Updated September 22nd 2020
Olive Oil : Ancient Wisdom That Lives On
The olive is among the oldest known cultivated trees in the world – being grown before written language was invented. Olive oil is the original superfood. Its flavour and health enriching properties have been celebrated and enjoyed for centuries.
Olive oil has long been considered sacred. The olive branch was often a symbol of abundance, glory, and peace. Over the years, the olive has also been used to symbolize wisdom, fertility, power, and purity.
Olive oil was used for not only food and cooking, but also lighting, sacrificial offerings, ointment, and ceremonial anointment for priestly or royal office. The leafy branches of the olive tree were ritually offered to deities and powerful figures as emblems of benediction and purification, and they were used to crown the victors of friendly games and bloody wars.
Legend has it that Poseidon, the sea god, and Athena, goddess of wisdom, competed to find the gift that would be most valuable to humankind. After that, Poseidon offered the horse and Athena the olive tree. Because of its many uses, the provision of heat, food, medicine and perfume, the olive tree was chosen as the most valuable and in return for Athena’s contribution, the most powerful city in Greece was named Athens in her honour.
Is Olive Oil A Food Or A Medicine?
In Rome, olive oil was used for nearly everything in relation to their health. Roman medicine takes heavily from Greek doctors, who influenced European medicine for centuries, and Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine writes about over 60 different conditions or ailments that can be treated with olive oil, including skin problems, burns and wounds, ear infections, gynecological problems, healing surgical scars, and much more. Many of these uses are still valid and are used as home remedies today.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”Hippocrates : father of modern medicine
Myth says it bestow strength and youth. Not least because of the tree’s longevity and its tremendous resilience. Even through the harshest summers and winters they continue to grow strong and bear fruit.
A highly researched foodstuff, the health benefits are scientific based.
So – how can Extra Virgin Olive Oil contribute towards ‘wellness?’
What Is Wellness?
Above all wellness is as an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth. Definitions include:
“…a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
– The World Health Organization
“a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential.”
– The National Wellness Institute
Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is crucial to living a higher quality life. Wellness matters because every choice we make, everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being. In turn, our well-being directly affects our actions and emotions. It’s an ongoing circle.
There are reckoned to be eight dimensions of wellness: occupational, emotional, spiritual, environmental, financial, physical, social, and intellectual. Each dimension of wellness is interrelated with another. Each dimension is equally vital in the pursuit of optimum health.
Emotional wellness relates to understanding your feelings and coping effectively with stress. It is important to pay attention to self-care, relaxation, stress reduction and the development of inner resources so you can learn and grow from experiences. The better you understand the processes and manage those feelings, the smoother the ride will be.
However, Environmental wellness inspires us to live a lifestyle that is respectful of our surroundings. This realm encourages us to live in harmony with the Earth by taking action to protect it. Environmental well-being promotes interaction with nature and your personal environment. Everyone can have a strong environmental conscious simply by raising their awareness.
Financial Wellness involves the process of learning how to successfully manage financial expenses. Money plays a critical role in our lives and not having enough of it impacts health as well as academic or professional performance. A common source of anxiety and fear is financial stress.
Engaging the mind benefits intellectual wellness. Doing so can help you build new skills and knowledge that inspire and challenge you, and help you grow. You might choose different ways to keep your mind sharp, depending on your mood. For some, that’s brain games and puzzles, or scholastic endeavours. Even simply engaging in intellectually stimulating conversations and debates can strengthen your intellectual wellness.
Occupational wellness is about enjoying your occupational endeavors and appreciating your contributions. This dimension of wellness encourages personal satisfaction and enrichment in one’s life through work.
Social relationships create support systems that can carry you through life’s struggles. Harvard’s Study of Adult Development ran for 80 years, collecting data on hundreds of participants. A recent study on a subset of this population, surviving octogenarians, investigated the connections between marital satisfaction, social lives, and happiness. Researchers found that participants who spent more time with others reported greater levels of happiness.
The impact of surrounding yourself with those that care for you can’t be understated. When the demands of life increase and stress mounts, the ability to turn to someone for support and understanding is powerful. Building and maintaining these networks take time and energy, but the work is worth the effort. And it will continue to serve you throughout your life.
The spiritual pillar will look different for everyone because it’s such a personal piece of overall wellness. For instance, it will play a stronger role in one person’s life more than another, depending on how each person defines it.
Firstly, spirituality is commonly viewed as a sense of purpose, direction, or meaning, without which, values can slip to the wayside, upending life’s balance. Secondly, many cultivate their spirituality through meditation, prayer, or other activities that foster a connection to nature or a higher power.
Lastly, maintaining your spiritual wellness will look different for everyone. It’s not about a specific religion or belief system. Spiritual health is about personalizing your journey. Some people might practice mindfulness as a way of checking in with their intentions, guiding their actions, and maintaining a values-based approach to life. However, how you choose to strengthen your spiritual health is up to you.
For instance physical wellness relates to maintaining a healthy body and seeking care when needed. Exercise, eating well, sleeping well help maintain physical wellness. We have looked at the effects of olive oil on wellness in previous articles.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL & PHYSICAL WELLNESS
In summary, physical Wellness encourages us to care for our bodies through physical activity, proper nutrition, and a strong mind.
Above all, being physically active is crucial to keeping your body in its top condition. Physical activity strengthens bones and muscles. As well as reduced risk of disease and stroke, and more energy.
It is important to nurture your body by eating a well-balanced diet. Filling yourself with a variety of nutrients and vitamins will not only help prevent illness but will also keep your body functioning at its best.
This is where high quality extra virgin olive oil like Morocco Gold really helps. Researches have demonstrated that regular use of high quality extra virgin olive oil contributes towards:
- Reducing of risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Beneficial effects on ulcers and gastritis
- Maintaining the digestive tract in good health.
- Helping to reduce blood pressure
- Helping to control healthy cholesterol levels
- Easing or preventing diabetes
- Lessening the severity of osteoporosis
If you think of your body as a highly tuned machine – extra virgin olive oil like Morocco Gold helps the machine run smoothly. Therefore, it means that you are taking care of the ‘inner self’ and is one less thing to be concerned about in achieving overall wellness.
However, understanding the relationship between your body’s physical health and mental health is crucial in order to develop a balanced physical wellness. When you take the route to physical wellness you will learn to understand how your body preforms physically and be able to connect it to how you feel mentally. Physical wellness encourages principles of good health and knowledge, which affect behaviour patterns that lead to a healthy lifestyle. The following are a few suggestions to maintain an optimal level of physical wellness.
- Engage in physical activity everyday for 30 minutes.
- Use stairs instead of the elevator or escalator and walk whenever possible.
- Learn to recognize warning signs when your body begins feeling ill.
- For instance, eat a variety of healthy foods and control your meal portions.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule and get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
- Practice safe sex.
In conclusion this in turn will help with…
Having optimal levels of physical activity and maintaining proper nutrition is key to improving your overall emotional wellness. TIn addition, through the use of good quality extra virgin olive oil your health and wellness will only benefit. In conclusion, not only will you sharpen your thinking and learning abilities, you will also enhance your sense of self-esteem and self-control.