Olive (Olea europaea) has been held in high esteem for thousands of years. Olive leaf and olive oil are both popular remedies. The olive plant is grown in almost all of the southern European countries and throughout the entire Mediterranean region. Today, olive is cultivated in many other regions of the world as well. It is a member of the Oleaceae family.
Olive oil is a used in both cooking and nutritional supplementation. Olive oil consists of the fatty oil pressed from the drupes (fruit) of olive trees. It is classified, in part, according to oleic acid content. Extra virgin olive oil contains a maximum of 1% free oleic acid, virgin olive oil contains 2%, and ordinary olive oil contains 3.3%. Olive oil can act as a source of dietary fat, which can have many beneficial effects on one's health.
Olive oil contains the monounsaturated fatty acid oelic acid, palmitic acid, and linoleic acid. The phenolic compounds in olive oil possess antioxidant and cholesterol-lowering activities. It has been used for cardiovascular disease and liver and gallbladder problems.
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