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Superfood of Significance Spotlight: Olive Oil

Monday, August 24, 2009 at 11:15 PM EDT

Welcome to the first feature of VegLiving’s Superfoods of Significance Spotlights. These posts feature excellent, healthy and tasty choices for foods: what they’re about, why they’re healthy and how to incorporate them into your life. Read more about this series here.

A. “What is olive oil?“

Olive Oil, the revered Mediterranean delight, is a member of the lipids category (fats) obtained from, well… olives. It can processed in many ways but a featured method is called “cold pressing”, a process of “cold” extraction of the olives. A complex and delectable taste, this wonderful oil is used in cuisine all around the world but originated from the Mediterranean region (Italy, Greece, Turkey, N. Africa).

B. “What is healthy about olive oil?“

Olive oil has notable health benefits including the sustainment of: healthy skin, hair, nails and other organs (healthy Vitamin E level); healthy metabolism, development and growth; immune system to prevent disease and sickness; a regular digestive system; and more. An article here on explains how “reducing the animal fats and increasing olive oil in our diet [obtains] a perfect combination for the prevention of fatal diseases like [artery clogs] and heart disease“. Sounds good, vegetarians and vegans, no?

C. “Where can olive oil be purchased and what’s the price range?“

Olive oil can be found at just about any supermarket, market or store, and I’m sure we’ve all seen it on the shelves. The price range varies for quality of the olive oil.

Basic olive oil can be as low as a couple dollars for a standard size; while, fine olive oils can reach more than twenty to thirty dollars and even more. A happy medium for this wide range of selections can be found with the very tasty and quality oils priced just under about $10 that are labeled as “Extra Virgin”. This type is great for salads, bread-dipping, garnishes, etc.; while, the simpler olive oils suit well for cooking or using in large quantities. See more in-depth information at Wikipedia here.

D. “How can Olive Oil be incorporated into my lifestyle?“

Olive oil is a great garnish for salads, bread, or any cooking dish. It is featured in many Italian, Greek, Tunisian, Spanish and French dishes. This fragrant, distinct oil is also an excellent replacement to margarine (or butter), or for vegetable oil in cooking. has some really tasty-looking recipes here as well as some cool information and facts about olive oil. Also, Wikipedia has a cool page on olive oil that I just found — covers a lot of similar stuff but also has some mouthwatering recipes as well here.

But, the wonderful qualities of olive oil aren’t just for eating! This product can be used to enhance skin, hair and even in religious practices, too. Keetsa Green Blog, a great resource for eco-news and even vegetarian life, has a cool post here on some creative ideas for use of olive oil. Skin care, shampoo, pet-care and dusting are just some of the ways to harness the nutritious and beneficial qualities of this delectable oil.

Hopefully this gives a nice overview of this Superfood, olive oil. Explore and see what new recipes and uses you can find. Let me know or drop a comment; it’d be great to hear from readers!

Be well,


Thank you to these sources:

Olive oil and health. The benefits of olive oil. – -link-

Olive oil – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -link-

Cookbook: Olive Oil – Wikibooks, collection of open-content textbooks -link-

Olive recipes – The Olive Oil Source -link-