Extra virgin olive oil has been praised as a healthy dietary fat for ages. This is because it contains high amounts of polyphenols, which are antioxidant compounds with many significant health benefits.
In this blog post from our olive oil growers, producers, and distributors at Texana Brands, we'll explore what polyphenols are and why they make extra virgin olive oil so special.
We'll also discuss the many health benefits of consuming polyphenol-rich olive oil and how to tell if your olive oil contains these beneficial compounds.
Table of Contents:
- What are Polyphenols Exactly?
- What is Olive Oil Rich in Polyphenols?
- How Can You Tell if an Olive Oil is High in Polyphenols?
- The Types of Olives Used
- The Time the Olives are Harvested
- How The Olive Oil is Stored
- The Many Benefits of Olive Oil with Polyphenols
- In Conclusion
What People Ask:
Which olive oil has the highest polyphenols?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) has the highest levels of polyphenols. Polyphenols are organic compounds rich in natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
What is the best source of polyphenols?
Many foods are rich in polyphenols. Among these with the most potency is extra virgin olive oil.
Does all extra virgin olive oil have polyphenols?
Yes! All EVOO has some level of polyphenols. However, some extra virgin olive oils have higher levels of polyphenols than others.
What are Polyphenols Exactly?
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest oils you can consume, and it's not just because it has monounsaturated fatty acids. Extra virgin olive oils include high levels of polyphenols and organic antioxidant chemicals found in plants. EVOO contains over 20 different polyphenols, including hydroxytyrosol, oleocanthal, oleuropein, and luteolin.
While olive oil is celebrated for its health benefits and cooking capabilities, it's only recently that we've begun to understand the important role of polyphenols.
What is Olive Oil Rich in Polyphenols?
Polyphenol-rich olive oil is extra virgin olive oil with a high content of polyphenols/polyphenolic chemicals. These include hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, oleuropein, oleocanthal, and oleacein. EVOO has a robust flavor and a peppery finish. It also packs a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory punch.
But what exactly is considered "rich"? Some experts believe olive oil with a content level of 5 mg per 1.5 tablespoons (20 grams) can be considered "polyphenol-rich".
Why this amount of polyphenols? Because 20 grams is the minimum level of polyphenols that must be present in an olive oil product to offer meaningful health benefits.
How Can You Tell if an Olive Oil is High in Polyphenols?
Many factors can affect the polyphenol levels in olive oil. These include the type of olives utilized, weather patterns, farming techniques, times of harvest, manufacturing processes, and much more.
A few of the most influential factors are:
The Types of Olives Used
Some olive fruits contain higher levels of polyphenols naturally. Texana Brands uses a unique blend of Arbequina olives to produce extra virgin olive oil that is naturally high in polyphenols.
The Time the Olives are Harvested
Earlier times of harvest are better for polyphenol content. Many olive oil producers will claim when they harvest, but you can often tell when the olives were harvested by taste.
EVOO made from mature, darker olives, is typically smoother with a butter taste. Whereas olive oil rich in polyphenols is more bitter and has a peppery finish that you can feel in the back of your throat.
How The Olive Oil is Stored
Remember, once you've bought your polyphenol-rich olive oil, the most important thing you can do to maintain the polyphenol levels is store it correctly. This means keeping your olive oil in a cool, dark place away from light and heat—like the pantry.
The Many Benefits of Olive Oil with Polyphenols
Olive oil is one of the most potent forms of dietary fats available. It's packed with antioxidants and other compounds that can contribute to a healthier life. However, extra virgin olive rich in polyphenols is the king of helping combat chronic diseases and other health concerns.
Decades of research as shown that olive oils containing high levels of polyphenols may help with:
- High cholesterol levels
- Heart disease risk
- Cancer risk
- Diabetes risk
- Brain health and cognitive functions
- Chronic pain and inflammation
- Gut and digestive health
- Weight loss
- