OLIVE TREES

History of Olive Oil in Ancient Greece

The olive tree reached ancient Greece in the Bronze Age, setting its roots at an ideal setting, perfect for the world’s finest crop of olives. Ancient Greeks used olives as their main source of fat instead of animal fat because they thought it was unhealthy, since the barbarians ate that way.

For the production of olive oil, ancient Greeks used stone presses and clay tubs to produce excellent quality olive oil, not too dissimilar to virgin olive oil produced today. Olives were first blanched in hot water, pressed, and the mixture of excess water and oil was poured into the tub for the oil to gradually come to the surface. The water was then drained off through a spout and a collecting “pithos” (a large storage jar) was placed in position when all that was left was olive oil.

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9 extra virgin olive oil benefits you never knew

There’s far more to extra virgin olive oil than meets the eye (and tastebuds).

Traditionally boasting low cholesterol, fewer instances of heart disease and very little obesity, the Mediterranean diet has always been defined by the liberal use of extra virgin olive oil. The average Greek consumes 20 litres a year, compared with just 2 litres per person in Australia, so what other secrets does this nectar of the gods contain? Read more

Olive Oil Improves Heart Health

Regular consumption of olive oil can improve heart health even in those who don’t follow a Mediterranean diet, according to a new European study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on November 19, 2014.

A pan-European team of researchers from the University of Glasgow (Scotland), University of Lisbon (Portugal), Instituto de Biologia Experimental Tecnologica, Oeiras (Portugal) and private firm Mosaiques Diagnostics (Germany) examined the effects of phenols, which are natural compounds produced by plants and found in olives, on the heart health of 69 volunteers as part of the study. Read more

Olive Oil Polyphenol Oleuropein Shows Promising Neuroprotective Effects in Cellular Model of Parkinson’s Disease

Described as the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, Parkinson’s disease (PD) has long been associated with high levels of oxidative stress. The primary characteristic of PD is a progressive loss of neurotransmitter dopamine and neuronal degeneration leading to the development of motor symptoms.

Oxidative stress results from an accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and evidence suggests that it contributes to the pathogenesis of PD by affecting the mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis, inflammatory response or lysosomal degradation (autophagy) pathways. Read more

8 Extra Virgin Olive Oil Benefits

Olive trees themselves have been around for many thousands of years. With a long history dating back to ancient civilizations, olive oil is even considered to be one of the most important Bible foods. It’s a staple of the Mediterranean Diet and has been included in the diets of some of the world’s healthiest, longest-living people for centuries — like those living in the blue zones.

Real, high-quality extra virgin olive oil has well-researched anti-inflammatory compounds, antioxidants and numerous heart-healthy macronutrients. Extra virgin olive oil benefits include lowering rates of inflammation, heart disease, depression, dementia and obesity. But with all of that in mind, unfortunately, not all olive oil is created equally — not even all of the “extra virgin” kinds have the requisite olive oil benefits! Read more

Olive Oil: Health Benefits, Nutritional Information

Olive oil, rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, is a major component of the Mediterranean diet.

Populations from that region have longer life expectancies and lower risks of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke, compared with North Americans and Northern Europeans.

Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) are considered a healthy dietary fat, as opposed to saturated fats and trans fats. Read more

Component in EVOO Kills Cancer Cells

A new study has proven that an ingredient in extra virgin olive oil can kill cancer cells.

The results of the study, which will be published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Oncology, were made public on January 23, 2015.

The researchers, nutritional scientist Paul Breslin (Rutgers University), biologist David Foster (Hunter College) and chemist Onica LeGendre (Hunter College) discovered in a lab study that the ingredient, called oleocanthal, causes a rupture of a part of the cancerous cell which releases enzymes and causes cell death, without harming healthy cells. In this way, cancer cells are killed by their own enzymes. Read more

olive oil is good for your heart

Olive Oil Reduces Cardiovascular Problems Associated with Diabetes

Taking three tablespoons of virgin olive oil a day reduces the cardiovascular problems associated with diabetes, according to a study by a group of researchers from the Institute of Biomedical Research of Malaga (IBIMA) recently published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

The study found that taking small doses of hydroxytyrosol usually decreases, and may even prevent, vascular inflammation or vasculopathy associated with diabetes mellitus. Hydroxytyrosol is a type of phenolic compound with high antioxidant capacity found naturally in olives and olive oil. Read more

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Olive Oil

Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) contains more than 36 phenolic compounds. Although all of the phenolic compounds in EVOO have known beneficial effects, one specific compound in particular, known as oleocanthal, has been discovered to have powerful natural anti-inflammatory benefits.

In fact, oleocanthal exhibits the same anti-inflammatory response in the body as NSAID ibuprofen, acting down the exact same pathways as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. Oleocanthal has been shown to stop the inflammatory cascade by inhibiting both cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inflammatory enzymes in a dose-dependent manner. Read more

Olive Oil is for Athletes

In many ways, an athlete’s best nutrient friend should be extra virgin olive oil. This ancient edible oil has at long last re-emerged to beat the pretenders, vegetable oil and canola oil. One reason is because olive oil is an unprocessed ancient method of squeezing this amazing fruit. The result is a fruit juice that happens to be oil. But it is much more; something that has served the health and well being of mankind for 6,000 years. By 400 BC Hippocrates wrote extensively of the health benefits of olive oil. Read more