All's Well With This Oil

The versatile olive oil can be the star in your kitchen larder

Poonam Boro Published Mar 23, 2020 16:43:09 IST
All's Well With This Oil Photo: Shutterstock

Toss your salad with it, drizzle it over your pasta, or add it to stir-fried veggies, even use it to toss up a fried egg or omelet—this versatile olive oil can be the star in your pantry. You can also use is as a beauty-care product—for your skin and hair.

Olive oil is extracted from the fleshy part of the ripe fruit of the olive tree that grows extensively in the Mediterranean region. Its quality and characteristics can vary depending on the specific region and the ripeness of the fruit. Besides adding flavour to your food, olive oil has many health benefits too.

A Health Hero

Olive oil contains polyphenols, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic properties. Extra-virgin olive, which is cold pressed, is also amongst the healthiest of oils, with its monounsaturated fatty acids, preventing bad cholesterol and heart disease; it is full of antioxidants, which fight many chronic diseases; it also has anti-inflammatory effects and prevents strokes.

For Hydrated Skin

Olive oil is rich in squalene, a natural organic compound that has detoxifying, skin hydrating and emollient properties. As a result, it makes for a great ingredient in skin products. Massaging the skin with olive oil can leave your skin feeling hydrated and glowing. It can also be used as a balm on the lips and to smoothen hands and feet.

For Strong Hair

Olive oil is rich in vitamin E, which helps strengthen hair and prevents hair loss. Hair oils and shampoos containing olive oil are the rage these days.You can also massage your hair with olive oil to keep the scalp supple and healthy.

Buy It Right

Look for a bottle that is marked extra-virgin—this is the best variant of olive oil. Extra-virgin olive oil is unrefined, which means it has not been treated with heat or chemicals. The greener the oil, the better it is. You can also smell it to check the freshness. They are best used as a base for salad dressings or as dips. But you can also use olive oil for cooking if using moderate temperatures. For cooking at higher temperatures you can buy the regular variety, which is slightly more refined. However, we suggest you avoid the Pomace variant, widely available in India, as it is the most reasonable but the least healthy option.

Store It Well

Keep your olive oil in an air-tight container and store it in a cool, dark place. Exposure to direct sunlight can spoil the oil. It is best consumed within a year of bottling.

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