The introduction of the Olive tree dates back to the beginning of time, as with all other trees standing amid the Garden of Edam. However, history records the first extraction of Oil was from the olive, dating as far back as 4,000 to 5,000 BC. Ancient Israel considers Olive Oil holy and unique as one of its exclusive usages includes anointing kings of Israel to their throne. History also shows the ancient Israelites, to make unleavened bread and cakes for the dedication of their priest, combine fine wheat flour with Olive Oil. Present-day, many religious ceremonies utilize Olive Oil for anointing and healing. I am curious as to what other mysteries does this golden Oil hold?
The extraction of Oils is massive compared to ancient times due to modern technology. Today, oils come from various plants and nuts such as peanut, rapeseed, avocado, safflower, corn, grape seeds, coconut, and Olives. Each of these oils contains a combination of mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids. All mono and polyunsaturated plants oils provide beneficial health benefits as nature would have it. However, there is something special about the Olive plant, which evidence-based research shows are different from all other oils.
Olive Oil’s main attribute that sets it apart from all other plant oils is its significantly higher amounts of Oleic acid and phenolic compounds. Evidence-based research reports that Oleic acid lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes decreases LDL, increases HDL, and lowers blood pressure and cancer risk. In addition, the phenolic compounds (Phyto-chemicals) play an essential role in reducing inflammation within the body. Inflammation is the main culprit that leads to diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease. Thus, making Olive Oil an effective anti-inflammatory agent and the healthiest above all other oils.
A 2022 Evidence-based research study in the Journal of College of Cardiology provides additional confirmation regarding the extraordinary characteristics of Olive Oil, showing its effects of reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and respiratory diseases. The study results recommend replacing 10 grams each day of margarine, butter, mayonnaise, and dairy fat with 10 grams (1 tablespoon) of Olive Oil will lower your overall risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and respiratory disease. In addition, the study findings recommend increasing the intake of Olive Oil to improve overall health.
There are three different varieties of Olive Oils on the market today, identified as refined, virgin, and extra virgin. Extra virgin Olive Oil is the least processed among the three varieties, making it the healthiest. The extra virgin variety has more phenolic compounds and oleic acid intact having a golden color, taste, and smell of Olive Oil.
The key to overall good health is, first and foremost, diet. What we consume defines who we are. The Mediterranean (plant-based) eating style continues to be the healthiest way of eating. Olive Oil consumption has always been very liberal among the Mediterranean populations since ancient times to the present day. According to a recent Bloomberg report, it is considered one of the healthiest populations on earth.
A tablespoon a day of Olive Oil included in your diet in place of butter, margarine, mayonnaise, and dairy fat in addition to consuming a “plant-based diet” Mediterranean style of eating is well worth the life-long benefits. Olive Oil is remarkable; indeed, it is an Oil above all the rest.