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Bible believers know that studying the word of God is good for you. What might come as a surprise is that one particular food discussed in the Bible contains a wide array of health benefits.
This is becoming increasingly clear as scientists discover more and more positive health benefits from consuming extra-virgin olive oil.
"Olive oil is the only vegetable oil that can be taken as it is, just by cold pressing the pure oil out of the olive without heavy processing, heat or chemicals," noted Rabbi Shmuel Veffer to PNW.
"This is one of the many miracles we glean from the olive, one of Israel's seven holy species discussed in the Bible."
Rabbi Veffer, along with Nili Abrahams, are co-founders of Galilee Green
, an Israeli company which produces premium boutique olive oil for worldwide distribution.
Galilee Green is well aware of the unique health benefits of extra-virgin olive oil, even having a "Wellness" section highlighting this important information on their website.
"The Bible is replete with references to the importance of olive oil," continued Rabbi Veffer. "Also, in ancient Egypt olive oil was so valuable that it was used in the payment of wages.
"A land of wheat, barley, grapevines, figs, and pomegranates; a land of olive-oil and date honey." (Deuteronomy 8:8)
To date, extra virgin olive oil has been scientifically found to aid in the prevention of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, various cancers, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease and more.
Studies of the benefits of olive oil have come out of some of the most respected scientific research in the world.
Modern-day interest in the health benefits of olive oil increased when it was discovered in the 1940s and 1950s that those following the Mediterranean diet decrease their risk of early death from cardiovascular disease by 9 percent.
A followup 2014 study credited an elevated consumption of olive oil with reducing the risk of cardiovascular events and stroke.
The Mediterranean diet includes a proportionally high consumption of extra-virgin olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, vegetables, fish, moderate amounts of dairy mostly coming from cheese and yogurt, moderate consumption of wine and small amounts of meat.
"It may be counter intuitive to think that adding olive oil to your diet is good for your heart, but that is what science has found," said Rabbi Veffer.
"It is proven to be more effective for cardiovascular health than a low-fat diet and also helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure."
Olive oil, considered a "good fat", is also linked to decreasing the risk of osteoporosis. A study from the Ain Shams University in Egypt found that the monounsaturated fat in olive oil helps the body break down calcium so that it can be properly absorbed into bones.
Additionally, some studies have found a decreased risk of type-2 diabetes in those who consume extra-virgin olive oil. Others credit olive oil for protecting the body against breast cancer.
In addition, there appears to be a lowered risk of Alzheimer's disease and slower cognitive decline as well as a lessening of other neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's disease estimated by as much as 13 percent.
Consuming olive oil is also good for mental health. According to Spanish researchers from the University of Navarra, a diet rich in olive oil can help prevent mental illness and a person is 30 percent less likely to suffer from depression when following the Mediterranean diet.
The most nutritious olive oil to consume is cold-pressed, unfiltered extra virgin, which comes from the first olive pressing.
This retains most of the health benefits. The polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil act as antioxidants in the body. This helps prevent blood clots and works as an anti-inflammatory agent alleviating inflammation of the joints.
"Galilee Green olive oil is unfiltered and cold pressed the same day that the olives are picked, which helps guarantee you are getting the best extra-virgin olive oil
," told Rabbi Veffer to PNW. "This freshness retains the highest nutrient value along with outstanding flavor.
We pray that those who use our Galilee Green olive oil are blessed with abundant health along with the special blessings that produce from the Holy Land provides."
You can learn more about Galilee Green here