Part One: Olive Oil and Its Benefits
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger
Most Arabic families have olive oil in their homes. They use it daily for everything and my home is no different. One of the foods that are mentioned in the Al- Qur’an is the olive. The benefits of the olive plant are emphasized by Allah in many verses of the Al-Qur’an. One such verse is:
It is He Who sends down water from the sky. From it you drink and from it come the shrubs among which you graze your herds. And by it He makes crops grow for you and olives and dates and grapes and fruit of every kind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect. (Quran: An-Nahl The Bee 16:10)
Research in recent years has revealed that the olive is not just a delicious food but that it is also an important source of good health. In addition to the olive itself, olive oil is an important source of nutrition. The olive is considered a “blessed” fruit in Islam. It is used as a health food and it is used in “ruqyah treatment.” Attention is drawn to the oil of the olive tree in these terms in the Qur’an:
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The metaphor of His Light is that of a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, the glass like a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, its oil all but giving off light even if no fire touches it. Light upon Light. Allah guides to His Light whoever He wills and Allah makes metaphors for mankind and Allah has knowledge of all things. (Quran: An-Nur (Light) 24:35)
This verse describes the olive as being “plentiful, sacred, auspicious, and providing countless blessings.” Olive oil, referred to in the term “zaytuha,”(the oil of olive) is known as one of the most highly recommended types of oil by all experts, especially for coronary and arterial health.
Olive oil is extracted from the ripened fruits. The unripe and over ripe fruits contain less amounts of the oil. The fruits are processed three times. Successively, the first round oil is the best in quality, golden in color, and has a light fragrance: it is known as virgin oil. Some varieties of olive oil have remained unchanged in their effectiveness for years and contain therapeutic potential even if it is a thousand years old.
Benefits of Olive Oil:
-Olives are rich in monounsaturated fats (which do not contain cholesterol), vitamin E, antioxidants, and they prevent heart disease by reducing the LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing the HDL (good cholesterol] levels.
-Olive oil also contains omega-6 linoleic acid (EFA: essential fatty acid), which is essential for the human body. Due to this feature, health related bodies (such as The World Health Organization) recommend that at least 30% of the fatty acid consumed within societies where there are hardened arteries and where diabetes levels are high should have diets that consist of omega-6. This increases the importance of the olive still further.
And by it He makes crops grow for you and olives and dates and grapes and fruit of every kind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect. (Al-Quran: An-Nahl The Bee 16:11).
-One study, published by The Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that women who consume high levels of monounsaturated fat have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. Another study by scientists at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, demonstrated that b-sitosterol, a fat found in vegetable oils such as olive oil, helps prevent the formation of prostate cancer cells.