The Holy Scriptures make reference to olive oil throughout and healthwise it packs a powerful punch!
Did you know that replacing two tablespoons of saturated fats, such as butter and margarine, with olive oil everyday could actually make your heart healthier? Dozens of studies have been done on olive oil which suggest many more health benefits. In this article we will look at a few of them.
Olive oil is 77% monounsaturated fat. Research studies show it may lower heart disease risk by lowering the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL-low density lipoprotein) in the blood and leaving the good cholesterol (HDL-high density lipoprotein) intact. It slashes the risk of heart disease because it breaks down the plaque in clogged arteries and reduces the risk of hardened arteries. Olive oil also helps fight other illness such as diabetes, arthritis, breast cancer, constipation, the effects of aging and more according to research studies. How? Olive oil contains antioxidants such as vitamin E that protect cells from damage.
Here are some olive oil health tips:
* Replace butter with olive oil to avoid heart disease.
* Cut breast cancer risk by consuming olive oil at two or more meals per day.
* Cook your fish in olive oil to help ease arthritis pain. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (mackerel, salmon, tuna) are good for the relief of arthritis because the omega-3 acids fight inflammation, reduce pain, and decrease the number of affected joints. Olive oil fights inflammation, keeps the pain at bay and lubricates swollen joints. Double whammy attack on arthritis!
* An olive oil rich diet may lower blood sugar levels and reduce insulin needs.
* Olive oil is wonderful as a skin moisturizer and you can even make an herbal scented oil (with lavender or rosemary sprigs, etc.)! A little goes a long way and your skin absorbs it, not immediately but a little after you apply it.
* Just two tablespoons of olive oil in the morning (on an empty stomach) has a positive effect on chronic constipation. It has a mild laxative effect.
The types of olive oil include: extra virgin, pure, light or mild, and olive pomace oil.
Extra virgin – made from cold pressing select olives without any further refining. Best you can buy and is produced in limited quantities so it costs more.
Pure olive oil – this is a blend of refined olive oil and extra virgin or virgin olive oil.
Light or mild olive oil – this is a refined oil with just enough extra virgin oil added to give it a light flavor and color. It is NOT lighter in calories. It has the same caloric and fat content as the other oils.
Olive pomace oil – extracted from the pomace which is the remaining portion of the olive oil after pressing. The resulting oil refined and blended with virgin olive oil to add flavor.
Olive oil will help you tantalize your taste buds while at the same time providing healthy nourishment.
* Use instead of butter on popcorn.
* Add a teaspoon or more to each serving of hearty soup or stew.
* Add some to your tossed salad.
* Use pure olive oil as an all purpose cooking oil.
* Baste turkey and chicken with olive oil.
* Pour olive oil into a plastic container (or recycled margarine tub) and freeze. When solid, store it in the refrigerator and use as a spread instead of butter or margarine!
* Season your cast iron cookware with olive oil.
Storing Olive Oil
You can store olive oil in an airtight container, away from light, in a cool place like your cupboard. Some refrigerate it (I don’t personally), if you do it will become cloudy and eventually it will solidify. To use once this happens, let it come to room temperature and it will clear up/liquify again. Neither quality nor flavor will be affected. Let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
If stored properly, olive oil will keep its flavor for up to two years making it a great addition to your stockpile!!
If you’re adding another flavor to olive oil: Blanch fresh herbs in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel. Add herbs to oil and let stand overnight at room temperature. Refrigerate any oil not immediately used.
Try serving olive oil in a cruet or a decanter. Serve flavored oil in a smaller container to prevent waste (use it up in one day).
Clear glass containers show off olive oil’s great color.
These are just a small portion of the health benefits and uses for olive oil, there are many more. Why not research them for yourself and make olive oil a healthy addition to your diet and life.
**The information provided in this article is not intended as a substitute for medical intervention and/or advice. This article serves as informative only. If you have medical issues or concerns I encourage you to seek the advice of your health practitioner.