The Secrets of Olive Oil
Olive culture has ancient roots. The Olive is among the oldest known cultivated trees in the world. It comes from Asia Minor and was spread to the rest of the Mediterranean region 6,000 years ago. The use of oil is found in many religions and cultures. It has been used during special ceremonies and also as a general health treatment. During baptism in the Christian church, olive oil is often used as holy oil.
The Greeks were the ones who spread the culture of olive oil and the techniques of harvesting the olive oil. They say that the sun, stone, drought, silence and solitude are the five ingredients that create the ideal habitat for the olive tree.
Today the olive oil is so popular because of its nutritional values. The extra-virgin olive oil is the most digestible of fats: it contains important acids that are not produced by our bodies; it helps to assimilate vitamins A, D and K; it slows down the aging process; it helps bile, liver and intestinal functions, and it is also believed to help prevent many types of cancers.
If you suffer from constipation, take one tablespoon of extra virgin oil first thing in the morning, another tablespoon an hour after your dinner, drink plenty of water and exercise regularly.
There are many types of olive oil, which have been divided by the amount of processing they go to:
Extra virgin olive oil
To earn extra virgin title, an olive oil should meet four criteria: it must be produced by mechanical extraction methods where no chemicals or heat is used, come only from first cold-pressing, have an acidity level of less than one percent, and must have a perfect taste. Extra virgin olive oil is valued for its perfect balance in terms of aroma, color, flavor, and acidity level. It is the least processed; therefore, it contains the most nutrients.
Usually it comes from the second pressing of the olives, although it can also come from the first pressing too, and is also produced without refining. Virgin olive oil has a higher acidity level of up to 2%. Its flavor intensity can vary and its taste is less mild than extra virgin olive oil.
Pure Olive Oil
This is now called olive oil and is a blend of virgin olive oil and refined olive oil. It goes through some processing, which might include filtering and refining. It is combined with a little extra virgin olive oil to give it flavor. Pure olive oil has the same acidity level as virgin olive oil, and that is why it has good resistance to high temperatures. It is less expensive than virgin olive oil because of its lower nutrient content.
This is light tasting and light colored oil was significantly processed. Because of its name, people believe that they are buying oil that has lower content of fat or calorie. The truth is lite oils have 125 calories per tablespoon – exactly like all olive oils.
When choosing an olive oil:
Always buy Extra Virgin olive oil.
Choose the oil in dark tinted bottles because this will protect it from direct exposure to light. For more information about proper storage of oils click here...
Always keep your oils in cool areas, away from heat.
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