The 3 Key Benefits of Polyphenols in Olive Oil
We all know how beneficial Extra Virgin Olive Oil is for our Health. What isn’t as well known is why. In this article we will carry out a detailed examination of the benefits of polyphenols, one of the components that contributes the most to the properties of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
What are polyphenols?
They are chemical compounds present in a large amont of foods of vegetable origin.
They are important mainly because of their antioxidant properties, although most polyphenols are distinguished by their beneficial health characteristics.
Generally we can make a classification based on their existence in food.
– Flavonoids. Several thousands have been identified in the vegetable kingdom.
– Non-Flavonoids, of which only a few hundred have been identified.
Properties of polyphenols
As well as having great antioxidant properties, some of these compounds have other properties: anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, among others.
Polyphenols act both in plants and in human beings. These give colour to fruits and vegetables, as well as contributing interesting flavours to every food.
In the human body, polyphenols fight against cancerous cells, they protect us against ultraviolet radiation, they reduce inflammation, amongst other characteristics, according to Dr. Mercola in his article “Polyphenols – What are they and why do we need them?“.
Proven benefits of polyphenols
Many scientific studies have been conducted on this chemical compound and they have revealed the importance of polyphenols for our health.
Polyphenols in Extra Virgin Olive Oil have great benefits. The 3 most important ones are:
– Cancer. According to the Spanish National Institute of Cancer, about 40% of men and women deal with cancer at some point in their lives. The consumption of polyphenols helps fight cancer in a really effective way, since not only do they help fight cancerous cells, but they also inhibit angiogenesis, which is the growth of the blood vessels that feed a tumor.
– Cardiovascular diseases. In the USA, for example, these diseases are responsible for 1 in every 4 deaths. The consumption of Extra Virgen Olive Oil, with a high content of polyphenols, helps the easy blood circulation thus preventing heart attacks and other types of cardiovascular pathologies.
– Type-2 diabetes. According to studies, the consumption of polyphenols helps to stabilise sugar levels in the blood and reduces resistance to insulin, which in turn helps us to avoid complications related to diabetes long term. Even so, polyphenols do not act as a treatment for diabetes, just as a prevention method.
Characteristics of Polyphenols in olive oil
If we focus on the contribution of this chemical to Olive Oil, we can observe that it prevents cell oxidation and the oxidation of fats in our bloodstream, it prevents the formation of plaques in the blood vessels…
The presence or lack of polyphenols in each olive oil is very different and depends on different factors relating to the treatment process of the oil.
Oils produced from earlier harvests will contain a higher number of polyphenols. These oils have a lower yield, and are therefore purer. This is true for Prima Mensa, our oil with the lowest yield, harvested in January.
Polyphenols in Arraigo Olive Oil
At Mi Oliva Gourmet we have carried out an exhaustive analysis of the Arraigo Extra Virgin Olive Oil to understand the properties of our best-selling Oil.
The results of the analysis are impressive:
– Acidity of 0.14º, much lower than the maximum of 0.20º required for Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
– A high content of Hydroxytrisol, the most beneficial polyphenol of them all. Each 20g of Olive Oil contains 15% of the Recommended Daily Allowance of this component.
Below is the complete analysis: