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Book Reviews

The 7 Wonders of Olive Oil

Stronger Bones, Cancer Prevention, Higher Brain Function, and Other Medical Miracles of the Green Nectar

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Academic, scientific, and enthusiastic, this book makes strong arguments for incorporating olive oil into your daily life.

Alice Alech and Cécile Le Galliard’s well-researched The 7 Wonders of Olive Oil is an enthusiastic presentation of the story behind that bottle of olive oil in the cupboard—a more complex item than people might think.

Virgin olive oil, the book reveals, is the only food product required to pass sensory testing before it can be bottled and sold. There are actually panels of professional taste testers who sip, assess, and classify the oils. And scientific studies suggest that this oil could have health benefits far beyond what was previously thought.

The book is broken down into three parts that cover the history of olive oil and how it’s made, scientific evidence of its potential health benefits, and consumer guidance on buying and using the “green nectar.” The main focus is on the middle section, where exciting studies of olive oil’s impact on health and wellness are discussed, including its potential to treat and prevent arthritis, cancer, heart attacks, and Alzheimer’s disease.

A wealth of practical information is given, from advice on what kinds of olive oil to use with different foods—including a number of delicious recipes—to what to look for on the label when choosing a bottle from the numerous choices at the store.

Alech and Le Galliard show their passion for their subject with their enthusiastic tone and through the extensive research they present, through both secondary sources and direct interviews with researchers. While occasionally it is difficult to tell if exuberant statements are opinions or actual results from a scientific study, there is plenty of evidence here to suggest that olive oil and its many components have great potential health benefits and that further research is a worthy endeavor.

This book leans toward an academic summary of the history and production of olive oil and its positive effects on health, but it also contains much for those who simply want to learn more about incorporating olive oil into their daily diets.

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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