The best olive oil is unique among vegetable oils because it can (and should be) consumed in its most raw, first cold-pressed, extra virgin, unprocessed form! Nut and seed oils have to be refined at least somewhat to make them suitable for bottling and distribution.
The best olive oil not only tastes sublime, but has a plethora of health benefits. Rich in phytosterols, with a nice balance of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids, it supports the cardiovascular, digestive, skeletal and endocrine systems. In addition, it strengthens cell membranes, skin. This super food has even been shown by studies published in the Archives of Opthalmology to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)!
If you have a streak of skepticism in you, you will be at an advantage to find the best olive oil.
Unfortunately, there is a very shady side to the production and distribution of this healthy food. Do you know that olive oil scams are so common that upwards of 70% of all olive oil is adulterated with oils that are actually BAD for you because they are cheap, rancid, refined and high in cancer-causing omega-6 fatty acids?
Producing the best olive oil is a labor of love. It involves intensive human involvement with the process from beginning to end.
The trees take a good 50 years to mature. They only grow in limited geographical areas where the climate and soil conditions are just right.
Making first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is an exacting skill. The fruit must be picked green, then sorted and pulverized immediately after for best results. The juice is then centrifuged to separate oil and water.
During all stages of production, nutritional integrity is insured by protection from heat, light and contamination. It is packaged in cans (ideal because it is kept entirely safe from light), or dark brown or green bottles (next best).
NOTE: Don't even bother to buy olive oil packed in clear glass. Even if it started out as the best olive oil, exposure to light degrades the healthy chlorophyll, phytosterols and fatty acids.
Once it is packed in air tight containers that protect from light, it must be stored in a cool place to preserve the delicate compounds that are so health-giving.
You may not have thought about this; fresher olive oil is better. Only recently, I learned from an expert with decades of experience that freshness makes a huge difference in taste and health benefits.
If you never considered the freshness factor, you are in good company...
I've bought olive oil for years and never thought to inquire as to when it was harvested! Of course, this makes sense; the best olive oil is a RAW food - and FRESH raw foods give you the most nutrition and the best taste.
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TOTALLY RAW - so rich in antioxidants, it needs NO preservatives!
So mild-tasting and smelling you can use it as a face oil!
So pure, it is well tolerated
by even my most