Before I went to Greece for the very first time in the late eighties, I had already heard all about Greek Olive Oil. It is an integral part of Greece’s history, economy and culture. Consequently, the roots of all Greek olive trees are buried deeply in the soil and the history of the country.
Greek Olive Oil
For thousands of years, Greek olive oil has provided light, heat, food, medicines and cosmetics. Furthermore it has also been a symbol of peace, fertility, purity and well-being. Furthermore fossilized olive leaves have been found in Greece dating back, 60,000 years. When Noah sent the pigeon out from the ark, it returned with a branch from an olive tree. This was a sign that God was no longer angry.
In 776 BC the first Pan-Hellenic athletic contest was held, The Olympic Games of antiquity. The victors of each competition were awarded large jars, filled with olive oil as their prize. Not only this but, Olympians were honoured by being crowned with the Kotinos a wreath. Made from wild olive.
Olive oil is a source of life, health and balance. It has a positive effect on all stages of growth from childhood until old age. It is a pure source of vitality with great nutrition value. Therefore, it forms the basis of a healthy Greek diet.
Worlds Olive Oil
The greatest number of all olive trees around the world are found in the Mediterranean basin, which is approximately, 98%. The worlds olive oil production comes primarily from Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Spain being the largest, then Italy, then Greece, in that order. Greeks are the world’s biggest consumers of olive oil. Greece uses 60% of its cultivated land, exclusively for growing olives.
Best in the World
There are around 120 million olive trees in Greece and approximately 3000 olive presses in operation around the country. They are producing some of the best olive oil in the world. At the 2016 New York International Olive Oil Competition, some Greek producers, won top awards. The Greek olive oil Argali, won the award for, Best in Class. Producers from other countries have been blending Greek Extra Virgin olive oil, to enhance their blends. The Greeks are now trying hard to promote their oils on the world stage.
The ancient doctor Hippocrates was the first to recognize the beneficial qualities of Olive Oil. He recommended it as a cure for many illnesses. Many studies in both the USA the European Union have confirmed the beneficial effects of olive oil for cardiovascular diseases. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids as well oleic acid. It is a wonderful natural juice, which helps to keep you healthy and prolongs life.
It has been proved that olive oil reduces the level of low-density lipoprotein. (bad cholesterol) It increase the level of high-density fatty proteins. (Good cholesterol) This reduces deposits of fats on artery walls, reducing the clotting of blood vessels and the heart. Also monounsaturated fat, does not oxidize in the body.
Olive oil does not upset the stomach, unlike animal fats. It reduces gastric fluids and helps to treat Ulcers. Take a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil a day, on an empty stomach. Difficult I know, but it is not as bad as Cod liver oil. This will help the intestines to function properly and can help with constipation.
Olive oil contains vitamins A, B, C, D, K, E and iron. It is good for the skin and can help skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It is used in many cosmetic creams.
Central Nervous System
Chlorophyll contributes to cell growth and reinforces blood metabolism and strength. It plays a leading role in the development of the central nervous system.
Oleocanthal the poly-nutrient in olive oil, can help to reduce inflammation, by mimicking the effects of Ibuprofen.
The therapeutic qualities against cancer (especially breast cancer) that the regular consumption of olive oil provides are well known.
Poly-phenols are one of the antioxidant substances contained in olive oil. This helps us to age well.
Olive oil contributes to bone growth and a strong skeleton. It helps with calcium absorption and also has high levels of osteocalcin protein. Which helps to protect bones. Therefore it is very important for the growth and composition of children’s bones. It plays a great role in the prevention of osteoporosis.
It activates the pancreas to a significant degree and improves blood sugar levels. So that diabetics often require less quantities of insulin.
At Deep Blue Yachting we use fresh, locally produced, food products. In fact, we go to one of the local olive presses in Lefkada, and buy their best Extra Virgin Greek Olive Oil. So while you are on-board our luxury yacht Glaros. You will get to try some of the best olive oil, in the world, with your food.