HEALTH BENEFITS OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
In addition to the wonderful flavour it adds to your food, olive oil is also one of nature's healing wonders. The health properties of olive oil are infinite when correctly harvested and cold pressed.
The low rate of heart diseases and the longevity of those living in the Mediterranean countries has led to major research into the benefits of this mystical fruit and resulted in the much publicized Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean's have long learnt that the oil from olives keeps hearts healthy, reduces inflammation and reduces the risk of certain cancers.
At Olijvenhof we press with exacting care and are devoted to producing the finest extra virgin olive oil in order to retain vital polyphenols. Our oil is free of additives and preservatives.
The populations of Spain, France, Italy and Greece consumes on average 4 litres of olive oil per month as compared to South Africans who consume a mere 50ml.
Olives have a high content of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and, along with avocados have the highest fat content of any fruit.
The essential benefit of Olive oil is that it bolsters the immune system and helps to protect you against viruses.
Research suggests a minimum of one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to benefit from the daily required dosage of Omega 3.
· Instead of butter, freeze olive oil and spread bread or toast
· Drizzle on mielies instead of butter
· Drizzle on salads
· On Baked potatoes
· Add a spoon to smoothies
Extra virgin olive oil can also assist in the following:
Olive oil helps to improve bone mineralization and calcium absorption therefore playing a role in preventing the onset of Osteoporosis.
Vitamin E has long been added to face creams and to food products as an anti-aging ingredient and promotes longevity. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants of which Vitamin E is the prime one. As an antioxidant it fights against free radicals protecting cells from the damage of oxidation thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat which lowers bad blood cholesterol without affecting good cholesterol.
The monounsaturated fatty acids, most notably Oleicacid lowers LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol in the blood and raises HDL.
Oleocanthal, a phytonutrient in Olive oil, mimics the effects of ibuprofen to reduce inflammation. This has been shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer and any recurrence.
Lab results have shown that olive oil, consumed regularly can decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure
Of all the plant oils, olive oil is the highest in Monounsaturated fat, which does not oxidize in the body and is low in polyunsaturated fat which does.
Olive oil contains Alpha-linolenic acid, omega3 fatty acid which promotes health by reducing hypertension, it reduces the risk of auto-immune diseases. It also acts as a blood thinner which in turn prevents the formation of clots.
Olives are rich in a pigment called Anthocyanin which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Olive oil, included in a diet of moderate carbohydrates, fibre from vegetables, pulses and grains is an effective approach for diabetics. Bad low-density lipoproteins are lowered, insulin sensitivity is enhanced and blood sugar is better controlled.
Although not yet proven it has none the less been observed that people with diets containing high levels of olive oil are less likely to develop Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Olive oil is also known to prevent gall stones and to improve depression.
Should one wish to take olive oil specifically for its health benefits as a protection against any of the above health conditions, the recommended dosage would be between 25 to 40 grams per day or about 2 to 3 teaspoons.
Olive oil contains polyphenols, Vitamin E and other natural anti-oxidants that are the oil's own natural preservative.
Polyphenols absorb free radicals, they have a positive impact on cardiovascular disease and certain forms of cancer and clinical studies confirm they act as an anti-inflammatory.
Polyphenols decrease during milling and storage and naturally deteriorate over a period of two years. They deteriorate faster if not stored in ideal storage facilities. With all these factors in mind we at Olijvenhof, mill our olives within 24 hours of picking, we cold press on the estate and we store in air tight cylinders which stand in cool storage.
Oils are classified as Mild, Medium, and Robust (or Intense).
Robust olive oil tends to have a Total Phenol level above 300mg/kg while mild oils have levels below 180mg/kg.
Olijvenhof therefore prides itself in producing high quality Robust/Intense oil.