This is how Homer called olive oil and not without reason.
Origin and historical data
Olive oil originates from the fruit of olive (olea europea), constitutes a basic and integral part of the Mediterranean Diet and was considered as a remedy from the greatest doctors of antiquity, such as Hippocrates and Galen.
The first findings of olive oil in Greece date back in 2700 BC when excavations that were carried out discovered a clay pot where there were traces of tainted olive oil.
Greece is ranked in the 3rd place, following Spain and Italy, in olive oil production and total olive oil consumption, but holds the 3st place in per capita consumption of this nutritional treasure. (source: International Olive Council).
The health benefits of the consumption of olive oil have been cited in many studies. Olive oil is famous for its nutritional value and health benefits. It is extremely rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (especially oleic acid) and poor in saturated fats, which are associated with the occurrence of coronary heart disease. To a lesser extent, olive oil contains polyunsaturated fatty acids (Ω-6 and Ω-3), known for their benefits to the human health and their cardioprotective effect.
In addition, olive oil is known for its high content of polyphenols, flavonoids and fat-soluble vitamins A, E, K known for their antioxidant properties and chemo-protective effect. Olive oil polyphenols may help to reverse oxidative damage that occurs in the aging process.
Many international scientific studies have documented the protective role of polyphenols in olive oil. Olive oil helps maintain a healthy lipid profile and helps maintain low levels of LDL cholesterol. Furthermore, its consumption is associated with decreased incidence of strokes, metabolic syndrome, depression and breast cancer. Other scientific studies suggest that olive oil consumption is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, pancreatitis and ulcerative colitis.
All of the above make us consider olive oil as a Greek superfood, necessary for the improvement of our health and lives.
Can I consume it without fear?
Although olive oil is considered beneficial, it should be consumed in moderation because, as all fats, olive oil is energetically dense, that is, it gives a lot of calories to the body. One tablespoon (13 grams) gives about 130 calories. But that does not mean that we will gain weight from the consumption of olive oil. In a healthy and balanced diet, its daily consumption should not exceed the 3-4 tablespoons, on average, which is more than enough to derive all the health benefits that have been mentioned above, without the fear of gaining weight.
Olive oil consists a basic ingredient in most recipes of the Mediterranean diet, from salads, to meat and fish, legumes, sauces, pasta etc and is preferred than any other oil product, such as butter or other vegetable oils. So you may consume it without guilt and offer your body all of its health benefits.
Molecular biologist - nutritionist