Olives are most interesting and you either have a love of them or hate them.  But I found out some interesting facts about this much maligned fruit.

Medical Facts:
Reduce heart problems: Natural olive oil contains 70% monounsaturated fatty acid. As a result, it lowers cholesterol accumulation in the blood and reduces heart problems.
Blood Cholesterol: Extra-virgin olive oil, which is rich in almost 40 antioxidant chemicals, helps reduce the oxidation effects of LDL cholesterol.

Metabolism: Olive oil boosts the metabolism, the growth of good bone structure and brain development in children, it is an excellent source of vitamin E.
Anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties: The phenols present in olive oil have anti-inflammatory properties.

Digestion: Olive oil is known to aid in the digestive process. It is used as a medicinal oil to clean the digestive tract and to improve bowel movements.
Ageing process: Rich in antioxidants, olive oil slows the natural ageing process of the human body

Cancer: Olive oil is said to protect the human body against cancerous growth, especially bowel cancer.

Breast Cancer: Recent research study suggests that hydroxytyrosol, a major component of olive oil, may help prevent breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

Hypertension: Recent research study suggests that Mediterranean diet comprising of food rich in unsaturated fats (found in olive oil and nuts) may help protect you from hypertension.

Hints: Heat and light can damage the oil by creating oxidation, which changes the beneficial chemical compounds. Store your olive oil in a cupboard at room temperature, or in the fridge to keep it cool.
Virgin Olive oil is the first press of the olives and is not refined.  This is the best to use.
Will bring some more facts to light about Olives as I enjoy eating them, cooking with them and using Olive Oil. I have even used it in a cake as my husband is lactose intolerant so I find that some times Olive Oil is the perfect substitute for butter.

Enjoy.  Bernadette Longueira.

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