Olive oil is the pure oil obtained from the fruit of olive trees. No oil obtained using solvents, re-esterification processes, or mixed with other vegetable oils qualifies under this description.
Fats and oils are an essential part of a balanced diet. Olive oil is easily digested – and quickly and completely absorbed by the system. In addition, trace components like chlorophyll help the absorption, and the aroma and taste stimulate our appetite – an important assist for the digestive process.
There are many different kinds of olive varieties from which oil can be produced, and each brings a unique flavor and quality to the oil. While some olive oil is made by blending different olive varieties together, mono-varietals are made using just one. It is the variety of olive, along with the maturity of the fruit, that contributes most to the flavor of the oil.
Olive oil tasters describe the positive attributes are described in the following terms:
Fruity: Having pleasant spicy fruit flavors characteristic of fresh ripe or green olives. Ripe fruit yields oils that are milder, aromatic, buttery, and floral. Green fruit yields oils that are grassy, herbaceous, bitter, and pungent. Fruitiness also varies by the variety of olive.
Bitter: Creating a mostly pleasant acrid flavor sensation on the tongue.
Pungent: Creating a peppery sensation in the mouth and throat.
Health Benefits of Olive Oil
Olive oil is also effective in fighting against diseases such as:
Heart Disease: Olive oil helps lower levels of blood cholesterol leading to heart disease.
Oxident Stress: Olive oil contains antioxidents such as Vitamin E, carotenoids and phenolic compounds which also help lead to long life.
Cancer: A number of research studies have documented that olive oil reduces the risk of breast cancer. Eating a healthy diet with olive oil as the main source of fat could considerably lower cancer incidence.
Blood Pressure: Recent studies indicate that regular consumption of olive oil can help decrease both systolic (maximum) and diastolic (minimum) blood pressure.
Diabetes: It helps lower “bad” low-density lipoproteins while improving blood sugar control and enhances insulin sensitivity.