Olive oil may be just the cure you're looking for.
I came home from the grocery store the other evening with a can of black olives and the way my kids attacked it, you would have thought it was a bag of chocolate. I’d planned to use those olives on my salad, but they were gobbled up entirely within minutes. Olives are indeed delicious (and fun to put on your fingers!), and a new study I’d just read also reminded me it’s good to up my consumption of equally tasty olive oil.
The study suggests that consuming extra-virgin olive oil may protect the brain against some of the markers of Alzheimer’s disease. Olive oil also has other health benefits that have been discovered, such as preventing strokes; and controlling blood sugar, according to this report from the Mayo Clinic. For this week’s Healthy Habits, let’s pour ourselves a little extra olive oil.
First, Pick Fresh
Find the freshest extra-virgin olive you can. According to the UC Davis Olive Center, quality oils have a harvest date on the container (not the same as a best by date). Look for the most recent harvest, which will be November to December for the Northern Hemisphere crops, such as in California or Italy, and May to June for Southern Hemisphere crops, such as Australia’s.
Choose containers made from dark-colored glass, tin, or a clear glass that is stashed inside a box. Keep olive oil away from heat, so away from the stove, and use it up within six weeks. So buy a small container rather than a vat (sorry, Big Box stores), and replenish often.
More Than Salad Dressing
Think beyond Caprese salad. Try using the versatile olive oil drizzled over eggs, steamed asparagus or rice and beans, suggests Olive Oil Times. The site also recommends it for use in pureed cauliflower, for dressing a steak and over goat cheese. You can even add extra-virgin olive oil to smoothies (it goes well with strawberry and in green drinks).