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Olive oil as in Olive Oyl

November 19, 2008

I have been meaning to put up a post on olive oil. A friend’s mom has been diagnosed as having breast cancer. I pray for her speedy recovery, amin. What I learn from olive oil is that it has many health benefits. Please read on but an intro on olive oil first :

Pressed from olives, this is a rich, fruity oil used for marinades, dressings, baking and shallow frying. Hundreds of varieties of olive are used to make olive oil so the range available is huge, varying in colour, flavour, aroma and character.

5127d46536f08c00Produced mainly in France, Spain, Italy and Greece, olive oil is similar to wine in that it varies with the climate, country, area of origin and seasonal factors. The oil from the first pressing is pure, pale greenish-yellow in colour and is the best quality. This is sold as ‘extra virgin’ olive oil and is best used for salads, marinades and pasta dishes.

The pulp is then pressed again to yield a darker oil that is less flavorsome than the first pressing and sold just as ‘olive oil’ or ‘pure olive oil’. Olive oil has many health-promoting properties because it’s relatively high in monounsaturates. Picking up on this fact, food manufacturers have turned to making spreads similar to margarine but containing up to 20 per cent olive oil.

Olive oil can be bought with additions such as herbs, garlic or chilli. Store it in a cool dark place away from direct sunlight but not in the fridge or it will turn cloudy.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil brings more than flavour to your diet! Research shows that extra virgin olive oil has numerous properties, which are highly beneficial to our health.

Coronary heart disease
The beneficial health effects of extra virgin olive oil are due to its high content of monounsaturated fatty acid called oleic acid (56-83%). This type of fatty acid helps to lower LDL (low density lipid) cholesterol in the blood and keeps the arteries clear of blockage but does not affect the beneficial cholesterol HDC (high density lipid). Medical researches worldwide are confident that a regular intake of extra virgin olive oil in the diet considerably reduces the chances of coronary disease.

Breast Cancer (Extra virgin olive oil and Herceptin)
Recent discovery by the Northwestern University in Chicago USA claim that a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil seems to cut the risk of breast cancer. Researchers found that the oleic acid from olive oil cut activity levels of a gene cell HER-2/NEU which occurs at high levels in over a fifth of breast cancer patients and is associated with highly aggressive tumours with poor prognoses.

Not only did oleic acid suppress the activity of the gene it also boosted the effectiveness of a breast cancer drug called Herceptin which has helped to prolong the life of many patients. Hospitals in the United Kingdom now produce a fact sheet recommending olive oil intake while taking the drug Herceptin as it increased the effectiveness of the drug by 75%.

Digestive system
Olive oil is extremely kind to the digestive system; it coats the mucus’s membranes and stimulates the gall bladder. It also helps to prevent ‘bloating’ and acts as a gentle laxative. Olive oil also activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more naturally than prescribed drugs and consequently lowers the incidence of gall stone formation.

Olive oil could be simply described as the finest ‘Lubricant’ our digestive system could have.

Other benefits
As research continues it seems that there is not much that olive oil is not much good for. The following is part of a growing list of claims that olive oil helps to suppress:
Ulcers, gastritis, colon cancer, skin cancer, diabetes, and skin aging. Olive oil is also claimed to aid bone growth and stimulate the brain in elderly people. These claims are borne out by the fact that extra virgin olive oil contains vitamins and phenols, which act as antioxidants mopping up free radicals that affect the DNA operate.

Composition of olive oil
Fatty Acids     98-99% 
Phytonutrients: Vitamins antioxidants and volatile substances   1.2%   
Saturated fatty acids   9.22%  
Monounsaturated fatty acids – Oleic acid        56.83% 
Polyunsaturated fatty acids – Linoleic acid     4-20%  
Linolenic acid  Trace  

Olive oil can also be used for beauty especially for rejuvenating your hair. Here’s how to treat or prevent hair loss:

Step 1: Buy 100-percent, extra-virgin olive oil, and not some of the less expensive brand. Lesser brands may include additives and other chemicals that could discolor or weaken your hair.

