil may have anti-cancer properties: Many researchers believe that the low risk and report of cancers in the Mediterranean region is due to the regular consumption of olive oil. Olive oil helps to reduce the amount of free radicals in the body, which keeps cancer cells at bay. More research is being completed on the effects of olive oil on cancer now as many test tube studies have been successful.
If you’re interested in purchasing some gourmet olive oil for yourself, don’t hesitate to head on over to Olive U! Shop our entire line of delicious and healthy olive oils today!