Foods for a healthy heart and a healthy you !

With the way we live our lives these days , stress and pollution can cause more damage than any amount of workouts or meditation can prevent sans a proper diet. On the occasion of Healthy Heart Week 2013 , an initiative we are planning to start this year we will be sharing healthy diet tips that all of us can incorporate easily without sacrificing time and the taste of the food we eat.

Introducing a variety of Foods in our regular diet can help us slow down the ageing process and also help us reduce the chances of heart and other lifestyle diseases that we get to hear of these days.

Apart from following these tips , Team Chenab also encourages regular exercise maybe in the form of walking or yoga or even in the form of your favorite sport like swimming and squash.

The first of our healthy heart ingredients is Olive Oil. It definitely has been our favorite for over a decade now and we can proudly boast that we were one of the first companies to introduce Olive Oil to the Indian Cuisine and diets of millions of Indians .

Dolce Vita Olive Oil

What is Olive Oil ?

Simply put , Olive oil is an oil pressed from ripe (whole) olives which can be used in cooking, medicines, soap, etc depending on the quality of the Oil. Olive oil is now used throughout the world, but especially in the Mediterranean Countries like Italy , Spain and Greece.

Though all Olive Oil production begins by transforming the olive fruit into an olive paste there maybe a difference in flavor , texture and shelf life that make them more or less suitable for cooking , salad dressing , animal feed or even engineering applications.This depends on the quality and variety of Olives used.

The oil is extracted by means of pressure (traditional method) or centrifugation (modern method). After extraction the remnant solid substance, called Pomace, still contains a small quantity of oil – about 4-8 % . It is not advisable to use Pomace oil for Human consumption for cooking or frying. Many Indians purchase this low grade Olive Oil because it’s usually cheaper than other Olive Oil , unaware that all the benefits of using Olive oil are lacking in this quality of Oil.

Please visit these websites for further information on WHY POMACE OIL SHOULD NOT BE USED IN COOKING . Also see and this as well for more information on why POMACE OIL SHOULD NOT be used even in INDIAN cooking or frying as many Olive Oil manufacturers claim.  We strongly discourage use of Pomace Oil for any form of cooking.

Olive oil

Types of Olive Oil : 

  • Extra-virgin olive oil : Comes from virgin oil production only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste. Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries; the percentage is far higher in the Mediterranean countries (Greece: 80%, Italy: 45%, Spain 30%). It is used on salads, added at the table to soups and stews and for dipping.
  • Virgin olive oil Comes from virgin oil production only, has an acidity less than 1.5%, and is judged to have a good taste.
  • Pure olive oil. Oils labeled as Pure olive oil or Olive oil are usually a blend of refined and virgin production oil. It is a blend of virgin and refined production oil, of no more than 2% acidity. It commonly lacks a strong flavor.
  • Olive pomace oil is refined pomace olive oil often blended with some virgin oil. It may not be described simply as olive oil. It has a more neutral flavor than pure or virgin olive oil, making it unfashionable among connoisseurs and it doesn’t have the same health benefits as the other Olive Oils. In fact POMACE OLIVE OIL is not even Categorized as OLIVE OIL by the EU and we have mentioned it here only to educate all our consumers.
  • Lampante oil is olive oil not suitable as food; lampante comes from olive oil’s long-standing use in oil-burning lamps. Lampante oil is mostly used in the industrial market.
  • Refined olive oil is the olive oil obtained from virgin olive oils by refining methods that do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams (0.3%) and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in this standard. This is obtained by refining virgin olive oils with a high acidity level and/or organoleptic defects that are eliminated after refining. Note that no solvents have been used to extract the oil, but it has been refined with the use of charcoal and other chemical and physical filters.

As they are the least processed forms of olive oil, extra virgin or virgin olive oil have more monounsaturated fatty acids than other olive oil. These types also contain more polyphenols, which have benefits for the heart.

One tablespoon of olive oil (13.5g) contains the following nutritional information according to the USDA:

A spoonful of health

  • Calories : 119
  • Fat: 13.50
  • Carbohydrates: 0
  • Fibers: 0
  • Protein: 0

Incorporating Olive oil in our daily diet is very easy and has many benefits Olive oil can:

Make your arteries more elastic – Two tablespoons daily makes you more resistant to strokes and heart attack.

Reduce bad cholesterol levels. – Olive oil contains polyphenols, which help to keep your levels of LDL cholesterol within healthy ranges.

Make you less hungry – Olive oil makes you feel sated and tends to make you eat less and have fewer sugar cravings.

Lower the risk of coronary heart disease in women – Mediterranean cultures have long revered the olive and its oil, with good reason. An Italian study found that a diet that included olive oil along with plenty of leafy vegetables and fruit resulted in reduced rates of coronary heart disease in women enrolled in the study.

Cure or reduce acne – Although it sounds counterintuitive to use oil to fight pimples and blackheads, using an olive oil and salt scrub helps some types of acne.

Protect your red blood cells and therefore your heart – Over time, cells oxidize, leading to the common effects of aging. A specific polyphenol in olive oil is especially effective at protecting your red blood cells from oxidation. A 2009 study identified this component as DHPEA-EDA.

Treat sunburn – Olive oil soothes the pain of mild sunburn by helping skin retain its moisture. Use equal parts olive oil and water in a tight-lidded container. Shake well, then apply to mild sunburn. Shake the mixture often during application to keep it from separating.

Help fight breast cancer – Olive oil contains phytochemicals, and a 2008 study found that they are effecting at killing cancer cells and suppressing cancer genes.

Improve your memory – Some research has shown that olive oil can prevent and possibly even reverse the memory loss that accompanies Alzheimer’s disease.

Prevent heart attacks in men – A 2008 study showed that men who ate at least two ounces of olive oil reduced their chances of having a heart attack by 82 percent as compared to men who ate no olive oil.

