Meet the polyphenols!
Updated: Dec 4, 2019
In ancient years, Hippocrates said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food". And he was right!
Olive oils contain many substances that have a beneficial role in human health. Phenols are natural compounds that are present in extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO). They show a strong antioxidant activity and their natural role in the plant is to combat pests, infections and other stress inducing factors that the plant may face.
There are many different factors that affect the total phenolic content of an EVOO ranging from the variety and the climate to the soil, harvest time and harvest conditions.
Many studies conducted by medical and chemical teams around the world indicate that the consumption of high phenolic extra virgin olive oil may help lower blood pressure, decrease cholesterol levels and prevent lipid accumulation in the arteries, protecting the heart. Moreover, it is beneficial to consume as they contribute to the protection against chronic diseases, for instance diabetes, cancers and cardiovascular diseases, through the management of oxidative stress.
On average, EVOOs range between 100-250 mg/kg polyphenols. Extra Virgin Olive Oils which comply with the EU Health Claim (over 250 mg/kg throughout product life) regarding Olive Oil Polyphenols can indicate this by calling their olive oil Healthy Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Some scientific research recommends that eating about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil.*
So add some extra virgin olive oil to your daily diet, in salads, cooking and dressings to care for your health without missing out on tasty and healthy food!
* according to Food & Drug Administration (FDA), 2004
2) (2016). An Overview of Plant Phenolic Compounds and Their Importance in Human Nutrition and Management of Type 2 Diabetes. Molecules. 21. 1374. 10.3390/molecules21101374.
3) Olive Oil Phenols, C. Papanikolaou, E. Melliou and Prokopios Magiatis