Production of the olives and olive oil which is extracted from it is widely done all over the world for centuries. Even ancient Greek has known and cherishes this plant and its oil, for its healing properties, as well as for cooking purposes. Olive oil today is part of every imaginable healthy meal, weight loss program diet, people with cholesterol, and other similar problems, etc.
Today California is the only state in the U.S. that produces a commercially significant amount of olives yearly; about 70-80% of all olives consumed in the U.S. origins from California. But although California’s olives production has risen double in the last ten years, in the global market this production is just a fraction. European countries with its century old tradition, like Spain or Greece have millions of acres of olive trees.
California’s industry experts expects, after substantial investments olive growers made in new varieties of olive trees that are easier to harvest and have greater yields, rise in olive production of 500% in the next five years. At present, 90% of olive production goes to cans, and only 10% are crushed for olive oil.
Health benefits of Olives
Olive oil contains the monounsaturated fats, and as a part of Mediterranean diet which contains lots of vegetables, fruits and fish, it has significantly reduce the risk of obesity, heart diseases and certain types of cancer in people who use it. Studies have shown that the levels of “bad” cholesterol may be reduced significantly, after usage of just 25 millilitres of olive oil.
Olive oil is very beneficial for people who suffer from the gastrointestinal problems, and also olive oil can helps the prevention of malignant colon tumor. Also a substance called hydroxytyrosol, which are part in both olives and olive oil is very powerful antioxidant, and as such, very beneficial for releasing free radicals from the body and protecting the cells in it.
Other Benefits of Olives
Besides health benefits, olive oil is very good for cooking purposes and should be used instead of vegetable oil. There are some useful tips concerning buying and storage of olive oil. When you buy olive oil for cocking purposes you should choose the extra virgin oil instead of the pure olive oil, because extra virgin means that the process of getting oil from olives has bee done by mechanically crushing or pressing the olives, while in case of pure olive oil heat was used in process to extract oil fro olives, and that oil is mixed with virgin one.
Also when you store olive oil, it should be some darker place that imitates the natural shades of olive tree branches.