Recent studies on food and nutritional processes have clarified the reasons why some foods - traditionally used for decades - are still consumed today. Among these, olive oil certainly occupies a place of absolute pre-eminence: precious , complex and inimitable , thanks to its very high qualities it has earned the right reputation as a true " elixir of long life " by nutritionists.
The numerous biological properties of this condiment, for thousands of years the protagonist of the Mediterranean table, make it an indispensable passe-partout for health and a real "food" suitable for the natural needs of a correct, modern and well-balanced diet.
In the current world of food, it is the only fat (vegetable) fluid that is excellent for use "raw", in sauces and salads, without any danger; indeed, it is precisely the use of raw olive oil that fully enhances its unmistakable characteristics of aroma and flavor.
It is also indispensable in cooked foods of Italian cuisine, because it helps to blend the flavors of the various ingredients of the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil is also recommended for occasional frying of food, because, even in this high-temperature cooking system, it retains part of its fatty acids (unlike other oils which lose them completely).
It has a well-balanced content of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids that ensure easy digestibility and is therefore particularly suitable for the diet of the elderly and for the growth of children.
Not only that, it performs an important energetic function, because it provides about 30% of the energy that an organism needs daily and keeps the joints "loose".
The caloric intake of olive oil is just over 9 calories per gram (about 115 per tablespoon of oil) as in any other vegetable oil.
Oleic acid - a monounsaturated fatty acid - is typical of Olive Oil: it is due to the beneficial action of controlling the cholesterol level in the blood.
Its other fatty acids - such as polyunsaturated, also called essential fats - are contained in the olive oil in optimal proportions.
To keep the body and mind healthy and in perfect shape, in addition to proteins, vitamins, sugars and mineral elements (iron, calcium, phosphorus, etc.) it is also necessary to normally ingest other substances, which the human body does not know. synthesize: here is that olive oil responds optimally to this need because it provides the body with antioxidant substances (polyphenols, phytosterols, chlorophyll and carotenoids, which carry out an important protective action) and other essential elements, as it helps to absorb and fix fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as minute quantities of aromatic compounds that give flavor to foods, including fruit and vegetables.
Nutritional research also indicates that Olive Oil has a high digestibility , activates the function of the liver and promotes bile flow , consequently regulating intestinal functions.
To the natural lightness and genuineness, olive oil also adds its proven therapeutic virtues : the habitual consumption of olive juice in fact, can help not only to prevent colon and breast cancers, but also to prevent diseases. cardiovascular, such as heart attack, arteriosclerosis, etc.
Olive oil occupies an increasingly important place in the cuisine of countries that are not regular consumers precisely because of its "medicinal" and healthy effects. Olive oil, therefore, to rediscover the ancient pleasure of good food, plus the taste and lightness of a healthy and correct diet.