Olive oil: is it truly a ‘gift from the Gods’?
- 00h : 02m : 08s
<p>Originally from the Mediterranean region, olive oil, as the name suggests, is the oil extracted from ripe green olives. These juicy little flavour bombs are crushed and mixed together, and the oil is then separated from the pulp in a centrifuge.</p> <p>There are different types of modifiers attached to olive oil such as, <em>virgin, extra virgin, pure </em>and <em>light</em>. These refer to the method by which manufacturers produce the oil, and since every process is different, these variants also differ in taste, texture and colour.</p> <p><strong>Which one should you pick?</strong></p> <p>While olive oil is considered a healthier alternative to regular cooking oil, some of the variants include chemicals and preservatives to prolong the shelf life. This strips away a lot of the oil’s flavour along with some of its benefits.</p> <p>Of them, extra virgin olive oil is considered the best option as it is the least processed version. It retains its natural antioxidants and vitamins, which are often lost during processing. Extra virgin olive oil also contains anti-inflammatory substances like oleic acid and oleocanthal. These are compounds that lend similar effects like the ones present in painkillers or fever reducers.</p> <p>Extra virgin olive oil is also beneficial for heart diseases. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine says that regular consumption of extra virgin olive oil can help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 30%. This is because the oil has 70% monounsaturated fatty acid which helps to lower blood cholesterol levels, thereby reducing heart problems.</p> <p>The benefits of consuming olive oil are aplenty. But if you really want to take it up a notch, pick the extra virgin variant to take advantage of all that healthy goodness!</p>