Olive oil has been produced in Crete without stop since ancient times to our days. The primitive oil crushing machines, the jars and amphorae for storing oil, and the information regarding its use, transportation and trade, are common findings in archaeological research and excavations on the island. Today, with the exception of religious fasts, it would be very difficult to find a local recipe not based on Olive oil or not including it in any way.
Pure Virgin Olive Oil is one of the richest, most nutritious and healthy oils in the world, and the basis of the famous Cretan Diet. In our times, when all foods are products of artificial chemical processes, added preservatives and DNA intervention (genetically modified foods), people fall ill more frequently to diseases caused to a great degree by bad nutrition (heart disease, cancers, etc.).
The only solution is to return to natural products and the traditional diet. Olive oil contains the healthiest natural fatty substances, vitamins and provitamins (A and E), minerals and antioxidants. These natural antioxidants are what make it so resilient to oxidation (the Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be preserved for a long time) and it offers the same protection from oxidation to the human body. Through its antioxidants, olive oil lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and increases "good" cholesterol (HDL). It binds free radicals, by stopping the destruction of cells, and therefore reduces the rates of heart and other diseases. The aromatic compounds and various other micro-components of olive oil stimulate the secretion of the stomach's fluids making digestion and the absorption of antioxidant substances by the human body easier.
Therefore, a good olive oil, apart from being a fortifying and nutritious food is a strong natural antioxidant which is easily absorbed by the human body and is a perfect "ally" against disease and aging. It is remarkable how the local olive oil has protected the residents of Crete against cardiovascular disease and cancers over the millennia. It has been scientifically proven that the antioxidant substances retained by humans through natural foods such as olive oil cannot be substituted by artificially manufactured nutritional supplements, for the simple reason that olive oil's antioxidants are assisted and cooperate with all the other substances it contains. So this is why it has excellent results for the human body compared to the more moderate results of any pharmaceutical product. Apart from an easily digested, tasty and healthy food, with its valuable components easily assimilated by the human body,
Olive Oil has for millennia been used as a salve, medicine for skin diseases, cosmetic, base for preparing poultices and ointments, raw material for the manufacture of soap, excellent preservative for delicate foods such as cheese, palliative for the stomach and many other things. Ancient athletes rubbed their bodies with it, priests used it and still use it in the various ceremonies and it is the basis for preparing the Holy Myrrh. There is no end to the value, symbolic and practical uses of Olive oil!