Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Amazing Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts & History

A Brief History of Olive Oil

Olive oil is made from a fruit, not a seed like most other vegetable oils. Homer was the first person to call olive oil "liquid gold." This was thousands of years ago. This oil is a key part of the Mediterranean diet, which is one of the healthiest diets you can follow.

Olive oil was first made and used by the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans during the classical period, thousands of years ago. At that time, they started to grow olive trees and squeeze the juice out of the olives. But the olive tree, its fruit, and olive oil got to be as important as they are today in Ancient Greece.

It's not a coincidence that these things show up on coins and tombs as signs of eternal life.


During the time of the Roman Empire, people started using olive oil more and more in the Mediterranean Basin. This spread until it reached Hispania, the name the Romans gave to Spain when it was a province of their empire. This was the best place to get "liquid gold." Spain, which makes more olive oil than any other country in the world, carries on this tradition.

Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated lipids, which are beneficial to one's health, and it also contains a significant amount of antioxidants. In addition to that, it has characteristics that can reduce inflammation.

What is Olive Oil?

In its most basic form, olive oil is the oil that comes from pressing the fruit of olive trees. The liquid can then be filtered and refined to make cooking oil, salad oil, and dips. There are different kinds of olive oil based on how the oil was extracted, what was added to it, and how much free oleic acid it has (a naturally occurring fatty acid). The most common types of olive oil also called olive oil grades, are plain or regular olive oil, virgin olive oil, and extra virgin olive oil. Each one can taste, look, and have different amounts of oleic acid.

What Is the Difference Between Refined Olive Oil and Unrefined Olive Oil?

The difference between refined and unrefined olive oil is that unrefined olive oil stays in its purest form, while refined oil is heated and filtered to get rid of any flaws that can be seen. Extra virgin olive oil isn't changed much, if at all, so it can keep its strong flavors and color. Olive oil will lose some of its smell and flavor as it is refined. It will also become lighter in color. It also loses some of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)?

Extra virgin olive oil is olive oil that hasn't been processed, so it keeps all of its flavor and health benefits. It is usually a golden-green color and tastes a little bit like pepper. To make it, olives are ground into a paste and pressed to get the oil. For olive oil to be called "extra-virgin," it can't be treated with chemicals or heat when it's being pressed and put into bottles. When olive oil is heated, the fats break down and the amount of free oleic acid goes up. This makes the oil less healthy and less nutritious.

Extra-virgin olive oil can only be called that if it has less than 1% free oleic acid. Oil growers must press the olives while they are still cold to keep the oil from getting too hot. Extra virgin olive oil is a healthy alternative to other oils like canola oil and sunflower oil because it still has all of its natural vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.


What Is the Difference Between Olive Oil vs Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

The difference between olive oil and extra virgin olive oil is that olive oil is heated to get the oil out and then refined, while extra virgin olive oil is pressed cold and isn't refined. Most of the time, extra virgin olive oil tastes stronger and looks darker than regular olive oil. Regular olive oil is great for cooking and frying, but extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point and tastes best when not heated.

What Is the Difference Between Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Virgin Olive Oil?

Virgin olive oil is made using the same cold-pressing method as extra virgin olive oil, but its purity isn't checked as carefully, so it can't be called "extra-virgin." Extra virgin olive oil is usually darker and has a greener tint. It also tastes stronger and has more peppery notes.

What Is the Difference Between Olive Oil vs Virgin Olive Oil?

The main difference between regular olive oil and virgin olive oil is that regular oil is refined, heated, and filtered, while virgin olive oil is mostly not refined and is made by pressing the olives cold. Regular olive oil is much lighter in color and flavor than virgin olive oil. It is better for cooking when the flavor of the oil is not an important part of the recipe.


Here Are Some of The Key Health Benefits of Olive Oil

1. Olive Oil is high in monounsaturated fats, which are good for you

    Olives, the product of the olive tree, are the source of olive oil, a natural oil that is extracted from the olives.

    Saturated fat makes up approximately 14% of the oil, while polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-6 and omega-3 make up approximately 11%.

    However, oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat, makes up 73% of the total oil composition in olive oil, and it is the fatty acid that predominates in olive oil.

    According to several studies, oleic acid helps reduce inflammation and may even have a protective impact on genes that are associated with cancer.

    Because monounsaturated lipids can withstand higher temperatures without becoming rancid, extra virgin olive oil is an excellent option for culinary use.

    2. Olive Oil has a lot of antioxidants in it.

      Extra virgin olive oil has a lot of health benefits. In addition to the good fatty acids it has, it also has a small amount of vitamins E and K.

      Additionally, is full of powerful antioxidants.

      These antioxidants work in the body and may lower your risk of chronic diseases. They also fight inflammation and protect your blood cholesterol from oxidation, two things that may lower your risk of heart disease.

      3. Olive oil is very good at fighting inflammation.

        Chronic inflammation is thought to be a major cause of diseases like cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's, arthritis, and even obesity.

        Extra-virgin olive oil can reduce inflammation, which may be one of the main reasons for its health benefits.


        Antioxidants are the main things that stop inflammation from happening. One of the most important is oleocanthal, which has been shown to work like the painkiller ibuprofen.

        Some scientists think that the oleocanthal in 3.4 tablespoons (50 ml) of extra virgin olive oil has the same effect as 10% of the adult dose of ibuprofen.

        Research also shows that the main fatty acid in olive oil, oleic acid, can lower levels of important markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP).

