The ideal time to start planning the harvest of the olives that we are going to use for the production of an indigenous Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) of the highest quality is usually from this month of November, this is how the point of maturity is reached. correct and the highest quality oil is obtained, once extracted from the oil mill. The various varieties of olives, due to the orography and the different climates, give the Galician EVOO some organoleptic characteristics that are not found in the rest of Spain.
In this wetter olive area, the Galician Biological Mission belonging to the Higher Research Council (CSIC) identified 20 varieties of olive trees. In the Atlantic Diet we are great consumers, although we are not great producers. Consumption per person is 16 g per day, an amount higher than the consumption of the Mediterranean diet but far from those 30 g per day in which EVOO manifests all its healthy properties, as an antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory or cardiovascular tonic food. The oils from Galicia are of enormous quality and as proof of this we have several of internationally recognized prestige such as Abril oil or the award-winning Iberoleum 2022 Alma Meiga, which highlights the Brava variety, the most renowned in Galicia. We also have good oils in Lugo and in certain areas of Pontevedra. That is its wealth.
A scientific article has recently been published in “Nutrients”, one of the international scientific journals with the greatest international projection, prepared by a team of researchers formed by the physicist Pablo Taboada and the pharmacist Alberto Coelho, members of the Institute of Materials (IMATUS) of the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) and the pharmacist-nutritionist, based in Limia, Pablo García Vivanco, member of the Spanish Society of Clinical, Family and Community Pharmacy (SEFAC).
Researchers analyze the healthy and anti-cancer properties of our EVOO. The review comments on the presence of certain molecules such as the powerful antioxidant hydroxytyrosol that is widely used to prevent eye diseases such as cataract or macular degeneration (AMD), oleocanthal, as powerful as ibuprofen, oleuropein or vitamin E that They have important anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, in addition to their cardiovascular properties. The work emphasizes the Brava and Mansa varieties as the most outstanding among Galician olive oils. According to the research in the review, the best health benefits are found with a daily olive oil consumption between 25 and 50 g.
The consumption of extra virgin olive oil in Galicia is 16 g per person per day, somewhat higher than in the Mediterranean. The article also comments on the importance of dressing with extra virgin olive oil and paprika in several of the typical Galician dishes such as “pulpo a la gallega”, “caldeirada de fish” or “la carne o caldeiro”. Hot paprika contains capsaicin, a powerful anti-inflammatory that is widely used in creams to treat joint or muscle injuries. It is interesting to improve the production of this “tasting” and “healthy” food. With all this data, EVOO is the main food of our Galician cuisine, as well as a good medicine.
Galicia is a long-lived land thanks to epigenetics and certain foods like EVOO, which is why Ourense is becoming the world capital of longevity with 385 people over 100 years old. At Ourensividad we are doing great work in favor of life and longevity, creating a “longevity observatory” that will soon obtain data from the centenary project and put it at the service of science in all high-impact international journals.