Olive oil and its nonpareil benefits
June 15th, 2015 | Naveed Mushtaq, Waleed Ahmad and Dr. Nasir Ahmad Khan | No Comments
OLIVE OIL is light yellow to greenish oil gained from the fruit of olive trees. People have been consuming olive oil for thousands of years and it is now more popular than ever, thanks to its numerous verified health benefits and its culinary utility. It is produced mostly in Algeria, Italy, Greece, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Tunisia. Olive oil comprises 14% of saturated fat and 73% of monosaturated fat and considered the fittest of all oils for cooking. One tablespoon of olive oil comprises 120 calories.
The olive tree and olive oil are stated seven times in the Holy Quran and is admired as a precious fruit. Olive oil is probably the single worldwide consumed and traded product most closely associated to the non-Mediterranean; Mediterranean nations, account for less than 2.5 % of global production. The edible olive has been cultivated for at least 5,000 to 6,000 years, while the most antique proof of olive growing has been located in Palestine, Crete and Syria. The olive tree is native to the Western Asia and Mediterranean region, and spread to neighboring countries from there. As far back as 3000 BC, olives were cultivated commercially in Crete. The characteristics of the oil differ with the environment, variety and cultivation of olive. In all existing eatable oils, olive oil is one of the most digestible. To make the premium, or extra-virgin olive oil, the fruit is collected when entirely ripened, ground to a paste under granite or steel millstones, layered over straw mats, and pressed in a hydraulic press.
The health advantages of olive oil are incomparable and research exposes more benefits every day. In fact, we are only just beginning to understand the numerous ways olive oil can enhance our life, and our health. As olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and, unlike lard, butter, and other fats, comprises a large ratio of easily digested fats and no cholesterol. Olive oil also contains vitamin E, which is assumed to protect humans against heart disease and cancer. Olive oil is often used in place of cream and butter and as a cooking fat and salad oil. Substituting butter and other less healthy fats with olive oil has been revealed to help in the prevention of a myriad of diseases and counter effects of aging.
Olive is acknowledged to be rich in minerals and vitamins because of its non-chemical way of extraction. It is assumed to decline in the rate of cardiac disease due to its high content of monosaturated fatty acids like oleic acids. This helps raise HDL and lower LDL levels, and makes the arterial walls more flexible. Its anti-oxidative properties also help lessen the cholesterol level in the blood. Olive oil intake has benefit for breast and colon cancer prevention. One prominent cardiologist recommends minimum two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil every day. Olive Oil is nourishing and calming to the skin, it is assumed to have cell-regenerative abilities. Furthermore olive oil is used in conditioners, lipsticks, shampoos, soaps and hairdressings. It resists rancidity, stable and has outstanding lubricating characteristics. In various ways olive oil can be helpful to your wellbeing and health.
The smoke point of oil is the temperature at which it starts burning. The use of light oils is suggested while cooking at high temperatures. The smoke point of olive oil is lesser than regular vegetable oil and differs from 215° to 242°. The smoke point of vegetable oils differ and are higher for oils used for frying, like safflower oil and canola oil. Olive Oil has a very unique flavor, and has become more prominent in cooking nowadays. Grades of olive oils are determined by the techniques of extraction and the acid content of the extracted oil. The three categories of olive oil are pure olive, virgin and extra virgin. Extra virgin oil is one of the most costly. This type has the lowest acidity levels (less than 1%) of the three types. Because of its perfect stability in aroma, color and taste, it is served with bread and also used in dressings. Its aroma and taste is specific to the area it comes from. Virgin olive oil has higher level of acidity (up to 3.3%) as compared to extra virgin oil. Pure olive oil is a term given to a mixture of virgin and refined olive oil. Because of its blended nature, it is inexpensive and utilized in cooking involving high temperatures.
In Pakistan, there is a lot of potential for olive cultivation. The estimates have shown that if eight million wild olive trees existing in different provinces are grafted and converted into the productive olive then there is a potential of earning a maximum of one billion dollars yearly. Likewise, we may earn a maximum of 9 billion dollars yearly if olive cultivation is made on cultivable potential waste lands.
Published in: Volume 06 Issue 24
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