"Of all the gifts of the earth, I note, olive oil, your perpetual peace, the green heart of your ..."
Pablo Neruda "Ode to olive oil"
Olive oil - a very popular and truly legendary vegetable oil, fanned by rumors and myths - "liquid gold" of the Mediterranean, a gift from the gods of antiquity. However, not the Greeks were the pioneers of olives. Olive trees are cultivated in the Mediterranean began about 6,000 years ago, not long after the residents of the region have learned to produce, and the oil itself. First, the olives were grown only in Asia Minor and Egypt, but over time they have spread to the West - in Spain and Greece, and the Greeks have brought them to Italy.
In the ancient world olive oil was used not only for cooking. Ancient Greeks and Romans used it is also active in medical and cosmetic purposes. In the Middle Ages, the cosmetic properties of oil were a little half-forgotten. However, it has found a new use - has been used in religious services (spruce). In the industrial age, the revival of the cult of cosmetic olive oil that continues to this day.
Olive oil, which is most often the first bagasse retains unsaponifiable fraction comprising the following elements:
• sterols block the absorption of dietary cholesterol intestine;
• tocopherols have antioxidant properties;
• terpenes facilitating secretion of bile acids;
• carotene also having antioxidant properties;
• phospholipids - the main components of cell membranes, particularly membranes of neurons;
• estrone - estrogenic hormones;
• Vitamin A, known as an antioxidant;
• calciferol (vitamin D), which serves for the absorption of calcium in the intestines;
• flavonoids involved in redox reactions of the organism;
• chlorophyll, which allows the oil to its beautiful green color and stimulates the growth of cells, particularly the erythrocytes and leukocytes.
Types of olive oil
The quality and use of olive oil depends on the manner in which it received. There are several grades of olive oils.
Extra virgin olive oil
- Oil is obtained by first cold pressed without the use of chemicals. The main indicator for this oil - fatty acid content in it should not exceed 1%. This type of oil is the most expensive, since the first cold pressing retains all of its healing properties.
Virgin olive oil
- Oil obtained in the second cold extraction without the use of chemicals. This type of oil is inferior in many respects by the color, taste and aroma.
Olive oil (Pure olive oil)
- Oil obtained by chemical extraction oil distilled from the slurry. Although some manufacturers have added to it Extra virgin olive oil or with Virgin olive oil so as to increase the value of the product, it has no characteristics taste and nutritional value inherent in the first two types of oil.
- Butter, with characteristics approaching grade Olive oil. However, this kind of oil has never added quality olive oil. Pomace oil is mainly used as an oil for lighting the lamp for the production of soap and in technical fields.
Most quality is considered to be Greek (especially Cretan) olive oil.
- The content of linoleic acid, which promotes the removal of cholesterol from the body, are several times higher than in a conventional vegetable oil.
- Due to its chemical composition, olive oil is suitable for the diets of pregnant and nursing mothers, as it promotes the proper development of the brain and nervous system of children before and after birth. It is found that the fatty acid in olive oil, very similar to fats that are part of mother's milk.
- US researchers have shown that taking 1 tbsp. of olive oil a day can reduce the risk of breast cancer at 45% with the proviso that both be reduced intake of other fats.
- For the treatment and prophylaxis is recommended to take the olive oil on an empty stomach - drink it in the morning or afternoon.
- In the refined cooking oil is generally used only for frying foods. Unrefined - seasoned salads. Given the high caloric content of olive oil (900 calories per 100 grams), the daily diet is better to limit to two or three tablespoons
This olive oil is fairly easy to distinguish from counterfeits and surrogates. To do this, simply place it on a few hours in the refrigerator. The natural oil (all the same or not refined) on cold white flakes are formed, which at room temperature again disappear. This is due to the content of the olive oil in a percentage of solid fats, which upon cooling solidify and produce the flaky solid inclusions.