Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A Key Ingredient for a Long and Healthy Life.

It’s crazy how good life becomes when you add in a daily dose of extra virgin olive oil. The health benefits of olive oil are unrivalled, and research reveals more benefits nearly every day.

A key component of the Mediterranean diet is extra virgin olive oil, which has been shown to provide many benefits especially in terms of our heart health. From its’ ability to reduce blood pressure, to improving cholesterol levels, extra virgin olive oil has been shown to contribute to a reduced risk of heart disease.

Why is Olive Oil so good for you?

Don’t take our word for it, read on to see what our scientists have discovered about extra virgin olive oil.

But first, let’s see what the difference is between extra virgin olive oil and regular olive oil.

Extra-virgin olive oil is made from pure, cold-pressed olives, whereas regular olive oil is a blend, including both cold-pressed and processed oils. It is made by grinding olives into a paste, then pressing them to extract the oil. There’s no heat involved, hence the “cold-pressed” label you often encounter. The resulting oil is richer in colour with a forest-green hue; and a more distinct grassy, peppery flavour; and a fruity aroma. This method takes a substantial amount time and with the added rigorous and time-consuming certification process, you can understand why extra virgin olive oil has a higher price.

So, what happens to the cold-pressed oil that doesn’t meet extra-virgin standards? Any remaining oil is then refined to get rid of undesirable impurities, giving the oil a more neutral flavour and lighter colour. However, unlike with other oils, including canola, corn, and vegetable, the process does not involve chemical solvents. It’s then blended with a bit of extra virgin olive oil to produce what’s labelled as regular “olive oil.”

Extra virgin olive oil has been scientifically proven to help our health in these four incredible ways.

1. Contributing to a reduction in inflammation

Oleic acid is found in extra virgin olive oil; it’s an antioxidant that scientists have identified as having an anti-inflammatory effect which helps to fend off chronic health problems including Alzeimers and type-2 diabetes. Extra virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols, one of which is oleoanthal which incredibly, appears to share the same pharmacological activity as ibuprofen, and acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. This is a really useful property associated with positive changes in those with rheumatoid arthritis.

2. May have mood enhancing properties

As a key ingredient of the Mediterranean diet, that includes a high intake of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and oily fish, extra virgin olive oil has been found to play a role in reducing the risk of depression.

3. May improve brain function

The Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil was found to be associated with improved cognitive function in older populations, which has the potential to aid reduction in the risk of Alzeimers

4. May protect against some chronic disease

Some research suggests that extra virgin olive oil and it’s high polyphenol content may have a protective effect against type-2 diabetes and some forms of cancer. However, more research is needed before more definitive conclusions can be drawn. A dietary staple for many of the world’s healthiest populations, extra virgin olive oil is considered to be a great choice for the majority of people.

At Kypseli, our family friendly Greek restaurant in Cranbrook, we are pleased to be able to bring you our specially imported Telion extra virgin olive oil, produced via cold extraction of the famous variety of Koreneiki olives. So not only can you enjoy dishes created using this exceptional extra virgin olive oil, you can also purchase it to enjoy in your own home.

If you’re looking for the family friendly place to experience the Mediterranean diet at its finest, then look no further than Kypseli, the new authentic Greek Taverna at No15 Stone Street in Cranbrook, Kent.