History of the Olive Tree
The history of the olive tree begins about 7000 years ago and is inextricably linked to the life of the people of the Mediterranean. The olive, as the myth states, was the gift of the goddess Athena to the people of the city of Athens, who in gratitude gave the name of the goddess to their city while Athena also taught them how to cultivate it.
The ancient Greeks considered olives as a symbol of goodness and kindness, and even today, olive branches symbolize peace. Their fruit has been blessed since ancient times, a symbol of knowledge, wisdom, abundance, health, strength and beauty.
Olive cultivation is widespread throughout the Mediterranean and the consumption of the fruit is a key element of the Mediterranean diet. Olive trees love the Mediterranean sun and the sea, they bloom at the end of spring, while their harvest starts at the end of September and ends in February, depending on the variety of olive.
The Value of the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Diet is generally the traditional diet of the Mediterranean countries and is a very good choice for our health. This diet reduces the risks of various diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes or neurodegenerative diseases, while it can also increase longevity.
Many scientists and scientific organizations urge people to adopt a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean, in order to live in better health and prevent chronic diseases. Various studies have shown the beneficial effects that the Mediterranean Diet can have on people’s health.
The Mediterranean Diet is depicted in the form of a pyramid, at the base of which there are foods that are recommended to be eaten very often, at the top are foods that should be eaten rarely, and in the middle are foods that should be eaten in moderation. The foods that are at the base of the pyramid and are recommended to be consumed on a daily basis are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, olive oil and dairy products.
Olive Oil in the Mediterranean Diet
Olive oil is one of the most important foods of the Mediterranean Diet pyramid. It is the best choice of oil, since it ensures the taste and health of the consumer with its various beneficial properties.
Many scientific studies have shown that olive oil consists of important components that help prevent and treat many health problems, such as cardiovascular diseases and various forms of cancer. The beneficial effect of olive oil is due to its high content of substances with antioxidant activity, as a result of which they work in combination and effectively limit the destructive action of free radicals, strengthening the body’s defenses and shielding the heart and blood vessels.
The use of olive oil is particularly recommended in cooking, due to its increased resistance to high temperatures. Compared to other cooking oils, the components of olive oil are preserved better and do not easily turn into harmful fats. According to researches, it is the best dietary fat, resistant to all cooking.