My Jewelry Inspirations: Olive Trees of the Mediterranean - Part 2
In this episode I will continue my talk on my handmade Sterling silver jewelry inspired by my favorite trees. Olive trees, Olea europaea, of the Mediterranean are not only majestic but also generous because they offer us a super food: the olive fruit. Olive trees have originated from the western part of Asia Minor before they were cultivated all over the Mediterranean. Ancients cherished the olive fruit and its precious oil for centuries. It was an essential nutritional component of almost every household which got traded very frequently and always available at the agoras - the marketplaces of the ancient times. Today, studies on olives help us better understand the health benefits of this delicious fruit. Here are a few fun facts that I find really interesting.
Olive oil is rich in monosaturated fats which contain oleic acid, an extremely beneficial nutrient which is believed to fight inflammation in the body. It also contains saturated fats, antioxidants, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which help brain function and promote a healthier heart.
Olive oil is a staple in Mediterranean diet, which according to many is one of the healthiest and most well balanced diets of them all. Recent studies have shown that consuming large quantities of olive oil does not result in weight gain and in fact may even help you loose pounds! I would say bring on the goodness, let me have some more.
Afraid of ulcer, type-2 diabetes, liver damage, Alzheimer's disease and cancer? I have good news. Many research and clinical studies suggest that olive oil may help you fight these diseases.
Need a safe and effective moisturizer? Try olive oil. You may use it during shaving, for chafed lips and even make a balm out of if by mixing it with melted bees wax. DIY cosmetics are the most recent health trend.
Not all olive oils are created equally. To maximize the health benefits stick to pure extra virgin olive oil, which comes from a trust worthy brand. Unfortunately in the market there are many brands which blend this precious goodness with lesser quality oils of various sources.
This is a controversial one. Do you know if extra virgin olive oil is good for cooking? The short answer is no. At cooking temperatures, especially if you are frying, olive oil oxidizes and looses its health benefits. Not convinced? I would suggest you research this topic very carefully since there are many articles out there that claim otherwise.
Are you now a believer of olive oil like myself? If so let's check out and admire one of my favorite designs inspired by this natural wonder. The following earrings are called 'Perpetual Peace' as they are modeled after olive leaves, which are known to be the universal symbol of piece and prosperity. While hand-making this design I have used several techniques. The leaves were manufactured using lost wax casting technique after they were individually sculpted. Each piece is soldered together, polished and went through final adjustments and inspections before presented to you. Please enjoy these photos. Until next time, goodbye!