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Ten Things - Plus One - You Might Not Know About Olive Oil.

Updated on January 18, 2010
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Olive Tree.The ins and outs of olives.Ancient Greek olive oil production workshop in what is now Kilizman,Turkey.
Olive Tree.
Olive Tree.
The ins and outs of olives.
The ins and outs of olives.
Ancient Greek olive oil production workshop in what is now Kilizman,Turkey.
Ancient Greek olive oil production workshop in what is now Kilizman,Turkey.

 Also known as the "Mediterranean's Liquid Gold," olive oil has literally been around for thousands of years.

From cooking to cosmetics, from medicine to massage therapy, a bevy of sources have expounded upon the many uses and benefits of this wonderfully versatile oil.

In addition to such valuable information, here are ten things - plus one - you just might not know about olive oil, also known as the "Mediterranean's Liquid Gold" -

1.) Horticulturist have classified more than 680 different varieties of olives, thereby producing olive oils that are as varied as the wines available worldwide.

2.) Olive oil has been consumed for at least 4,000 years!

3.) Due to the olive's antioxidant capacity of it's minor components, such as vitamin E and polyphenols (aromatic compounds), olive oil possess the ability to protect and tone the skin.

4.) One lone olive tree can supply it's owners with three to four liters of oil each year for many centuries!

5.) A diet rich in olive oil may help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. In addition, the high level of oleic acid (up to 80 percent) found in olive oil, has a positive effect on the circulatory system.

6.) The qualities of olive oil last up to 18 months!

7.) Only virgin and extra-virgin olive oil are direct extractions from the fruit. Olive-pomace, refined, or common olive oil are chemically treated to neutralize strong flavors. Therefore, to get the best benefits, opt for the virgin or extra-virgin variety.

8.) Due to it's chemical free and preservative free processing, olive oil retains the vitamins, monounsaturated fats, and other natural ingredients of the ripened fruit.

9.) In biblical times, olive oil was used as a food source, a medicine, a fuel, a cosmetic, and a perfume (when mixed with spices and dried flowers) - as well as in burial preparation.

10.) Since light deteriorates the components of olive oil, it should always be stored in a cool, dark place.

11.) In the sixth century, French craftsmen made soaps from olive oil by mixing the oil with ashes from sea plants.

There is no denying the wonderful benefits and varied uses of this antiquated, yet versatile "liquid gold".

So if you're looking for a great way to improve your health, why not pick up some virgin or extra-virgin olive oil today! 

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