Keep your lips soft and supple – Make your own lip balm by combining olive oil with equal parts beeswax. Put it into a small glass jar and apply it with your fingertip.

Condition your hair – Ancient beauties and warriors alike used olive oil to tame and beautify their locks. Olive oil strengthens hair and makes it more flexible.

Help you to stay healthier into old age – The Mediterranean Diet has been proven to be one of the healthiest in the world. Some consider it the healthiest. Olive oil has always been an integral part of the Mediterranean Diet. Although red wine and lots of fish, whole grains, fruits and vegetables also play a huge part in the diet’s success, scientists agree that it wouldn’t be nearly as beneficial without olive oil.

Prevent middle-age spread – Because olive oil is a calorie-dense food, it is often avoided out of fear that it will cause weight gain. However, a 2008 study showed that olive oil, along with nut oils, did not cause weight gain the way less healthy fats do.

Provide an easy way to add minimally processed food to your diet – Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is unrefined. It is obtained by pressing cold olives. All other oils that are readily available to consumers must be refined using heat and other harsh processes.

Moisturize your skin – Olive oil is closer in chemical structure to your skin’s natural oil than any other naturally occurring oil. Use it as you would a body, face and hand lotion.

Prevent your skin from aging prematurely – The same antioxidant properties that keep your red blood cells from oxidizing when you eat olive oil keep your skin cells from oxidizing when you apply it topically. The antioxidant hydroxytyrosol and vitamin E help to prevent cell degeneration in your skin.

Smooth and moisturize rough, dry feet – Make a foot scrub of equal parts olive oil and honey, a third part sugar and a dash of lemon juice. Soak your feet in warm water, then massage the moisture into them. Follow up by moisturizing your feet and hands with a well-shaken water and olive oil emulsion.

Act as a perfect carrier for oil-based medicines – Essential oils usually cannot be used full-strength on the skin. They typically require the use of a carrier oil. Olive oil is excellent carrier oil for most essential oils.

Make a natural vitamin supplement – Two tablespoons can replace your daily vitamin E supplement while providing all the other benefits of olive oil.

Improve your skin’s appearance from the inside out – Including olive oil in your daily diet helps your skin stay healthy and beautiful.

Help fight off degenerative diseases – The antioxidants in olive oil give it the power to help lessen the impact of degenerative diseases on your body.

Improve the health of the entire population of the world – The World Health Organization officially recommends that people across the world adopt the Mediterranean diet for better health and specifically suggests olive oil as the healthiest source of fat on the planet.

Hold its own next to fruits and vegetables as a source of antioxidants and vitamins – EVOO is a natural, minimally processed food that contains as many antioxidants and nutrients as many foods that are touted as health foods.

Reduce nitric acid to normal levels & Help lower blood pressure – Nitric acid has been proven to increase blood pressure. Olive oil reduces nitric acid levels. 

Make you live longer – There is no doubt that eating a healthy diet can make you live longer. Olive oil is part of the healthiest diet on earth, the Mediterranean Diet. Jeanne Calment, who currently has the distinction of being the longest-living person whose age could be confirmed in the world, needed no convincing. She lived to be a very youthful 122 and gave the credit to her daily consumption of olive oil. She also used it topically.

Condition your hair – Used coffee grounds and olive oil make a good hair conditioner, as well. Rub it in well before you shampoo your hair.

Remove makeup – Apply olive oil to a cotton ball and gently wipe your makeup off your face. You can safely use olive oil near your eyes.

Help you create delicious, healthy baked goods – Olive oil is commonly used in baking in the Mediterranean. Use a lighter-colored, lighter tasting end-of-season version for desserts. We’ve used it for Cookies & Cakes instead of Butter and they tasted fantastic and were definitely healthier !

Keep baked goods fresh longer – The vitamin E in olive oil helps to keep baked goods moist and fresh longer than solid shortenings or even other oils.

Replace butter in recipes – Olive oil is a good substitute for butter in recipes. It even works in baked goods. Use slightly less than the amount of butter called for in the recipe.

Olive oil in cooking

Return Italian dishes to their healthy roots – Use olive oil in sauces, to prevent pasta from sticking and to sauté ingredients. A little of the right oil can make the difference between a health dish and an unhealthy one.

Make heaven on a plate – Make heart-healthy pesto by grinding basil, walnuts or pine nuts, parmesan and garlic together, then incorporating EVOO until the texture is right. Serve over pasta or as a dipping sauce for bread.

Make a heart-healthy salad dressing – Combine equal parts EVOO and balsamic vinegar, raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar and drizzle over your salad.

Make ordinary bread something special – Bread dipping oils can be flavored with a variety of herbs and spices. Start with EVOO and use your imagination.

Combine with herbs, spices, garlic or citrus juices to make your taste buds pop – Infuse EVOO with herbs for dipping sauces. Experiment with adding garlic alone or in combination with herbs, spices, vinegars or lemon or other citrus juices.

Aid digestion – People have taken olive oil as a digestive aid for generations.

Sauté food – You can sauté most foods in olive oil. Avoid high heat and don’t try to use it for deep-frying.

Soothe a baby’s delicate skin – Use olive oil instead of baby oil for baby care, especially to treat and prevent diaper rash.

Smooth out that rough shave – Use olive oil instead of soap or shaving cream for a close, comfortable shave.

Ease a scratchy throat tickle – A sip of Extra Virgin Olive Oil may quiet that annoying tickle.

So we hope that we have helped out with ideas and suggestions on how to use Olive Oil and highlight the health benefits associated with Olive oil and that you are more aware about the disadvantages of using Pomace Olive Oil.

References :

http://vitalbynature.net/is-olive-oil-good-for-you/

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