        One study also showed that some genes and proteins that cause inflammation can be stopped by the antioxidants in olive oil.

        4. Olive Oil may help Prevent Strokes

          A stroke happens when a blood clot or bleeding stops blood from getting to the brain.  Stroke is the second most common cause of death in developed countries, right after heart disease.

          A lot of research has been done on the link between olive oil and the risk of stroke.

          A large review of studies on 841,000 people found that olive oil was the only source of monounsaturated fat linked to a lower risk of stroke and heart disease. In another study with 140,000 people, those who ate olive oil had a much lower chance of having a stroke than those who didn't.

          1. Olive Oil helps protect against heart disease

          Heart disease kills more people than anything else in the world. A few decades ago, observational studies showed that heart disease is less common in countries along the Mediterranean.

          This led to a lot of research into the Mediterranean diet, which has now been shown to cut the risk of heart disease by a lot. One of the most important parts of this diet is extra virgin olive oil, which helps protect against heart disease in several ways.

          It reduces inflammation, keeps "bad" LDL cholesterol from getting oxidized, improves the lining of your blood vessels, and may help keep your blood from clotting too much.


          It's also been shown to lower blood pressure, which is one of the biggest risks for heart disease and dying too soon. One study found that olive oil made people need blood pressure medicine 48% less often.

          Dozens or even hundreds of studies show that extra virgin olive oil is good for your heart in many ways.

          You may want to eat a lot of extra virgin olive oil if you have heart disease, a family history of heart disease, or any other major risk factor.

          1. Olive Oil is not linked with getting fat or gaining weight.

          If you eat too much fat, you will gain weight.

          But many studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet, which is high in olive oil, is good for your weight.

          A 30-month study of more than 7,000 Spanish college students found no link between eating a lot of olive oil and gaining weight.


          Also, a three-year study with 187 people found that eating a lot of olive oil was linked to having more antioxidants in the blood and losing weight.

          1. Olive Oil might help fight Alzheimer's Disease

          Alzheimer's disease is the most common disease that causes brain cells to die.

          One of the most important things about it is that beta-amyloid plaque builds up inside your brain cells. One study with mice showed that a substance in olive oil can help get rid of these plaques.

          Also, a study on people showed that a Mediterranean diet high in olive oil was good for brain function.

          Keep in mind that there needs to be more research done on how olive oil affects Alzheimer's.

          1. Olive Oil may cut the chance of getting Type 2 diabetes

          Olive oil seems to protect against type 2 diabetes in a big way. Several studies have shown that olive oil can help lower blood sugar and make insulin work better.

          A recent randomized clinical trial with 418 healthy people confirmed that olive oil is good for you. In this study, a Mediterranean diet high in olive oil cut the risk of type 2 diabetes by more than 40%.

          1. The antioxidants in olive oil are good at fighting cancer.


          Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world.

          Many researchers think that olive oil may be the reason why people in Mediterranean countries have a lower risk of some cancers.

          Olive oil has antioxidants that can help stop oxidative damage from free radicals, which is thought to be a major cause of cancer.

          Several studies done in test tubes have shown that compounds in olive oil can kill cancer cells.

          More research needs to be done to find out if olive oil does lower your risk of getting cancer.

          Olive oil has antioxidants that can help stop oxidative damage from free radicals, which is thought to be a major cause of cancer.

          Several studies done in test tubes have shown that compounds in olive oil can kill cancer cells.

          More research needs to be done to find out if olive oil does lower your risk of getting cancer.

          1. Olive Oil can be used to help treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

          Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the joints to be twisted and hurt.

          Even though no one knows for sure what causes it, it seems that your immune system attacks healthy cells by accident.

          People with rheumatoid arthritis who take olive oil supplements seem to have less inflammation and less oxidative stress.


          Olive oil seems to be especially good when mixed with fish oil, which has omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation.

          In one study, people with rheumatoid arthritis who took olive and fish oil had much better grip strength, joint pain, and morning stiffness.

          1. Olive Oil Has Anti-Bacterial Properties

          Many nutrients in olive oil can stop or kill harmful bacteria. One of these is Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that lives in your stomach and can cause ulcers and stomach cancer.

          Studies in test tubes have shown that extra virgin olive oil kills eight strains of this bacterium, three of which are resistant to antibiotics.

          A study with real people found that taking 30 grams of extra virgin olive oil every day can get rid of Helicobacter pylori in 10–40% of people in as little as two weeks.


          What are the Nutritional Facts for Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

          Extra Virgin Olive Oil has 120 calories, 14 grams of fat, no cholesterol, and no sodium in one tablespoon.

          77% of the fat in extra virgin olive oil comes from monounsaturated fat, which can be more or less depending on the type of olive. Another 9% comes from polyunsaturated fat, and 14% comes from saturated fat that comes from plants. Studies show that replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated fats lowers blood cholesterol, especially the bad low-density lipoproteins (LDL) while protecting the good high-density lipoproteins (HDL).

          Beta-carotene and Vitamin E are two antioxidants found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol are two phenolic compounds found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. EVOO doesn't have any salt or cholesterol in it.

          Try these delicious vegan food items with olive oil available to order at NOURISH

          *ORGANIC* Crispy + Cheesy Kale Chips w Roasted Sunflower Seeds [vegan] [gluten free]

          Curried Parsnip & Spinach Soup w Cilantro, Shaved Jalapenos + Roasted Almonds [vegan] [gluten free]

          Spicy Mexican Oaxacan Bowl w Jalapeno Cilantro Sauce [vegan] [gluten free]


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