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EVOO - Oh Yes!

EVOO - Oh Yes!

It’s so rare to find something delicious that is universally acknowledged as healthy. But luckily, there is such an edible wonder. Olive oil! But are all olive oils created equal and are they all an essential part of a balanced and healthy diet? The short answer is no. Olive oil is made from pressing the fruit of the olive tree. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? But the way it is processed can make a big difference not only to its status as a super food, but also to its flavor.

In order to reap the taste and health benefits, it is important to choose olive oil that has been minimally processed. Extra virgin olive oil fits the bill and is your best bet every time. Not only has it been minimally processed, it has also been exposed to the least amount of heat, air and light, factors that turn olive oil rancid and essentially erase its positive effects.

Like A Virgin

Living in our modern world, we all now realize that using chemicals in the processing of food has turned it into a much unhealthier version of itself that just 50 years ago. The same is true for olive oil. When you walk down supermarket aisles there are dozens of olive oil varieties for sale. If you didn’t know, you would assume they were all the same or at least similar. This is most definitely not the case.

If you buy olive oil in a clear container and when you use it, it has very little flavor, you have purchased a lesser quality product. If you cook with it at high temperatures, you have reversed any positive effects and rendered it un-healthy instead of healthy.

High quality extra virgin olive oil has a nutty, fruity flavor. It is distinct and slightly bitter and peppery. When you taste this, you know you’ve got the healthiest oil in the world. The more flavor it has, the less it has been processed. Extra virgin olive oils from Spain such as Banon are the result of first-of-harvest olives and use green tinted bottles to store their products (the best color for EVOO storage.) Olive oil doesn’t like the light, and if exposed to it, will quickly turn rancid.

Antioxidants For You And For Me

So why is EVOO so darn healthy? Well, the secret is its antioxidant levels. But remember, all of the above criteria must be met. If not, the oil will oxidize and be harmful to your health because of the free radical damage it can do to cells. When EVOO meets oxygen, it begins this process of oxidation and this is not a good thing. This also happens when EVOO meets heat (which is why cooking with olive oil is not recommended either.)

You want EVOO for its naturally produced antioxidants so you can protect your body from free radical overload that can trigger a variety of human diseases. So when you’re searching for the perfect olive oil, make sure it’s extra virgin or virgin, that it’s fresh, and that it comes in a non-clear container (tins and bottle are the best.) Then prepare your favorite soup, salad or veggies and pour some EVOO all over it. Not only will it taste delicious, it will do your body good.