Health And Hope

Health And Hope

Using The Gifts Of Creation

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Olive trees live a very long time but can still bear some fruit.

Do you like olives? Either green or black? It has been known medically for a long time that people who live round the Mediterranean and in the olive-growing regions elsewhere, and use olives and olive oil regularly have healthier hearts and blood vessels. Usually the more fat people eat, the more heart problems they have. For example, this is shown by the diets of people living in East Finland and North America who are heavy meat eaters. At the other end of the scale is Japan where little fat is eaten. The exception to this pattern is around the Mediterranean - Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal. The fat intake there is relatively high, but the incidence of heart and blood-vessel disease is very low.
Olive oil eaten regularly can reduce blood pressure as olives are good for our arteries. They work towards relaxing the walls of the arteries and so reduce the tendency to high blood-pressure. They have been shown to help reduce the cholesterol in the blood, and so could be good for cholesterol management. A controlled experiment took 48 people in Southern Italy and for 42 days substituted animal fats for their olive oil. At the end of the period they were showing similar trends to people in North America.

Olives are very kind to the stomach too. They are easy to digest and, if some olives are chewed slowly at the end of a meal, they gently slow down the emptying of the stomach allowing one to feel that one had had a good meal. Some people like to keep the olive stone in their mouths to suck and play with until the fragments are taken off and the flavour is gone. Different olives have different flavours too. This is good punctuation for your meal! In a stressful society it all works to slowing one down for a few minutes.

However, when they reach the large bowel, they are gently stimulating and make also motions more comfortable to pass. Those who eat animal fats as part of their diet - butter,
cream, cheese, meats, have a greater risk of getting four of the commonest cancers, ie. breast, colon, ovary and prostate cancers. International statistics show that where olive oil is used as the everyday oil, there is lowered risk of contracting these cancers. But another fact has been shown - that even vegetable oils can contribute to the risk of cancer - but olive oil was different, not increasing the risk of cancer like other fats.
So it would seem sensible to add to a plant diet the gentle olive and its oil, but it does not work just adding it to a diet rich in animal products.

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