Olive Oil - Overview, History Benefits, Precaution, Dosage, FAQ

What is Olive Oil?

Olive oil is extracted oil from the fruit of the olive tree, which belongs to the Olive genus and family of evergreen trees in the Oleaceae family. There are reportedly around 500 different types of olive trees that are planted worldwide.

It is believed that olives originated in southern Turkey, which is situated near the Mediterranean Sea and still has wild olive trees growing there. Depending on the type of olives used to extract the oil, different olive oils have distinct flavours and scents. The consumption of olive oil is increasing day by day. It is a popular oil used for a healthy diet. Large amounts of oleic acid are found in olive oil which provides several benefits to the body, like lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and prevent arteriosclerosis and heart disease. Additionally, it has active components like vitamin E and vegetable squalane that can be applied straight to the skin to enhance its appearance. The Mediterranean coast's nations and regions, such as Spain, Italy, and Greece are the primary producers of olive oil. The fruit is gathered in the Mediterranean region from late October to early February. Fruits can range greatly in sweetness and aroma, such as almonds, and can be identified by variety, climate, soil, harvest period, and plucking. Each person has different qualities from the olive oil, and the finished product has different flavours as well.

History Of Olive Oil

Olives are believed to have originated around 6,000 years ago in the Mediterranean region of what is now Syria. It is reported that it first reached Egypt by way of the island of Crete, then travelled to Turkey via the island of Cyprus. Olive oil has a long history, and since it can be made by simply squeezing the fruit itself, it is known from ancient ruins that olive oil was used around 4000 BC. Olive is not native to India. In 2007, the nation started producing olive oil after importing olive seedlings from Israel and putting them in the Thar Desert. In India, the first olive harvest took place in 2012, and commercial production of olive oil started in September 2013.

History Of Olive Research: A 1950s study on nutrition and illness that was carried out in seven nations, including Greece and Italy, discovered that those who lived near the Mediterranean coast found that the incidence of disease was low. As a result, attention has been focused on the possibility that a Mediterranean-style diet centred on olive oil may have the effect of preventing heart disease. Following that, studies were conducted and it was revealed that the high content of oleic acid found in olive oil could lower cholesterol. The following are the main components of the Mediterranean diet, which is becoming more and more popular due to its health benefits.

Types Of Olive Oil

Olive oil is made by extracting the juice from olive fruits without applying heat and leaving only the oil that rises to the surface. It has recently become possible to extract oil rapidly and effectively by grinding the fruit and using a centrifuge to remove the juice. Different names for olive oil exist based on the grade and technique of manufacture. Pure and virgin olive oils are widely available in India.

  • Virgin Olive Oil: Virgin Olive oil is made without the use of chemicals; it is just extracted by pressing the olive fruit and filtering. This oil has an acidity of less than 1% and is initially pressed without the use of heat. It can be used raw, as in sauces or straight on toast, because of its potent flavour and scent.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: This oil is a mixture of refined second-pressed olive oil and virgin olive oil. It is now referred to as just olive oil instead of pure olive oil. It is good for cooking and has the quality of not quickly decaying.

Component Of Olive Oil

Olive oil is classified as monovalent unsaturated fatty acids. It is an active ingredient that also contains more than 70% oleic acid in rapeseed oil and safflower oil. Monounsaturated fatty acids are those that are less prone than other fatty acids to be oxidised by heat and to form lipid peroxides, which are linked to ageing and several disorders. As a result, olive oil high in oleic acid resists oxidation and can be stored for a long time. Additionally, oleic acid promotes the release of stomach acid, lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and regulates intestinal health.

Polyphenols with antioxidant potential are also present in olive oil. Because vitamin A eliminates active oxygen from the body, it is anticipated to be beneficial in both preventing and treating lifestyle-related disorders such as arteriosclerosis, heart disease, and high blood pressure. When olive oil is kept in an area that receives light, it turns from green to yellow. This is because, when exposed to light, chlorophyll, the green pigment found in olive oil, breaks down, lightening the oil's green hue and turning it yellowish. Furthermore, olive oil has a characteristic that solidifies and turns white in cold weather.

