Olive Oil – An Oil With Healthiest Fat
Olive oil is considered to be the major component used in a mediterranean diet. Due to its unique flavor, connoisseurs recommend the use olive oil for cooking.
Olive oil is obtained from the fruits of Olive trees. Olive tree is a traditional tree crop, mainly grown in mediterranean region. Main producers of olive oil are Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Morocco.
Olives are cleaned from debris like stem, leaves, twigs etc. Its then washed well to remove dirt as well as pesticides. Cleaned and washed olives are crushed in to paste, this facilitates the release of olive oil along with water and solid remains. Oil is then separated from water and solid olive remains.
Depending on the amount of processing involved olive oil is classified as Extra virgin, Virgin, Olive oil or pure olive oil, Light and extra light. Virgin varieties are believed to have high health benefits as they retain most of the natural nutrients of olive fruits. As the oil is less refined from chemical reactions and heat it posses higher nutritional benefits.
Extra virgin is prepared from the first pressing of olives, hence it is considered to be the premium variety.
Virgin is prepared from the second pressing of the olives or from the second best grade of olives, it is also deprived of chemicals.
Olive oil or Pure olive oil is inferior to virgin varieties as it is extracted from lower qualities of olive fruits. It also involves heat, chemical solvents, pressure variations and filtration treatments.
Light and extra light oils are extracts from the last pressing of olives. Its the lowest quality of olive oil available.
Even though olive oil is extensively used for culinary preparations, it has a variety of medicinal qualities. Health benefits of olive oil are long been discussed for many centuries.
Reduces heart diseases
The most common cause of death in the world is cardiovascular diseases. According to some of the studies, consumption of olive oil can readily decrease the chance of cardiovascular diseases. Olive oil can play a key role in reducing blood cholestrol. The mono saturated fat present in olive oil can reduce the amount of LDL cholestrol and increase the good cholestrol known as HDL cholestrol.
Can play a key role in preventing stroke
Stroke is caused by the blockage of blood flow to the brain, due to the formation of blood clots in blood vessels leading to the brain. This causes the death of brain cells and results in brain damage. Stroke is considered as the second leading cause of death worldwide. Intake of olive may decrease the plasma levels of bad cholestrol known as LDL cholestrol and increase HDL cholestrol. This reduces the chance for arterial plaque formation and prevents strokes.
Effective against chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammation is considered to be the leading catalyst for many diseases like arthitis, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Olive oil is known for its ability to curtail chronic inflammation. The most prominent fatty acid present in olive oil is aleic acid. Aleic acid along with the anti oxidants in olive oil helps to fight chronic inflammation.