Olive oil is very popular as an edible oil because of the good properties which it contains. The moderate consumption of olive oil is very beneficial for our health. It can help to prevent various types of disease and to keep us healthy. But the question is ‘what is extra virgin olive oil?’ Olive oil can be divided into two distinct categories i.e. refined and unrefined. Unrefined oils are pure and natural. Refined oil is treated to remove flaws from the oil so it is more sellable. There are five different types of olive oil according to the quality and other categories. Extra virgin olive oil is considered the highest quality olive oil which is available to us.
What is extra virgin olive oil?
Extra virgin olive oil is unrefined, natural, and the highest quality olive oil which you can get available in the market. But genuine extra virgin olive oil is rare and more expensive. It contains a lower level of oleic acid than other olive oil varieties. It retains a more true olive taste. Besides that extra virgin olive oil contains more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in olives.
Extra virgin olive oil is completely chemical-free and there are no alterations of temperature. It contains golden-green color with a distinctive fresh, green flavor and a light peppery finish. The quality of extra virgin olive oil depends on some factors like-
- How the fruit was grown, harvested, and transported
- The process of oil extraction
- How the oil was packaged and bottled
- The process of making the oil
- It should come from a single source and should not be blended with other olive oil.
- It should come from the first pressing of fresh, young olive, normally within 24 hours of harvesting.
- It should be processed at a temperature of below 28C.
- It should be free from fatty acids.
- Acidity level must be less than 0.8%
- It should be defect-free and should have a perfect taste and aroma.
- Extra virgin olive oil should be rich in antioxidants and polyphenols that give the health-enhancing qualities associated with olive oil.
Polyphenols are one of the prime components of extra virgin olive oil. It is a potent antioxidant that can prevent the free radicals of our body. Free radicals are very harmful to good cells. It can cause various types of diseases.
Young and fresh olive contain the highest polyphenol. So, it is used to produce extra virgin olive oil.
Some benefits of extra virgin olive oil-
There are a lot of benefits of consuming extra virgin olive oil-
- It works as an anti-inflammatory food item.
- It can help to improve our hair and skin health.
- It is very helpful to control Type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
- It reduces the cardiovascular problem.
- It can help to prevent high blood pressure.
- It is very helpful to boost our metabolism.
- It can improve our digestion system.
- It can slow down our aging process.
- It reduces the risk of gallstones.
- It can protect us from osteoporosis.
- It can reduce hypertension.
- It can protect us from mood disorders and depression.
- It helps to strengthen healthy cell walls.
- It is very helpful for weight loss.
So, in one word we can say that there are countless ways olive oil can enhance our health and our lives.