Health Benefits of Olive Oil Which Olive Oil Benefits Your Health the Most
Before we find out the health benefits of olive oil and which one gives your health the optimum boost, it's best for you to know how olive oil is made so that you know exactly what kind of food you're feeding your body with.
How Olive Oil is Made
Not all olive oils are created equal - their quality are in essence, graded based on production method, acidity level and flavor.
Although different grades can mix together to produce other grades and types, there are 3 principal grades of olive oil that benefit your health more than others, which you ought to know.
Let's run through their production processes briefly to help you get some basic ideas.
Harvested olives will first go through grinding and pressing using heavy granite millstones or modern stainless steel rollers to extract the oil. At this point, they never add any chemical so as to preserve its nutrients, aroma and flavor. In essence, the health benefits of olive oil retain.
For the liquid gold to be classified top quality, "cold pressing" is required. It means the frictional heat emitted during pressing and grinding should not exceed 86 degrees F (i.e. 30 degrees C).
Such "cold pressing" extraction method yields grades of extra virgin or virgin oil depending on its acidity level.
The lower the acidity level, the better the quality and thus, the greater benefits for your health.
Manufacturers further process some virgin oils after first chemical-free pressing, especially when they bear poor flavor and an acidity level of more than 3% (i.e. not fit for human consumption anymore).
They then send the acidic oil for refining to reduce its acidity level so that it can be re-used for consumption again.
But because this type of refined oil is produced in presence of high temperature, chemicals, and filtration, their quality will drop dramatically in terms of flavor and nutritional value.
Refined oil usually bears no color, odor and flavor, thus they are often blended with virgin or extra virgin oil to make it look and taste better. This mixture forms another grade called pure olive oil in some places.
This pure oil can also be further chemically processed to form another 2 grades called olive-pomace oil and lampante oil. But we're not interested in them here since they don't benefit your health much, especially lampante oil, which is totally inedible.
Which Olive Oil Benefits Your Health the Most?
Let's recap the 3 grades to see which olive oil brings you the most health benefits.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - This type provides the highest quality among the three for the following reasons:
-- Made from absolute mechanical means (i.e. no chemical processing takes place).
-- Comes from the first "cold press". Meaning, oil from second and subsequent pressings are not included.
-- Acidity level holds for less than 0.8% (some premium quality can go as low as 0.225%).
-- Burst with highest amount of polyphenolic antioxidants that help you fight against free radicals in your body and prevent illnesses effectively.
-- Packs a strong flavor and aroma - taste fruity and buttery.
Virgin Olive Oil - Same as extra-virgin grade, it's made from the "cold processing" method. But it's of lower quality due to:
-- Made from the first "cold press" as in extra virgin oil but carries higher acidity level of up to 2%.
-- Great taste but slightly inferior to that of extra-virgin grade.
Pure Olive Oil - The lowest quality among these three because:
-- Mixture of refined and virgin / extra-virgin oil.
-- Lacks strong flavor due to its much higher content of the flavorless and odorless refined oil (85%) than virgin oil (15%).
Though its acidity carries only less than 1.5% (may seem better than some virgin grade), its overall nutritional values have fallen drastically in the chemical-bound refining process.
The only good thing about this pure oil grade is its longer shelf life. But do you think you want to go with the oil so that you can use it longer at the expense of your health? I personally wouldn't do that.
In conclusion, to gain the most health benefits from olive oil, I strongly recommend that you include extra virgin oil as a vital dietary intake in your daily meals. Although it's pricier, it's definitely worth the investment as far as your health is concerned.
Laura Ng invites you to discover more olive oil health benefits at iOneHealth.com where you'll learn exactly how to maximize the health benefits of this liquid gold to strengthen your health, slim down and obtain beautiful skin. Visit iOneHealth.com now to uncover other natural health remedies that'll improve your overall well being dramatically and take your health to the next level.
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