Olive Oil – A Gift Given to us for Generations
Dating back 6000 years, the Mediterranean olive was native to Iran, Syria and Palestine and then spreading to the Mediterranean basin thereafter. It is one of the earliest known cultivated trees and it is further restated in the Bible wherein an olive leaf was that which a dove brought back to Noah, as an indication the great flood waters were abating.
In a sunny position and climate is where the olive tree thrives best but it also suits well in a rocky subsoil. Olive wood, for its durability, is valuable and is crafted into many items such as gourmet cooking utensils. The olive tree, although it experiences slow growth, still lives very long and further proof of this is the fact that the olive trees on Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, are reportedly over 2000 years old. It is commonly believed the Bible passage of “the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine,” refers to the olive tree since olive leaves are silver gray-green, and possesses the health qualities of “olive leaf extract” which is pressed from them. Oleuropein is a bitter substance extracted from olive leaves, which is also reported by researchers in the 1960’s to lower blood pressure in animals, which is then causing immediate medicinal interest in the olive leaf.
While Egyptian tombs dating back as far as 2000 BC have been proven to contain olives, the olive is also believed to be a source of wealth for the Minoan Kingdom. Many religions and cultures, such as the case wherein the Greeks spread the usage of olives to the Romans who, in turn, spread it across their vast empire, is advocating the use of olive oil. The fact that olive oil is anointed to the early Greek Kings and was also used to anoint winning Olympic athletes is only saying that olive oil is recognized for healthy benefits for both the inner and outward body.
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Since olive oil also helps to assimilate vitamins A, D and K in the human body, some research indicates extra-virgin olive oil is the most digestible of the edible fats. Aside from helping liver, bile, and intestinal functions, the benefits of consuming olive oil includes slowing down the aging process. No heat or chemicals is required in a cold pressed olive oil, thus destroying vital nutrients. This olive oil is generally the best to use for cooking and healthy cuisine because olive oil is valued for its culinary attributes and organoleptic virtues, these being the flavor, bouquet or aroma, and color.News For This Month: Recipes