Olive Oil Facts & Health Benefits| Cibaria International

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Facts About the Best Olive Oil and Why Every Household Needs It

There are lots of things in the world that we overlook the use and importance of, one of which is olive oil.  Sure, we know it is ‘healthy’ but what does this mean exactly?

And, there seems to be several different kinds of olive oil – from extra virgin to lite, etc.  What are the differences between them?

Olive Oil Origin and Extraction

 

It is vital to know the origin of the things we use on a daily basis, especially if it is something we put in our body.  It is the kind of awareness that everyone needs. So, let’s look closer at olive oil.

Traditionally, harvesting olive trees begins in October through December depending upon the region, variety and desired ripeness.  Since olives are picked for both eating and processing into oil, the degree of ripeness matters.

Traditionally, picking olives is done by hand, even in commercial groves.   Most olives today are harvested by shaking the boughs or the whole tree or raking the fruit from the individual branches using hand rakes or vibrating rakes.

olive oil fats olives harvested by hand

The ripeness of the olives at the time of harvest ultimately determines how the oil will taste.

To create high-quality oil, it requires careful olive harvesting.  Once harvested, olives undergo washing, twigging, and crushing. The resulting paste will either be pressed or mixed to allow the oil molecules to concentrate and allow enzyme growth which is an indispensable step.

This mixture is then processed through centrifugation until there is no more water left;  the end-product is the olive oil we all know.

Various Kinds of Olive Oil And Their Differences

olive oil facts olive types

One of the things that is not common knowledge for most everyone is the fact that there are different types of olive oil, and what the differences are.

When going to the grocery or specialty gourmet store, most of us probably just pick the bottles or cans that appeal to us visually, having really no idea what the differences between various types of olive are.  So let’s delve into this.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) – is the type of olive oil with the highest quality.  The extraction process is through first pressing of the olives through cold pressing.  It is the healthier choice for cooking, with a distinct olive aroma and taste. It is also considered the purest olive oil because it does not undergo industrial redefining, nor processing with chemical solvents.

Further, in general, with olive oil, the lower its acidity is, the better the quality;  Extra Virgin Olive Oil cannot exceed 0.8 percent and still be called Extra Virgin ; some extra virgin olive oils have acidity percentages as low as 0.1 percent.

olive oil facts extra virgin olive oil

Virgin Olive Oil – has good quality but definitely less than EVOO.  It has no chemical refining just like the extra virgin olive oil, but its acidity can go up to 2 percent.  Due to that, it can have noticeable differences in flavor and aroma.

Refined Olive Oil – is a far lesser grade of olive oil. These oils are usually made from olives in a bad state and so the oil is chemically treated to neutralize its fatty acid component as well as to omit the unpleasant flavor.

Refined oil lacks color, aroma, and taste.  It is often what we see in bottles, so it is crucial to know your brand and supplier to know how they process the oil.  There are two categories under this type namely: (1) pure olive oil; (2) lite olive oil.

Pure olive oil, a refined olive oil, is mistaken as a healthy choice (because of the word “pure”), but it usually has 80 – 90 percent refined oil.  Meanwhile, lite olive oil has the same number of calories as EVOO, (surprise!) but without any of its health benefits.

Pomace Olive Oil – is the solid substance taken from the initial extraction of the oil.  It also has solvents involved in the process. It is similar to other vegetable oils like canola, sunflower, and soy.  All natural color and taste are removed in this type of olive oil resulting in bland odor and taste.

Health Benefits of Olive Oil

olive oil facts olive oil health benefits

Extra virgin olive oil is healthier than vegetable oil because the latter is processed with the use of solvents as well as heat and often Hexane.  With this solvent-processing in making the vegetable oil, the natural nutrients among corn, canola, and soya are omitted from the oil.

Given a choice, this process of deodorizing and bleaching just to make the oil edible is probably not the optimal process you want the food you eat to undergo.

