The Healing Power Of Olive Oil
Olive oil has been a common staple in Mediterranean cuisine for centuries. The Greeks and Romans used it for a myriad of purposes ranging from medicinal use, to cooking and beautification. It is pressed from olives in their most natural form. Cold pressing allows the oils to be squeezed from the fruit and collected. In its most natural or unaltered state, olive oil is labeled as Extra Virgin or Virgin olive oil. This means it is as pure as possible with no additional additives. It also implies that no chemicals were used in the extraction of the oil.
Olive oil is a monounsaturated fatty acid that attracts cholesterol and other fats and helps to carry them out of the body. As a salad dressing, it adds just the right touch of flavor and texture to salads, pasta and other dishes where oil is used to help blend and accent the flavors of the other ingredients. Unlike other oils that can leave cold foods feeling greasy or slimy, olive oil is light enough to gently coat the food without being overbearing or adding a heaviness that can affect the taste and texture. Using the right oil type of oil in certain dishes is the key to both full flavor and pleasant texture.
Extra virgin olive oil is full of antioxidants. Antioxidants attack free radicals and prevent them from damaging cells in the body. Free radicals alter cells and cause them to mutate producing other abnormal cells. These mutated cells can eventually change into cancer that will spread throughout the body. Adding foods to the diet that are high in antioxidants help to reduce the risk of several different types of cancers. Antioxidants also help to reduce the symptoms associated with chronic illness and disease.
Olive oil can be used for many things. First and foremost, it is one of the healthiest oils used for cooking. It breaks down completely, unlike corn or other types of vegetable oil. It is extremely light compared to other oils used for cooking. For what olive oil lacks in the way of oiliness, it makes up for in flavor. The light, subtle texture carries with it a full-bodied flavor that accents almost any type of ingredient. It breaks down easily in the body, and can be absorbed and utilized to its fullest extent.
Olive oil is also known for its medicinal properties. As a base oil, other topical remedies can be added to it and applied to the skin. The heat of the skin breaks down the oil and allows it to be absorbed completely with little, or no residue left on the skin. As the oil is absorbed, the other ingredients are carried along with it. Olive oil contains an abundance of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are readily utilized when absorbed through the skin.
Olive oil is often used in make ups, body lotions, hair conditioners and other health and beauty aid products. Massage therapists use it as a carrier oil due to the fact that other oils can be mixed with it to produce a light, non-greasy massage lubricant that provides additional health benefits and compliments the deep strokes that manipulate muscles and tendons in the body.