Better for Your Family
Extra virgin olive oil is a delicious way to improve the quality of your diet and the health of your family. Extra virgin olive oil is derived from the unprocessed fruit of the olive tree. During processing, the fruit is simply crushed to extract the oil content at a temperature no higher than 86 degrees Fahrenheit, thus preserving both its nutritional benefits and complex flavors. With its minimal processing, extra virgin olive oil is essentially a fruit juice. Use extra virgin olive oil instead of chemically extracted, refined oils such as margarine, shortening, canola, corn, and vegetable oils to enhance your family’s overall nutrition and add more depth and flavor to the foods your family enjoys.
Photo by Wild Groves
Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A Mediterranean diet rich in extra virgin olive oil has many health benefits. Some of these benefits come from extra virgin olive oil’s proven ability to fight chronic disease from its high percentage of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, richness in antioxidants and vitamin E, and abundance of polyphenol compounds. These unique components not only make extra virgin olive oil taste delicious but also contribute to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Photo by ENZO Olive Oil Company
Extra virgin olive oil helps to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and improves “good” HDL cholesterol. As part of a diet low in saturated fat, extra virgin olive oil can help control blood pressure. Extra virgin olive oil prevents atherosclerosis or hardening of arteries. 1.5 to 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil each day can lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. Extra virgin olive oil as part of a healthy diet lowers overall risk of death and death from heart disease – that means it contributes to both a healthier and longer life.
Extra virgin olive oil‘s polyphenols contribute to a healthy gut microbiome by reducing inflammation in the G.I. tract and promoting the growth of good bacteria. Lower fasting blood sugar and reduced risk of diabetes are seen in people who consume the most extra virgin olive oil. Adding extra virgin olive oil reduces hunger, lowers body fat and may help with weight loss.
Extra virgin olive oil‘s anti-inflammatory properties may boost bone formation which can prevent bone loss with aging and may explain why women who consume it have better bone density. People who consume more extra virgin olive oil have a lower risk of developing cancer – especially breast and digestive tract cancers. Cognition and brain health are both linked with extra virgin olive oil. In fact, extra virgin olive oil may reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Cooking and Storage for Optimal Nutrition
By storing extra virgin olive oil in a cool, dark place in a closed container, the high nutrient levels are preserved longer. The fresher the oil, the higher its nutrient profile. Extra virgin olive oil should be purchased within 12 to 18 months of its harvest date. Look for the harvest date embedded in the COOC Seal or notated somewhere on the bottle. Once opened, most olive oils should be consumed within 3 months.
Good cooks have used olive oil liberally for centuries, perhaps knowing that its great flavor also carried numerous health benefits. For recipes and ideas, visit our recipes section.