Step2: Measure out about 3 to 4 tbsps. of olive oil into a cup or small container. Buy a separate bottle to store in the bathroom if you plan to use olive oil often to treat your hair. It’s better to use this in the shower or bathtub rather than over a sink. The oil can be messy.

Step3: Stand in the shower or tub. Dampen your hair and turn off the water. Massage the olive oil throughout your damp hair. Use your fingers to apply it deep into your scalp.

Step4: Tie a towel or piece of plastic around your hair. Allow the olive oil to remain in your hair for at least 3 hours or sleep with it on overnight for the best results.

Step5: Take a shower and use your normal shampoo to remove the olive oil from your hair. Repeat as often as necessary.

Step6: Mix olive oil with other substances, such as avocado or grapeseeds. Olive oil is a great base for other hair care products so experiment with other household items commonly used to treat hair. Be sure that the ingredients are proven to be effective to treat hair loss if that is your ultimate goal. Am sure people near you would try to resist eating your hair which has fruity smell. Yummy!

And last but not least, a recipe with olive oil in it:

Moroccan Egg Salad
4 eggs 
3 cloves garlic – peeled and minced 
The juice of 2 lemons – freshly pressed 
5 sprigs flat parsley – leaves minced 
5 tablespoons D’Luscious Lemon Olive Oil 
1/2 teaspoon salt  

Boil the eggs in shell for 5 minutes. In the meantime, peel the garlic cloves. Combine garlic and salt in a mortar and pound them into a fine paste with the pestle. Add the lemon juice and mix well.  Mince the parsley leaves in a small cup or glass with the scissors upside down.   Remove the eggs from the heat and briefly run cold water over them. As soon as you can hold them with your hands, peel them. It’s much easier to peel them when they are still warm. Slice the boiled eggs with a knife or an egg slicer and place them in a bowl. Add the garlic and lemon paste and mix.  Pour the D’Luscious Lemon Olive Oil over the eggs, scatter the minced parsley, and mix well but gently. Serve at room temperature or a little bit cooled.  

Serves: 4 as appetizer
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

olive oil By petervanallen on Flickr

olive oil By petervanallen on Flickr

P/s…Did you guys know that the cartoon character, Olive Oyl is actual taken from, err, Olive Oil? Her brother is Castor Oyl; their mother, Nana Oyl (after “banana oil,” a mild slang phrase of the time used in the same way as “horsefeathers,” i.e. “nonsense“); their father, Cole Oyl, Castor’s estranged wife, Cylinda Oyl, and more recently, Olive’s niece, Deezil Oyl (a pun on diesel oil). Also among Olive’s family are her cousin, Sutra Oyl and her two uncles, Otto Oyl and Lubry Kent Oyl.

Other facts about Olive Oyl:

In 1936, Olive Oyl appeared in Fleischer Studios‘ first Technicolor short Somewhere in Dreamland.

In 2006, King Features produced both a radio spot and industrial for the United States Power Squadrons featuring Robyn Gryphe as Olive and Allen Enlow as Popeye.

Olive Oyl (along with Bluto and Popeye) was going to have a cameo in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but the rights to the characters could not be obtained in time.

In July 2007, a live-animation TV commercial starring Olive Oyl aired as part of an advertising campaign for Campbell Soup Company’s Prego Italian sauces. Olive’s ad is one in a series of five different ads for Prego, which features Spice Girl Emma Bunton (“Baby Spice”), Olympic Silver Medalist Lea Ann Parsley, an average American couple named Rosemary and Herb and an Englishman named Basil. In each 15-second commercial, the “flavorful” characters wonder aloud about what spice to add to their simmering pot of sauce.

Olive Oyl appeared in the Robot Chicken episodes “The Sack” (voiced by Kelly Hu) and “Squaw Bury Shortcake” (voiced by Kristen Chenoweth).

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 16, 2011 8:48 pm

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