The olive tree was originally found in Asia about 3000 years ago, and had been widely used since then as a remedy to heal wounds. But it was the Mediterranean man who first realized the true worth of an olive, using it as much more than just a healer. It was they, who first realized that the Oil extracted from Olive, that is popularly known as Olive oil contains high amount of monounsaturated fat, which exerts a beneficial influence on their blood cholesterol levels and also controls cardiovascular diseases. They also used the extracted oil as an effective moisturizer and a good remedy for skin problems. Health Benefits of Olive Oil are -
- Depending upon the amount of processing done to the pure Olive oil, it is available in the market in four different grades, namely – the Extra Virgin Olive Oil ( this is the form obtained with minimum processing); the Virgin Olive Oil (is generated from the second pressings on the olive, and is also too healthy); the Pure Olive Oil ( this oil is prepared after the olive extract goes through treatments like filtering and refining.); the Extra Light Oil ( this is created after substantial processing, and contains very mild olive flavors in it).
- However, out of all these different grades, it is particularly the Extra Virgin Olive Oil that is the purest and the healthiest; cold pressed from freshly harvested olives without any chemicals being used.
- To get best health benefits, it is advisable that people use the Extra Virgin form for various purposes, including their cooking techniques.
- Those who use it in cooking would agree that it has the same function as wine, which is enhancing the flavor of the food. Cooking experts use the Extra Virgin form to drizzle it over salads, vinaigrette's and dressing, and also occasionally use it over slices of crusty bread or sandwiches.
- At home most mothers use it to prepare mashed potatoes or meat preparations, to make the food taste good. But apart from adding to the taste,it also do several benefits to the body, which we are bound to get noticed.
- The benefits of using this nutritive agent for cooking have already been known to us all, but to go over them once again, we must say that using it helps stimulate digestion, relieves you from stomach upsets, flatulence and also stops heartburn.
- Apart from this, it also cures severe constipation, when used with boiling water, cooled to lukewarm.
- It is also extremely rich in iron as well as vitamins like A, B1, B2, C, E and D which when used in cooking transfers the nutrition and vitamins to the food as well.
- But apart from all this, the main benefit of using it is that the fatty acids in the oil help lower the bad LDL cholesterol levels in the body, without creating any adverse effect on the beneficial HDL cholesterol or triglyceride levels, making it the healthiest source of fat.