Home Culture Olive, a heavenly fruit.

Olive, a heavenly fruit.

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Kathmandu, February 10, 2016: One of the most valuable trees to the ancient Hebrews, Oliver, is the symbol of immortality. It is said that, in Italy, there is an olive tree that is 3500 years old. Olive trees can be seen as a symbol of tradition and a witness of eras gone by. It is a bearer of long forgotten time and legacies. The olive was native to Asia Minor and spread from Iran, Syria and Palestine to the rest of the Mediterranean basin 6,000 years ago. It is among the oldest known cultivated trees in the world..

When we talk about the olive, the first picture that strikes in our mind is either the olive fruit or a bottle of olive oil. But most of us may not know olive leaves can be used to prepare tea. Even though more attention has been sometimes given to their delicious oil than their whole food delights, olives are one the world’s most widely enjoyed foods. We commonly use olives not as a fruit but as a zesty vegetable to make an addition to salads, meat, pasta, poultry dishes, and of course pizza.

One of the major harvests of Italy, Spain and most importantly Greece, Olive has benefits beyond our imagination. Studies show that foods fried in olive oil are healthier than boiling them in water. The main type of fat found in all kinds of olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). MUFAs are actually considered a healthy dietary fat. MUFAs help to reduce the risk of heart diseases by improving the risk factors. And some research show that MUFAs may also benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control. Not only these, olive has many other benefits ranging from cardiovascular benefits, weight loss, cancer prevention, decrease in pain, improvement in skin and hair health, allergies reduction, improvement in digestive track health, improvement in eye health, reduction of risks of anemia and many more.

Olive cultivation is a newly growing field in the context of Nepal. Himalaya Production Pvt. Ltd owned by Hartmut Bauder is one of the emerging olive production companies in Nepal which grows French and Italian olives like bouteillan, cayon, aglandou, picholine, leccino, pendolino, frantoio, coratina. Although olive farming has not gotten much popularity in Nepal, the usage of olive and olive oil is growing day by day. Realizing its importance, people in Nepal have started paying attention towards using the olives.

Undoubtedly the fruit from heaven, olive has no any significant disadvantage other than being a bit pricy to fit into most Nepali’s budget. The next one could be the high calorie content, but it can be taken into control by using it smartly. But one should be really careful while using the olives, specially olive oil, as small factors like exposure to sunlight and high temperature can reduce the quality and taste of the olive oil. Despite these things, olives and olive oil taste like heaven, and has benefits like heaven. If we could give a little more focus in olive production in Nepal, Nepali commoners could easily get a taste of this heavenly fruit.

Article by: Martina Gautam

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