The Magical Ingredient Called Olive Oil

olive oilOlive oil has become hailed as one of the healthiest foods available today, and countless articles have been written about its health enhancing properties. Many chefs will use nothing but olive oil, even specifying that this be “extra virgin”. Here’s what this oil has meant to people throughout history and what it can do for the ordinary cook today.

How long has olive oil been around?

Since 6000 BC, communities in the eastern coastal villages of the Mediterranean have produced oil from olives. For hundreds of years before and after this period, olives were cultivated as an important commercial product. In fact, in the island of Crete, there are seven olive trees that have been around for 2,000 to 3,000 years.

Olive oil was a major export merchandise of Crete, Canaan, and Syria – a fact attested to by the discovery in Egypt of oil filled jars dating back to 2000 BC. This oil may have been produce through mills or oil presses which were used in the Fertile Crescent, the area that today consists of Israel, Lebanon, and Palestine. [Read more…]

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Enjoy Fried and Sautéed Foods Without Guilt: Health Benefits From Olive Oil

health benefits from olive oilOlive oil is the touted keystone of the healthy Mediterranean diet. It is the “secret” of those living in the Mediterranean where olive trees grow in abundance and which account for their longer longevity. Olive oil can provide human bodies with just the right type of fats, a rocket fuel as an energy source and a valuable source of lipids necessary to support processes and the cellular structure. It also contains antioxidants that promote healthy cellular processes and reduce the risks for coronary diseases.

There is a long list of studies vouching its numerous health benefits. A diet that includes oil can help avert heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s among others. It can also help improve your condition if you will faithfully stick to olive oil (and a healthy diet and exercise) rather than butter or other types of unhealthy oil. It comes handy when sautéing and frying foods, two cooking processed that can make food all more glorious-tasting. [Read more…]

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