Picual Oil: What It Is and How It Differs from Olive Oil

Have you ever heard of picual oil? If not, don’t worry – you’re not alone, many people hear it for the first time when it is recommended to them by one of Stark’s naturopaths. Picual oil is a lesser-known oil that has been gaining traction in recent years, particularly in the world of wellness for its health benefits. While it may look similar to olive oil, there are some key differences that set it apart. In this article, we’ll explore what picual oil is, how it differs from traditional olive oil, and the health benefits it has to offer.

To start, let’s define what picual oil is. Picual oil is an oil derived from the seeds of the picual olive tree, which is a variety of olive tree grown primarily in Spain. While traditional olive oil is made by pressing the fruit of the olive tree, picual oil is made by extracting oil from the seeds. This extraction process leads to a more refined oil, with a lighter color and milder flavor profile than traditional olive oil.

One benefit picual oil has over typical olive oil is its versatility in the kitchen. Due to its mild flavor profile, picual oil can be used in a range of dishes without overpowering the other flavors. It’s commonly used in dressings, marinades, and as a finishing oil for dishes like grilled vegetables or seafood. Another benefit of picual oil is it has a high smoke point, making it great for high-heat cooking without producing toxic compounds like other oils can, although it offers the most benefits when consumed uncooked.

Picual Olive Oil's traditional bright green color
Castillo de Canena's First Day Harvest Picual

The most noteworthy difference between picual oil and olive oil is their respective nutritional profiles. Picual oil contains high levels of oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid that has been linked to various health benefits, and has been shown to be a healthier alternative to traditional olive oil. It’s also naturally rich in polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that can help protect against cell damage and inflammation by fighting off harmful free radicals in the body. Studies suggest that these polyphenols can help to improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

So, there you have it – a brief overview of what picual oil is and how it differs from traditional olive oil. While both oils are sources of healthy fats, picual oil is made from the seed of picual olives as opposed to the flesh, offering a refined flavor profile, higher levels of oleic acid, and additional antioxidants. It’s no surprise that picual oil has been gaining popularity with its unique benefits. Ultimately, picual oil is a great alternative to olive oil and offers a variety of healthy nutrients!