2014. It's here. Live a healthy lifestyle. Such a simple statement, but sometimes seems impossible to put into action. A friend of mine posted on Facebook the other day a wonderful saying "You can't outrun your fork" .... because she's a dedicated runner and knows that it doesn't matter how far she goes, what she puts in her body for fuel will ultimately affect her overall health. She knows through experience, of years of running through heat, rain, sleet and snow that if she deprives her body of real, whole foods, all the miles she runs will be in vain. Our bodies are organic, so the last thing you want to do is to fill it with fake energy bars, processed foods, salt and sugar. On the flip side, our bodies are amazingly efficient, filtering out the good stuff from the bad. But are we making it harder to live stronger and longer by burdening our system with foods that are comprised of chemicals that place demands upon our organs simply to exist? I would say yes. Historically, cultures have thrived or died due to their diet. The Mediterranean diet, featuring lean meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables and nuts naturally support the Greeks, Spanish, and Italians for long, healthy lives. If you have made a New Year's resolution for healthier eating, put these top ten facts about Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) in your pocket for making positive choices this year.
First of all, it's Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Not Olive Oil. Not Refined Olive Oil. Not True Olive Oil. Not Light Olive Oil. Only EXTRA VIRGIN Olive Oil carries the numerous antioxidants that fend off diseases that lead to a healthier life and has that wonderful fresh olive taste.
Processing ... Fruit Facts .... and Buying Tips
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is first-pressed, not oil derived from neither olive paste nor a second pressing and never altered with other oils.
2. Quality of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is dependent upon the producer and tree care. A clean production facility away from animals and industry ensures the oil won't be tainted by environmental aromatics. No filtering or gravity method filtering minimizes handling of the fruit for the freshest flavor. Trees that are attended with sustainable farming practices reduces and often zeroing out use of any pesticides.
3. Learn more about the facility's processing, fruit should be crushed within four hours of picking ... just like grapes and other fruit, once removed from it's life source, it begins to change. Look for brands that are crushing on-site and not trucking olives hundreds of miles for processing.
4. Other oils derived from seeds and vegetables are typically processed with solvents, such as hexane. Because olives contain significant amounts of water, olive oil can be extracted with a centrifuge or press, without any chemical intervention. Simply put, extra virgin olive oil are crushed olives.
5. The flavor of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is derived from olive varietal, soil, climate and processing method but should have the taste of fresh olives and like wine, will lean towards different characteristics depending upon where and how the olives are grown. Some are peppery, smooth, bright, grassy or like ours will aromatic hints of apples. You want naturally pleasant smells and flavors, not barnyard or rancid sensory traits.
6. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the only oil that contains a concentrated number of natural antioxidants (polyphenols) that fight free radical cells, therefore staving off major diseases. Due to high levels of oleanic acid, it has natural anti-inflammatory properties. The high levels of polyphenols also protect the olive oil itself.
7. Alzheimer's, heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis are all diseases that are greatly reduced with consumption of true extra virgin olive oil along side a healthy diet.
8. Look for harvest date on every bottle, it should not be more than a year old. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is "live", meaning it is changing from the minute it is harvested.
9. Extra Virgin Olive Oil has multiple uses and is not only used for salads. It is delicious drizzled over steamed or roasted vegetables of all kinds, fish, meat and for finishing off sauces, making homemade mayonnaise and even baking.
10. Always buys extra virgin olive oil in dark glass or tin, never in clear glass, to prevent rapid oxidation and rancidity. Keep away from heat, light and exposure to air.
Here's to a New Year and we wish you not only a happy one, but a healthy one too!