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Mani Olives Oil - History & Nutritional Value

Image by Vytautas Ratkevicius
The history of the olive tree
The olive tree first appeared in Greece during the Middle Paleolithic era. Fossilized finds of olive leaves have been discovered in Santorini and Nisyros and their age dates back to 60,000 BC.
The olive tree is one of the oldest cultivated trees in the world and, according to Homer, the first people to cultivate it were the Greeks 10,000 years ago. 
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The olive tree is a sacred tree for the Greeks from ancient times until today.
According to the Greek mythology, the first olive tree appeared on the Acropolis, as a gift from the Goddess Athena to the Athenians.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The ancient Greeks considered olives trees as a symbol of friendship, victory, wisdom and peace. Even today, the olive branches symbolize peace.
In the Olympic Games of the Ancient Times, the prize of the Olympians was the "kotinos", that is, a wreath of olive branches.
From the Ancient Times until today, the olive tree has a direct relationship with Greek culture, economy, art, customs and traditions, tradition and religion of the Greeks.
 
The olive tree is considered one of the longest-lived trees in the world.
The normal lifespan of an olive tree is from 150 to 1,000 years. Today there are olive trees that are over 3,000 years old.
The oldest olive tree in the world exists in Crete with an age of 5,000 years!
 
The olive tree grows to a height of 6 to 10 meters.
In the first 6 to 7 years of its life, the olive three does not produce fruits, while at the age of 30-70 years it is in full growth.
However, it needs care from the olive tree farmer so that it is healthy and fruitful.

All Greeks love, respect and care for olive trees as members of their family. That is why Greece produces the highest quality and highest olive oil in the world.
 

The history of olive oil and its nutritional value

The first olive mills were built in ancient Greece and produced olive oil for food, grooming and medicine.
The ancient Greeks placed olive oil in large amphorae and traded it with neighboring peoples such as those of ancient Egypt.
Over the years, olive oil has been used in addition to food, in lighting, in perfumery, in medicine and in the rituals of the Christian religion.
In our modern era, olive oil is consumed by all people in the world.
It is used in salads, soups, stews, and grilled foods, all fish and meat.
In addition, olive oil is used in frying because it has high resistance to high temperatures and does not produce harmful substances.
 
Greek olive oil holds the first place in the quality of extra virgin olive oil with international recognition and certification. 
 
The nutritional value of olive oil is due to its chemical composition and the essential fatty acids it contains.
Olive oil also contains many vitamins, phenols and polyphenols, tocopherols, squalene, β-carotene, fiber, minerals, alcohols and other valuable ingredients.

Modern medicine science has confirmed the miraculous properties of olive oil and the beneficial effects of its consumption on the human body.
Consumption of olive oil contributes to the prevention and treatment of diseases and disorders, such as:
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • In digestive disorders (eg stomach ulcer, intestinal diseases)
  • In metabolic diseases (eg diabetes, hyperlipidemia, vitamin deficiencies)
  • In sexual disorders
  • In skin diseases
  • In the prevention and treatment of cancer, etc.
Image by Roberta Sorge
 
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The history of the edible olive and its nutritional value

Olives have always been a basic type of food since ancient times and depending on the way they are prepared they were called "kolumvades", "almades", "goggylai", "stemfilides", "drypetis", etc.

Kalamata olives in particular are the most widespread and beloved variety in the world. Kalamata olives have rich and delicious flesh with a high content of 15-20% olive oil.

 

Nutritionally they have a low caloric load, only 5 to 9 calories per olive, which is why they are recommended in diets. Also, they have the ability to satisfy the feeling of hunger even if one eats just 10 olives.

Kalamata olives are the richest olives in tocopherols, as well as they contain potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, carotenoids and antioxidants, offering health and longevity to the human body.