What are Polyphenols?
Polyphenols are a group of plant-based chemicals. These antioxidant rich properties can be found in a variety of fruits, nuts, seeds and spices. Extra virgin olive oil is made up of a unique set of antioxidants and phytonutrients which are organic plant compounds.
Polyphenols are naturally occurring chemicals found in plants.
Olives are stone fruits, like peaches or plums. Real extra virgin olive oil is fresh-squeezed fruit juice – it’s seasonal and perishable.
Extra virgin olive oil is made up of a unique set of antioxidants that when consumed, promote health and protect against chronic disease.
Polyphenols are one type of protective antioxidant that are found in extra virgin olive oil. Like other antioxidants, polyphenols fight oxidative stress and are proven to fight aging-related diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and certain types of cancer.
Polyphenols also contain strong anti-inflammatory properties. A recent study showed that extra virgin olive oil contains a certain phenol compound called oleocanthal, which acts similar to ibuprofen in the body in reducing inflammation. This shows the potential for olive oil’s ability to help reduce the risk of strokes, as explored in an article on WebMD. It’s thought that two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day is enough to provide these anti-inflammatory benefits.
Studies conducted around the world have proven that eating foods rich in polyphenols provide many health benefits. Polyphenols have been shown to:
- Act as anti-tumor agents
- Aid in digestion
- Reduce inflammation
- Assist in assimilation of vitamins
- Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (due to high oleic acid)
- Be high in omega-3 fatty acids that reduce the risk of heart disease
- Improve arterial flexibility
- Improve artery (endothelial) function
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol
- Prevent platelet clumping
- Promote cardiovascular function
- Slow the aging process
Adding one to two tablespoons of EVOO to your diet daily can have significant anti-inflammatory effects.