Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), also called the “Elixir of the youth and health” by the Ancient Greeks, is a cornerstone in the Mediterranean diet, which has been recognized as one of the healthiest and most sustainable dietary pattern and lifestyle. In this chapter, a brief overview of the major and minor components of EVOO is given followed by a review of their health benefits. In particular, the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and cardiovascular protective effects of EVOO are emphasized. At the end of this chapter, the reader would benefit by realizing that EVOO, as a functional food, proves the Hippocrates’s quote “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.
Part of the book: Olive Oil