Both Old and New Testaments of the Bible mention olive oil relative to its health benefits. Hippocrates suggested olive oil as treatment for ulcers, cholera, and muscle pain as early as 400 B.C. Thus, it has been known for millenniums that olive oil has beneficial properties.
Current studies show that the oil, used as a preventative food supplement, offers protection from stomach ailments, with a cleansing effect on the digestive system, and cardiovascular diseases by reducing the level of low density lipoprotein (LDL) while leaving high density lipoprotein (HDL) untouched. Olive oil breaks down plaque preventing hardening of the arteries. Jean Carper, author of The Food Pharmacy, agrees, saying that olive oil protects arteries from plaque. She adds that the product reduces blood pressure, and regulates blood sugar.
Olive oil is loaded with anti-oxidants and polyphenols like other colorful fruits and vegetables. So the list of diseases research tells us may be positively affected by substituting other fats with olive oil grows: breast cancer, diabetes, arthritis, various stomach problems like gall stones and ulcers, and other gall bladder problems. Some people take a tablespoon of olive oil daily to assuage stomach ailments. The bi-products of aging may also be favorably ameliorated with celebrities praising its use on the skin and for hair care.
The peppery after-taste at the back of the throat is Hydroxytyrosol, a photochemical that is found only in olive oil. Barry Spears in The Anti Inflammation Zone tells us that this thins the blood much as small doses of aspirin would, helping to prevent heart attacks. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times suggests that a tablespoon or so of olive oil will significantly assist in hangover recovery for the same reasons.
All things considered olive oil, as the ancients knew, is an excellent food and good to use as a medicinal and nutritional substitute for most other fats and oils.
According to the American Diabetes Association, heart disease is, “…one of the most common complications of diabetes—having diabetes doubles your risk for heart attack or stroke.” Fortunately, there are considerable similarities between eating a diabetes-healthy diet and a heart-healthy diet such as the Mediterranean diet.
Olive oil is emphasized in both, but special attention must be paid to carbohydrate intake. A recent study showed for the first time, “…that the type of fat eaten significantly affects blood glucose levels after a high-GI meal in patients with type 1 diabetes. Avoiding foods rich in butter and using extra-virgin olive oil could help improve your postprandial (after-a-meal) blood glucose levels.
The future of these tiny buds includes olives and delicious Joëlle Olive Oil.
Over the years since Joëlle Olive Oil began there have been rumblings about the quality of the big name olive oil brands that are imported from Europe. It has been said that up to 70% of the oil sold in US Markets from abroad is cut with cheap oils like canola and almond oil. Because of these questions UC Davis studied over one hundred imported oils and found that the 70% mark was basically true.
To test the oil you have at home you can put your bottle in the refrigerator for a while and if it congeals to a more solid state, it is good olive oil and has monounsaturated fats. If it stays in its liquid state it has been adulterated with lesser oils.
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Olive oil has an illustrious past, being used for medicinal as well as for epicurean purposes since before recorded history. It has long been part of Mediterranean civilization and was a highly valuable trade commodity for ancient Semitic peoples.
In the early 1700s the Jesuits from Spain brought olives when they began their northern trek, founding missions first in Mexico, then Baja California. Later Franciscan padres founded the first of their California missions in San Diego.
Olives were among the few fruits grown in these early mission settlements. The trees live to be hundreds of years old, so some of the trees seen at these mission sites today may well have been planted in the 1700s.
I served this dressing on a lovely (Shepherd’s/Carpinteria) green salad for a holiday party and the salad was a rave. So I decided to share with others.
1 generous Tablespoon any kind of mustard (French’s, Dijon, etc.)
1 generous Tablespoon honey (I use San Marcos Farms honey. A Santa Barbara company that sells at Farmer’s Markets and has beautiful unprocessed honey.)
¼ cup Joёlle Extra Virgin Olive Oil. (I use the Late Harvest Manzanillo which gives the dressing a bit of a kick.)
Dash garlic salt
Dash coarsely ground pepper
Combine all in a jar and shake until well mixed.
For every ¼C olive oil, 1 generous T each of honey and mustard so that when you are at ¾C you will have closer to 4Ts each of honey and mustard. You want this dressing to be sweet and thickish. And use more or less honey or mustard depending on how sweet you like it.
Butter / Margarine to Olive Oil
1 teaspoon = 3/4 teaspoon
1 Tablespoon = 2 1/4 teaspoons
2 Tablespoons = 1 1/2 Tablespoons
1/4 Cup = 3 Tablespoons
1/3 Cup = 1/4 Cup
1/2 Cup = 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons
2/3 Cup = 1/2 Cup
3/4 Cup = 1/2 Cup + 1 Tablespoon
1 Cup = 3/4 Cup