The olive tree is an evergreen tree that grows up to 15mt height and has small white feathery flowers and fruit is a small drupe, olives are harvested in green to purple stage. 90% of all harvested olives are turned into oil, while 10% are used as table olives. Olive trees prefer calcareous soils and coastal climate conditions. Olives like hot weather & sunny positions without any shade. They tolerate drought well. Olive trees can live for several centuries and they can even regenerate themselves.
Olive oil is a fat obtained from olive and it is produced by pressing whole olives.
It is produced by grinding olives & extracting the oil by mechanical or chemical means. Green olives produce bitter oil & overripe olives can produce oil that is rancid that is why perfectly ripened olives should be taken for extraction of oil.
The term cold extraction is used for olive oil indicates that olive grinding & stirring was done at temperature of maximum 25C.
Olive oil is liquid at room temperature. It has some vegetable oil and olive fruit characteristics.
Its main components are oleic acid, palmitic acid, sterols etc
It is used for skin care as a moisturizing agent.
It is good massage oil for infants & toddlers.
It is main cooking oil in countries surrounding Mediterranean Sea.
It is good for cardiovascular health & blood cholesterol levels.
It is used as a salad dressing.
It is rich in mono saturated fatty acids which are considered as a healthy food.
It is used in cosmetics, soaps & medicines.
It can prevent strokes in older people.
Olive oil has protective effect regarding depression risk.
It may reduce breast cancer risk.
It can reduce the level of LDL cholesterol.
It protects against ulcerative colitis (inflammation of large intestine)
It can help decrease Blood pressure.
It improves blood sugar control & enhances insulin sensitivity.
People regularly in taking olive oil are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
It can prevent onset of osteoporosis.
It can prevent skin cancer.
SAFETY & PRECAUTIONS
If applied on skin can cause delayed allergies or dermatitis.
Pregnant women & children should avoid using olive oil above regular use.
It lowers blood diabetes so patients with low sugar should avoid its use.