Unlocking the Power of Healthy Olive Oils and Polyphenols

Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, extra virgin olive oils with high polyphenol levels have been associated with numerous health advantages, including improved heart health, enhanced cognitive function, and reduced risk of chronic diseases. 

Understanding the health benefits of high polyphenol olive oils

For centuries, olive oil has been revered for its exceptional culinary and health-promoting properties. However, a new star has emerged in the olive oil universe - high phenolic olive oil. This unique variety of olive oil is rich in antioxidants and bioactive compounds that set it apart from its more common counterparts.

Phenolic compounds are naturally occurring substances found in olives that possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. When olive oil is extracted in a way that preserves these beneficial phenols, the resulting high phenolic olive oil becomes a true powerhouse of nutrition and wellness.

The concentration of phenolic compounds in olive oil can vary significantly based on factors such as the olive cultivar, growing conditions, and extraction methods. High phenolic olive oils typically contain at least 250 milligrams of phenols per kilogram, with some premium varieties boasting even higher concentrations. This elevated phenol content is what sets high phenolic olive oil apart and unlocks its remarkable health benefits. Most of the olive oil, we stock are high in polyphenols, whilst many have significantly more than 250 milligrams per kilogram.


The role of antioxidants in high phenolic olive oil

Antioxidants are the cornerstone of high phenolic olive oil's health-promoting capabilities. These compounds work tirelessly to neutralise harmful free radicals and oxidative stress, which are known contributors to a wide range of chronic diseases.

The primary antioxidants found in high phenolic olive oil include oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, and tyrosol. These polyphenols have been extensively studied for their ability to combat oxidative damage, reduce inflammation, and support overall cellular health.

By incorporating high phenolic olive oil into your diet, you are providing your body with a potent arsenal of antioxidants that can help protect against the damaging effects of oxidative stress. This protection extends to various bodily systems, from the cardiovascular system to the brain and beyond.

High phenolic olive oil and cardiovascular health

One of the most well-documented health benefits of high phenolic olive oil is its positive impact on cardiovascular health. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of its phenolic compounds have been shown to play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy heart.

Studies have consistently demonstrated that the consumption of high phenolic olive oil can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in the arteries), and improve overall blood vessel function. This is particularly significant, as cardiovascular disease remains one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide.

Furthermore, the phenolic compounds in high phenolic olive oil have been found to possess the ability to modulate blood pressure, another crucial factor in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. By incorporating this versatile oil into your cooking and dietary habits, you can take an active step towards supporting your heart health and reducing your risk of heart-related complications.


High phenolic olive oil and brain health

In addition to its cardiovascular benefits, high phenolic olive oil has also garnered attention for its potential to support cognitive function and brain health. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of its phenolic compounds have been linked to neuroprotective effects.

Emerging research suggests that the consumption of high phenolic olive oil may help mitigate the risk of age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The phenolic compounds found in this oil have been shown to possess the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, where they can exert their protective and restorative effects on brain cells.

Furthermore, studies have indicated that the polyphenols in high phenolic olive oil may enhance neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to adapt and form new neural connections. This capacity for neuro-plasticity is crucial for maintaining cognitive function, memory, and overall brain health throughout the lifespan.


High phenolic olive oil and anti-inflammatory properties

Inflammation is a double-edged sword - it is a natural and necessary response to injury or infection, but chronic, uncontrolled inflammation can contribute to the development of numerous health issues. High phenolic olive oil has emerged as a powerful ally in the fight against inflammation.

The phenolic compounds in this oil, particularly oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, have been extensively studied for their potent anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds have the ability to modulate the production of pro-inflammatory molecules, such as cytokines and eicosanoids, which can drive chronic inflammation.

By incorporating high phenolic olive oil into your diet, you can harness the power of its anti-inflammatory effects to support overall well-being. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals struggling with inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, autoimmune disorders, or chronic pain. The versatility of high phenolic olive oil allows it to be seamlessly integrated into a wide range of culinary applications, making it an accessible and practical way to combat inflammation.


Incorporating high phenolic olive oil into your diet

Incorporating high phenolic olive oil into your daily diet is a simple yet impactful way to reap its multitude of health benefits. The versatility of this oil allows it to be used in a variety of cooking methods, from sautéing and roasting to drizzling over finished dishes.


One of the easiest ways to incorporate high phenolic olive oil is by using it as a replacement for other cooking oils in your favourite recipes. Whether you're preparing a hearty salad, sautéing vegetables, or grilling meats, high phenolic olive oil can lend its rich, complex flavour and nutritional punch to your meals.

Beyond cooking, high phenolic olive oil can also be enjoyed in its raw form, such as for dipping bread or as a finishing touch on soups, pastas, and even desserts. The bold, peppery notes of this oil can elevate the flavour profile of a wide range of dishes, making it a versatile and indispensable ingredient in the kitchen.


How to choose high polyphenol olive oils

Given the importance of the polyphenols level in assessing the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil, we have added a polyphenol filter level in our extra virgin olive oil collection pages. It is worth considering how you will be consuming your extra virgin olive oil. Whilst some may be choosing to drink one or two spoons per day, many prefer to incorporate a high-quality extra virgin olive oil in their cooking and diet. In this context, it is worth considering that extra virgin olive oils with very high levels of polyphenols such as Coratina have a particularly strong bitterness and spiciness which may not suit all pallets and makes them less suited for salads and lighter dishes. A good alternative would be a variety such as chetoui from the North of Tunisia, which combines high polyphenol level with a more balanced flavoured profile or a picual from Spain, which could help to introduce more polyphenols into your diet in a more natural as these oils are much more versatile.

High phenolic olive oil is a true culinary and health-promoting powerhouse that deserves a prominent place in your pantry and on your plate. By unlocking the remarkable benefits of this versatile oil, you can embark on a journey towards better overall well-being and a more flavourful culinary experience.

From its potent antioxidant properties to its positive impact on cardiovascular health, brain function, and inflammation, high phenolic olive oil offers a multitude of advantages that can enhance your quality of life. Incorporating this exceptional oil into your daily cooking and dietary habits is a simple yet impactful step towards a healthier lifestyle.

As you explore the world of high phenolic olive oil, be prepared to be captivated by its bold, peppery notes and its ability to elevate a wide range of savoury and sweet dishes. Embrace the power of this culinary gem and unlock a world of delicious and nutritious possibilities that will transform your relationship with food and your overall well-being. To start your journey, visit our olive oil collection and start browsing across polyphenol levels, countries of origin and olive varieties.

For more information about the health benefits of the polyphenols contained in olive oil, please visit these interesting article from the BBC, the IndependentOlive Oil Times, the US Medicine Library and the British Heart Foundation



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