Daily Archives: March 26, 2014

  • The Blessed Olive Tree that Never Dies

    The olive tree was a gift of the gods to the Greeks. Goddess Athena planted the first olive tree on the acropolis at the center of Attica. The grateful Greek inhabitants of Attica honored the goddess by naming their polis Athena (Athens). The affection was mutual. Athena adopted and protected Athens. The citizens of Athens venerated Athena with elaborate Olympic-like games and festivals. They also built and dedicated their greatest temple, the Parthenon, to Athena.

    The sacred olive tree flourished throughout Greece and the Mediterranean. Its olives and oil have been nutritional and medical food for millennia.

    Greeks ate olives and oil in cooking. They used oil for their lamps, lighting their homes and temples and altars. The Greeks also made perfumes from oil. Some of those perfumes, exported all over the Mediterranean in the delicate and beautiful glass containers known as “aryballoi,” were aphrodisiacs. But olive oil was fundamental for sports and bathing. Athletes rubbed themselves with oil, their bodies becoming like shining statues of gods. Women bathed and anointed their bodies with oil. Greeks in Athens and Olympia also used olive wreaths to crown their victorious athletes.

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 4.6/10 (12 votes cast)
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
    The olive tree was a gift of the gods to the Greeks. Goddess Athena planted the first olive tree on the acropolis at the center of Attica. The grateful Greek inhabitants of Attica honored the goddess by naming their polis Athena (Athens). The affection was mutual. Athena adopted... 
    Read More →
  • What can I do to keep my cholesterol levels under check? - Switch to olive oil for cooking

    Cholesterol, rather high cholesterol levels have always been a subject of worry for many. One such reader wrote in to us asking about how he can control his cholesterol levels. Here is an in-depth answer by our expert Dr Varun Mallya on exactly what he should do.

    Question: My total cholesterol is 239 and LDL is 170, and my other parameters are okay. How to reduce my total cholesterol and LDL? What foods can help me control my cholesterol levels and maintain heart health? As of now I spend 45 minutes walking and jogging.

    Answered by Dr Varun Mallya

    Changing your food habits is as essential as getting the right amount of exercise. All you need are a few simple tweaks in your daily diet and exercise regime to help you get your cholesterol levels under control. Here are some tips you might like to include into your lifestyle

    1. Olive oil: Switch to olive oil for cooking. Research has shown that the Mediterranean people consume olive oil and have very low incidence of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Olive oil contains a mix of various anti-oxidants which lower your bad cholesterol (LDL). Use it for your tadka or add it as a dressing to salads. Extra virgin olive oils are even more beneficial as they are less-processed and retain more anti-oxidants than the other varieties. Read more about skin and hair benefits of olive oil.

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 4.8/10 (46 votes cast)
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +3 (from 9 votes)
    Cholesterol, rather high cholesterol levels have always been a subject of worry for many. One such reader wrote in to us asking about how he can control his cholesterol levels. Here is an in-depth answer by our expert Dr Varun Mallya on exactly what he should do. Question: My... 
    Read More →
  • Greek Workshop on Extra Virgin Olive Oil Production

    For Greece, extra virgin olive oil is considered to be an agricultural product of utmost priority.

    The Greek state, however, does not provide the opportunity to methodically learn how to produce this high quality product, as Greek universities, technological educational institutes, schools or vocational schools do not offer a single course on its production.

    A workshop, however, comes to fill this gap and attracts olive oil producers and bottlers from several Greek regions to Athens.

    Vasilis Frantzolas is a third-generation olive oil producer from the village Ligourio in Argolida, in south-eastern Greece, and has been holding olive oil seminars in Athens for the last couple of years.

    Frantzolas has worked as a civil engineer and construction manager and has recently acquired a M.Sc. in Food Policy at the City University of London.

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 3.7/10 (18 votes cast)
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +7 (from 9 votes)
    For Greece, extra virgin olive oil is considered to be an agricultural product of utmost priority. The Greek state, however, does not provide the opportunity to methodically learn how to produce this high quality product, as Greek universities, technological educational institutes,... 
    Read More →