Benefits Of Olive Oil

Olive oil prevents heart disease-oleic acid, vitamin A, vitamin E, and polyphenol. Because of its content, it can be expected to have the following health benefits:

Decreased cholesterol levels: It has been discovered that the high content of oleic acid in olive oil can reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Oleic acid can retrieve excess cholesterol that bad (LDL) cholesterol has deposited in the blood vessels. Bad (LDL) cholesterol's role is to carry excess cholesterol through the blood vessels and deliver it to the necessary locations. Dairy products and animal fats are heavy in cholesterol and saturated fat. Consuming excessive amounts of these meals can raise your blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Lifestyle-related disorders like arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, and diabetes are brought on by an increase in bad (LDL) cholesterol that oxidises and sticks to blood vessel inner walls. Furthermore, the presence of β-phytosterols in olive oil has been demonstrated to have the effect of blocking the intestinal absorption of cholesterol. The US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has recently advised that those with high levels of bad cholesterol take 2 tablespoons (25 g) of olive oil daily due to its ability to lower bad (LDL) cholesterol. It has been reported that consuming olive oil is effective.

Prevent heart disease and arteriosclerosis: Olive oil contains a high amount of oleic acid, which is claimed to be beneficial in preventing heart disease and arteriosclerosis. Throughout the 1950s, Dr. Ansel Keith and others studied the relationship between nutrition and illness in seven different nations: the US, the Netherlands, Finland, Greece, Italy, the former Yugoslavia, and Japan. The survey's findings revealed that, in Greece, the percentage of heart disease-related mortality was less than 10% of that in the US, a country where obesity and other lifestyle-related illnesses were already on the rise. To determine the cause, more research was done. The Greek island of Crete was the survey's current goal. In addition to being one of the places on Earth where people live the longest, this island is well-known for producing olives. It's also well known that each person on this island consumes a significant amount of olive oil annually. This led to the hypothesis that the island's food, which mostly consisted of olive oil, may have a significant bearing on longevity. Compared to other places, the food of the people living on this island is high in dietary fibre from fruits, vegetables, and legumes, as well as olive oil. It's a "Mediterranean-style diet," which entails consuming foods high in fresh dairy products, like yoghurt, and a few animal fats, like butter and meat. 

Lower Blood Pressure: When treating the symptoms of high blood pressure, olive oil can reduce blood pressure. Research has demonstrated that incorporating olive oil into a diet together with regular hypertension medication can result in a blood pressure improvement that lasts for over six months, indicating the effectiveness of olive oil in treating high blood pressure.

Regulate Intestinal Environment: Olive oil has long been recognized for its ability to control the environment inside the intestines means it supports overall gut health. Giving olive oil to children is a ritual in the Mediterranean region. It is reasonable to anticipate that the oleic acid in olive oil will stimulate the intestines and encourage easy bowel movements.

Beautifying Effect: Applying olive oil to the skin is thought to have a beauty effect. It is reported that ladies in the Mediterranean area prepare milky lotions using extra virgin olive oil and then apply them to their skin. Vegetable squalane, vitamin A, vitamin E, and polyphenols are just a few of the active components in olive oil besides oleic acid that helps to moisturise the skin. Direct application of olive oil to the skin preserves it and increases metabolism. Furthermore, because the components of olive oil are comparable to those of breast milk and human sebum, it is well-recognized to be less prone to trigger allergies. It is claimed to work even on sensitive skin types and has the added benefit of reducing inflammation in addition to hydrating the skin. In addition, it is frequently used as a soap, a cleanser, and a hair conditioner by kneading it into the scalp.

Olive Oil Dosage and How to use it?

Olive oil is a versatile and tasty addition to a well-balanced diet. An ideal recommendation is to consume 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily for the preservation of general health. The optimal dosage varies depending on one's health goals. This moderation in consumption offers a plentiful supply of monounsaturated fats, which support cardiovascular health by raising good cholesterol and lowering bad cholesterol. Well, it is ideal to consult a healthcare professional or dietician for an accurate dose.

