Extra virgin olive oil is a powerhouse of nutrition with many incredible health benefits. One of the most powerful components of this oil is its polyphenols, which are natural compounds that are rich in antioxidants and provide a wide range of health benefits.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the powerful health benefits of polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil and how taking it as a supplement can improve your health.
What are Polyphenols?
Polyphenols are compounds found in plants that are known for their antioxidant properties. They are commonly used in food and beverages to provide health benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
High counts of polyphenols are found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), which is considered one of the highest quality olive oils. It is a pure, unrefined oil that is cold-pressed from the Olea europaea, or olive tree, fruit. It has a low acidity, between 0.8% and 0.85%, which makes it an excellent choice for cooking and baking.
Polyphenols in EVOO
EVOO is a rich source of polyphenols, with some studies showing it contains more polyphenols than other olive oil varieties. These polyphenols include:
- Hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein: These polyphenols are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can protect against oxidative damage in cells.
- Tyrosol and lithospermic acid: This polyphenol is believed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
- Caffeic acid: Caffeic acid is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
- Lignans: These polyphenols are believed to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Phenolic compounds: These polyphenols are believed to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Health Benefits of Polyphenols in EVOO
There are many health benefits of polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil. Here are a few of them.
Reducing the Risk of Chronic Diseases
EVOO is high in polyphenols such as hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein, which are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These polyphenols may help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Improving Blood Sugar Levels
EVOO is known to help improve blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. This is due to its polyphenols, which are thought to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce glucose absorption in the intestine.
The polyphenols in EVOO have been shown to help reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, which is beneficial for heart health. In addition, they may help reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by improving the functioning of your arteries and veins.
Improving Brain Health
The polyphenols in EVOO are thought to have neuroprotective properties, which means they can help improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
EVOO is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and the polyphenols found in it are believed to be the source of these benefits. They are thought to help reduce inflammation in the body, which can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Taking EVOO as a Supplement
We are all familiar with using EVOO as a cooking oil and salad dressing, but it can also be taken as a dietary supplement to reap the full benefits of its polyphenols. EVOO capsules are a convenient and easy way to get your daily dose of polyphenols or you can simply take 1 TBSP a day.
When taking EVOO as a supplement, it is important to make sure you are getting a high-quality product with a high polyphenol content. Different type of olive oils will have different polyphenol counts, be sure to ask when shopping with us which one is best for this type of use.