Meanwhile, EVOO is a natural fruit juice. The primary benefit we get from extra virgin olive oil is the polyphenols.  Polyphenol is an antioxidant and is accountable in many health studies for decreasing the incidence of heart disease.

Here are 9 further health benefits of extra virgin olive oil

1.Olive Oil Is Rich in Healthy Monounsaturated Fats

The predominant fatty acid in olive oil is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, making up 73% of the total oil content.  Studies suggest that oleic acid reduces inflammation and may even have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.

Monounsaturated fats are also quite resistant to high heat, making extra virgin olive oil a healthy choice for cooking.

2.Extra Virgin Olive Oil Contains Large Amounts of Antioxidants

These antioxidants may reduce your risk of chronic diseases.  They also fight inflammation and help protect your blood cholesterol from oxidation — two benefits that may lower your risk of heart disease.  It is also “heart-healthy” certified by the American Heart Association.

3.Extra Virgin Olive Oil Has Strong Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Chronic inflammation is thought to be a leading driver of diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and even obesity.

Extra-virgin olive oil can reduce inflammation.  The main anti-inflammatory effects are mediated by the antioxidants.  Key among them is oleocanthal, which has been shown to work similarly to ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug.

Additionally, preliminary evidence suggests that due to the antioxidants in olive oil, olive oil may reduce cancer risk, but further studies are needed.

4.Olive Oil May Help Prevent Strokes and Heart Disease

Stroke is caused by a disturbance of blood flow to your brain, either due to a blood clot or bleeding. In developed nations, stroke is the second most common cause of death, right behind heart disease, the most common cause of death in the world.

Extra virgin olive oil  lowers inflammation, protects “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidation, improves the lining of your blood vessels and may help prevent excessive blood clotting.

Interestingly, it has also been shown to lower blood pressure, which is one of the strongest risk factors for heart disease and premature death.

5.Olive Oil May Fight Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative condition in the world.  One of its key features is a buildup of so-called beta-amyloid plaques inside your brain cells.  Some studies suggest that olive oil may combat Alzheimer’s disease, but more research is needed.

6.Olive Oil Can Help Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease characterized by deformed and painful joints.

Though the exact cause is not well understood, it involves your immune system attacking

normal cells by mistake.

Olive oil supplements appear to improve inflammatory markers and reduce oxidative stress in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis.

7.Olive Oil Has Antibacterial Properties

Olive oil contains many nutrients that can inhibit or kill harmful bacteria.   One of these is Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that lives in your stomach and can cause stomach ulcers and stomach cancer.  Pretty amazing!

In summary, quality extra virgin olive oil is incredibly healthy.  Due to its powerful antioxidants, it benefits your heart, brain, joints and more.  In fact, it may be the healthiest single thing you can add to your daily diet.

Cooking with olive oil is beneficial because it is packed with healthy fats, polyphenols, and amino acids, as you read above, and it can help every household establish a balanced diet for each family member.

Best of all, olive oil adds depth to the flavor and smell of food, making it even more delicious.

Make Sure to Get the Right Type of Olive Oil

olive oil facts quality olive oil

As you now know, buying the right kind of olive oil is extremely important.  Extra virgin olive oil retains most of the antioxidants and bioactive compounds from olives.  For this reason, it’s considered healthier than the more refined variety of olive oil.

Even so, there is a lot of falsely labeled olive oil out there, as many oils that read “extra virgin” on the label have been diluted with other refined oils.  Therefore, examine labels carefully to ensure you’re getting real extra virgin olive oil.

It’s always a good idea to read ingredients lists and check for quality certification.At the end of the day, quality extra virgin olive oil is incredibly healthy.  Due to its powerful antioxidants, it benefits your heart, brain, joints and more.

Cibaria International lives by quality, and we would love to extend our products to you.  If you are a business that is passionate about giving people nothing but the best, do not hesitate to reach out for a free consultation or call if you have questions.  Call us at 951-823-8490.

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