Knowing how to include olive oil in your daily routine is crucial if you want to reap its full benefits. Here are some useful suggestions for making efficient use of olive oil:

  1. Raw Applications: Raw olive oil is one of the easiest ways to enjoy it. You may even drizzle it over a slice of whole-grain bread or veggies and salads. This guarantees that you receive all of its health advantages, like antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities, while preserving its unique flavours.
  2. Cooking and Sauteing: Olive oil can be used for cooking and sauteing due to its high smoke point. Replace less healthful cooking fats and oils in your recipes with it. Olive oil gives your food a delicious flavour whether you're roasting veggies, stir-frying, or doing a simple sauté.
  3. Marinades and Dressings: Blend garlic, citrus, and herbs with olive oil to create tasty marinades for meats and veggies. It helps tenderise proteins and improves flavour as well. To improve the nutritional value of your salads, you can also use it as a foundation for homemade salad dressings.
  4. Drizzling on Finished meals: After cooking, give your meals a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for a finishing touch. This guarantees that every bite of the food is delicious and adds a burst of fresh flavour.
  5. Baking and Grilling: Use olive oil to coat meats and veggies before grilling or incorporate it into your baking recipes. This gives your dishes a delicate, nutty flavour and aids in moisture retention.
  6. Applying On Skin: Olive oil is used for topical medications like ointments in addition to eating. Additionally, olive oil has cleaning properties. Extra virgin olive oil, in particular, is a natural cleanser that is extremely mild on human skin and does not include any surfactants or other additives.

Always remember that quality counts, thus because extra virgin olive oil has more nutrients, go for it. Try out various varieties to find out your preferred taste profile, and enjoy the health benefits of this liquid gold in your daily meals.

Olive Oil Precaution

For best results, it's important to follow a few precautions while using olive oil.

  • To maintain its freshness, first select premium extra virgin olive oil and keep it in a dark, cold area. 
  • Cooking should not be done too hotly to preserve its healthy qualities. 
  • Use olive oil in moderation, as it is calorie-dense. 
  • Inspect for any indications of rancidity, such as disagreeable tastes or smells, and dispose of them if found.
  • People who have allergies or sensitivity should be caution and seek medical advice if they experience any negative side effects.

Who Can Use Olive Oil?

Everyone can use olive oil, but the following people must consume it-

  • Those who are concerned about their cholesterol level
  • Those who want to prevent arteriosclerosis
  • Those with high blood pressure
  • Those who want to maintain intestinal health
  • Those who want to have beautiful skin.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) On Olive Oil

  1. Is olive oil good for hair?

Olive oil nourishes hair, adding shine and moisture. Its antioxidants promote a healthy scalp.

  1. What is olive oil?

Olive oil is a natural oil extracted from olives, rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.

  1. Is olive oil good for health?

Yes, olive oil supports heart health, reduces inflammation, and provides beneficial fats.

  1. Is olive oil good for face?

Olive oil moisturises and nourishes the skin, making it a good natural moisturiser.

  1. How to use olive oil for hair growth?

Massage warm olive oil into the scalp, leave it on, and then wash.

  1. What is pomace olive oil?

Pomace olive oil is extracted from olive pulp, often used in cooking.

  1. How to apply olive oil on face?

Apply a small amount, massage in circular motions, and rinse or leave it overnight.

  1. How to use olive oil for face?

Use as a moisturiser or in DIY masks for soft, hydrated skin.

  1. How to apply olive oil to hair?

Apply to damp hair, focusing on ends, and leave for a conditioning treatment.

  1. How to use olive oil for hair?

Use as a pre-shampoo treatment or mix with a conditioner for added hydration.

  1. What is the benefit of olive oil?

Olive oil benefits include heart health, skincare, and anti-inflammatory properties.

  1. Which is the original olive oil?

Extra virgin olive oil is considered the purest and highest quality.

  1. Is using olive oil daily okay?

Yes, in moderation, daily use of olive oil is generally safe and beneficial.

  1. Is it okay to massage babies with olive oil?

Yes, using olive oil for baby massages can be gentle and nourishing for their skin.

  1. When can a newborn be given olive oil?

Wait until the baby is a few months old before introducing olive oil.

  1. Olive oil or baby oil: which is good?

Olive oil is a natural choice, while baby oil may contain additives. Always check for sensitivities.

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