Olives and olive oil have played an important role in the diet of Greeks since ancient times. No other fruit bearing tree has been so closely connected to Greek culinary tradition and no other fruit has given a gift so precious as olive oil. With so many benefits to health and the ability to make all food delicious, olive oil is the undisputed “king” of the famous Mediterranean diet.
In Ancient Greek Mythology it is said that the Goddess Athena granted the gift of an Olive tree to the Athenian’s, and they in return and in her honor gave their city her name. There have been Olive trees in Crete since the Minoan period. Olives have grown on the slopes of the Laconia hills since ancient times.
Olive oil is ideal for cooking, compared to other oils and fats, as it has reduced acidity. This is because it contains less mono-saturated fats. Research carried out on humans and animals has shown that even if heated at 220oC centigrade olive oil does not affect liver function and the metabolism of fats negatively, neither does affect the growth rate of the body.
Today’s scientists have explained why the consumption of Olive oil is so beneficial.
Olive oil acts as a “shield” against ill-health:
- It helps reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol (LDL)
in the blood stream.
- Its strong antioxidants help prevent cardiovascular diseases
and coronary disease.
- It aids in the reduction of gastric acids and in the treatment
of stomach ulcers.
- It helps to prevent cancer
- It rejuvenates the skin
- It aids improved bowel function.
- It improves bodily functions in diabetics and balances sugar levels.
- Finally Vitamin E acting as a strong antioxidant protects neurons
With the aid of modern technology it is possible to extract superior quality oil from the olives, thus maintaining all its beneficial nutrients