Olive oil, apart from its great nutritional worth, is one of the best natural anti-oxidants going (materials that protect our bodies from the harmful effects of ‘free-radicals’). The properties of the oil were already appreciated in antiquity, when the great physicians like Hippocrates and Galen believed in its beneficial effects on humans.
Today the oil produced in the endless groves on the island is seen as the healthiest in the world due to the island’s climatic conditions, so ideal for the nurturing of the tree. It is no accident that Crete pioneered its cultivation in the distant Minoan past, spreading the knowledge to other parts of the European Mediterranean.
The ‘juice’ of the olive has a wonderful aroma, a fruity flavour and possesses particularly valuable biological, nutritional, protective and therapeutic properties with beneficial effects on the development and maintenance of the human body.
Olive oilcombines a greater range of advantages compared to all the other fatty substances eaten by mankind. With this observation concur the results of long laboratory and clinical trials, as well as the conclusions of many epidemiological surveys worldwide. Let alone the actual experience of the Cretan people from this positive diet down the centuries. From all these sources, one may show and conclude that olive oil:
- Treats intestinal and liver ailments
- Prevents the development of gallstones
- Assists diabetics
- Protects the skin from the sun’s rays
- Has a beneficial effect on the growth of the skeleton
- Extends the youthful vitality of the body
- Hinders the occurrence of cardiovascular disease and of some cancers.
For all the above reasons, more and more people in the Developed World try to integrate into their eating regimes aspects of the Cretan diet.
Olive oil is used in the manner it is on salads or in cooking foodstuffs to bring out delicious flavours and to create healthy combinations. In all its uses, olive oil triumphs over all other fats. As a result, more and more people around the world incorporate it into their eating habits – enjoying its rich flavour and its special effect and value in nutritional well-being. The typical daily energy needs of the adult human body amount to 2500 calories – the consumption of 20-25 gm of olive oil each day covers the requirements for fatty acid intake and that of Vitamin E.