The Wonder Ingredient from the Kitchen – the Olive Oil

The nutritionists, the chefs, the specialists in cosmetics and the researchers who have studied the olive oil for years recommend it to everyone due to its many benefits that it brings for the human body, both on the inside and on the outside. “The liquid gold”, as it was named by Homer, is today one of the most used ingredients in cooking healthy meals and also in creating various cosmetic products for moisturizing and hydrating the body.

The olive oil, this amazing ingredient that we all should use on a daily basis, can be found on the market in various forms:
- Pure olive oil, of a low quality, which is obtained through chemical refinement and straining;
- Virgin olive oil, which does not contain any chemical additive or refined oil;
- Extra virgin olive oil, of a higher quality, with a good taste and the optimal acidity, obtained at the first pressing of olives;
- Olive oil obtained from cold pressing, at the second pressing of olives.

The Lebanese cuisine would not be complete without this ingredient whose origins are in the Mediterranean area and which is considered an element of the Lebanon’s identity. As you surely know, the Lebanese have a healthy lifestyle and they always put a great emphasis on the gastronomic diversity and on using high quality ingredients for the representative meals of their culinary culture. The Lebanon’s topography, fertile soils, microclimates and the varieties of olives allow the farmers to create unique flavored products.

In our restaurant, the olive oil is used in preparing most of the meals, especially mezze, salads and for macerating the meat. Here are some of the meals in which you olive oil can be found: Homos, Baba-ghanuj, Moutabal, Labneh, Shanclish, Magdus, Muhammara, Fatush, Tabbule, Rocca, Lebanese Salad, Four-Seasons Salad, Haloumi-Baby spinach Salad, Ras-asfur, Foul Moudamas or Musabaha.

The benefits of olive oil consumption
In nutritional terms, the olive oil represents an essential source of monounsaturated fats (73 g%), also known as “good fats”, and in the same time, it has a low content of saturated fats (11 g%), also named “bad fats”. The olive oil does not have cholesterol, carbohydrates or proteins and it has a relatively low vitamins and minerals content (except vitamin E).

The consumption of only two tablespoons of olive oil every day may reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks. It is a reliable help in the fight against extra weight, reducing cravings for sugar and providing a feeling of saturation. Although it has many calories, it reduces the number of fat from the body. In addition, it prevents depression and improves memory, protects the liver, heart and red blood cells and improves digestion.

Consumed for external use, olive oil is excellent for cleaning sensitive skin, for strengthening the hair and untangle it. Also, olive oil is used to cure acne, for skin moisturizing and tanning.

Through its many uses, olive oil proves to be a complex ingredient, which has many benefits for the organism, and this is the reason why all specialists in nutrition recommend us to include it in our meals.

The Wonder Ingredient from the Kitchen – the Olive Oil at Four Seasons in Bucharest
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