Are you a patient suffering from blood cholesterol? Then, there is every possibility that your family doctor might have prescribed the usage of olives and olive oils for keeping the blood cholesterol levels under check.
Olives and the oil extracted from these olives, the olive oil, are grown at large in the Mediterranean region and is found to be one of the indispensable contents in the traditional dishes prepared in the region.
Olive has very little calorie content. A medium-sized olive fruit that is partly ripe contains about 5 calories, while a fully ripe olive is found to have only 9 calories.
The primary advantage of olive and the olive oil is the high content of monosaturated fats. This monosaturated fat is said to be very beneficial for increasing the level of the high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol. Olive also contains some amounts of calcium and iron.
It has been found that people living in the Mediterranean region and consuming good amount of olive and olive oil are found to be risk-prone to heart-related diseases.
Disease-fighting phytochemicals are found in abundance in olive fruit. Also found in this olive fruit is useful amount of Vitamin E and monosaturated fat. It is these phytochemicals, Vitamin E and mono-saturated fat in the olive that makes it an ideal choice for clearing cholesterol from the arteries.
Among the many phytochemicals, hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein have been found to be effective in protecting breast cancer, infection causing bacteria and heart disease. One of the phytochemicals, Lignans, presently mostly in virgin olive oil, have been discovered to be effective in protecting cancer by suppressing any possible symptoms of cancer in cells.
Fresh olives are used to extract olive oil and both olive fruit and the olive oil extracted are very effective in controlling blood cholesterol levels. Olive oil is commercially extracted from the fresh olive fruits using three different methods. One of the methods is the Spanish method where the unripe green olive fruits are fermented to extract the oil There is a second method of commercial extraction, named as the American method, where the half-ripe olive fruits are kept immersed and soaked in an iron solution such that a black color is obtained for the olives The other method of extraction, referred to as the Greek method, allows the olive fruit to ripen until it turns into black color and then crushed to extract the oil.
Olive oil and olive fruit, being the best source for mono saturated fats, is found to have high sodium content if used as pickle with brine and dry salt and might increase the blood pressure levels.