The Benefits Of Having An Olive Tree
Olive trees are a symbol of peace, vitality and victory, and are symbolic of the Greek Goddess Athena, the Goddess of wisdom. This is where the phrase ‘extending the olive branch’ comes from when offering a peace treaty, and why traditionally Olympic games winners received an olive branch.
Great family heirloom
Planting an olive tree on the birth of a child in your family is a great age old Mediterranean tradition to adopt. The idea behind this act is that the child and the tree would grow up together, and that each tree planted would represent your family history, as a very literal family tree. This way you could create generations of olive trees that would be recognised as family members.
Of course, not everyone has the land to plant a family of olive trees, but you can pot certain species of olive tree or opt for a smaller species to plant, or create your own family Olive Tree Ideas. Olive trees are an ancient, durable plant, managing to grow in rocky and infertile land which is how they can live for hundreds of years, with some even growing to live as long as 2000 years old.
Benefits of the fruit
The colour of an olive depends on how ripe it is, varying from yellow/green to purple/black as they ripen. Used in dishes across the world, olives are popular for appetizers, sauces and in various salads and main dishes. Eating at least 3 to 5 olives within your weekly diet can help to fight wrinkles whilst strengthening the blood vessels and even relieving the symptoms of haemorrhoids.
Olives also contain Lutein, Polyphenols, and Beta-carotene. Lutein destroys free radicals, protects cells from premature ageing, and strengthens the retina improving eye sight. Polyphenols prevent the oxidation of lipoproteins, which protect blood vessels from cholesterol deposits, reducing the risk of heart and blood vessel disorders and stopping cancer cells from growing. Beta-carotene is a form of vitamin A, that reduces harmful influences of carcinogens. This helps to prevent the risk of many forms of cancer as well as being essential for eye sight and skin rejuvenation, with its abilities to assist in the growth and regeneration of tissue.
Benefits of olive oil
Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and high in monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that can lower your cholesterol and control insulin levels in the body. This is why it is one of the 5 foods you should include in your diet at least once a week, along with tomatoes, spinach, nuts and garlic. The less processed the olive oil is, the better. For example, extra virgin olive oil contains a high level of vitamin E and phenols.
Ingesting olive oil raw is said to be more effective than when it is cooked, as researchers found that consuming more than four tablespoons a day of extra virgin olive oil can significantly lower the risks of heart disease, having a heart attack, and suffering from a stroke. A common myth is that cooking olive oil will make it saturated or trans-fatty, but in fact olive oil is more resistant to oxidation and hydrogenation. What is true is that you should consume it in moderation like all things.
Benefits of the olive tree leaf
First used in Ancient Egypt for their healing purposes, olive leaves are still revered to today for their health benefits and are the main ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. Oleuropein is produced in the olive tree, with the olive leaves and fruit rich with it. Oleuropein is a polyphenol that has been found to be an anti-inflammatory with antioxidant effects.
Proven to improve cardiovascular and overall health, the natural extract from the plant can effectively lower blood pressure. Researchers found that olive leaf extract taken at a dose of 500 mg twice a day naturally lowered blood pressure in Stage 1 hypertensive patients, proving more effective than prescription ACE-inhibitor drugs, which can often have detrimental side effects.
Like the olive fruit, the olive leaf can help lower bad cholesterol whilst having an anti-cancerous effect due to the antioxidants it holds and has been proven to help prevent the formation of arterial plaques thus reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
How you can get the most of the trees benefits
- Invest in an olive tree for your home or garden (we recommend a uk olive to save shipping costs)
- Introduce olives into your weekly diet
- Find dishes to cook that include olives or olive leaves
- Aim to consume at least 3-5 olives a week
- Use extra virgin olive oil when cooking
- Use extra virgin olive oil when frying
- Substitute olive oil as a salad dressing
- Add a teaspoon or two to your cup of tea or coffee in the morning
- Adding a few teaspoons to your bath water to soften and smooth your skin