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Sparta Greece Understood Olive Oil's Healing Properties

Updated on May 25, 2011
The Greek culture understood the health benefits of the olive fruit
The Greek culture understood the health benefits of the olive fruit

History and Health Benefits of Olive Oil

Five thousand years ago, Crete a Greek Island began production of olive oil. In more recent times a San Francisco dermatologist Dr. Peter Panagotacos produced olives on his estate in his ancestral village at the sloped hill sides of Lykovouno. This area is also known as the valley of Sparta Greece. There were over 3,500 Koroneiki trees planted around 1500BC where olive oil production still thrives. The doctor’s intention was to produce the finest olive oil to be sold in the United States and not blended with other oils. The olive oil had the finest and most unique organoleptic qualities of fresh olive fruit taste and smell. The fruit, pepper and grass aroma derived from this geographic area have produced one of the finest olive oils in the world. Scientific studies have been conducted on this oil and it has been determined through chemical analysis that this particular olive oil has a long shelf life hence antioxidant health benefits. The olive oil from the valley of Sparta Greece has won many State Fair awards, in Lakonia, Greece and Los Angeles County fair.

In short, health benefits derived from olive oil: Oleic acid is a mono-unsaturated omega 9-fatty acid and "best health benefits" from freshly “cold pressed” olives, also known as “Extra Virgin oil.” This oil contains higher levels of antioxidants, especially vitamin E and phenols because of little processing to get the oil. Oleic acid is also found in animal and other vegetables, but not near the levels found in the olive fruit. “Extra Virgin olive oil” tends to have more healthy benefits than other healthy cooking oil loaded with omega-9, anti-oxidant, vitamin E and other disease curing properties.

Health Benefits: Olive oil may boost memory; it has been shown to reduce blood pressure, lower and control LDL (bad) cholesterol while raising HDL (good) cholesterol. The oil properties have also been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes and other suspected disease curing properties, while promoting antioxidant production in the body. Oleic acid is the principle ingredient in Lorenzo’s oil. Developed for young boys that came down with adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) a disease similar to MS (multiple sclerosis) where the nervous systems integrity of the myelin sheath becomes compromised. Other preventative effects are on ulcers and gastritis, colon cancer, also activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones more naturally than prescription drugs.

Most of the olives and oil off of our shelves in the US come from Italy, Spain and Greece. It is very likely if you purchase olive oil off of the store shelves they are blends. Oils, unlike wines don’t get better with age. Heart healthy benefits can be lost after a couple of years on the shelf, even get rancid and go bad. Oils arriving months after production “imported” oils, have already begun to age away the antioxidant and flavor, oleic health benefits. Much like the grape business, weather plays a lot to do with ripeness and harvest timing. The best olive oil is Extra Virgin oil from the first “pressing.” This simply means the oil is extracted without using heat, known as a cold press and not blended with other oils. The less the oil is handled, the better the oil properties. The closer the oil is to its natural state earns it the “Extra Virgin” descriptive brand label. Although this labeling designates purity, there is no guarantee the oil is not mixed. Read the labels.

 

A touch of Greek, italian culture can be found in Vegas.
A touch of Greek, italian culture can be found in Vegas.

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    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Love Olives. Thanks for the info

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      The Spartans were a very interesting culture, and the olives from Laconia are prized even today.

      Great post !!!!

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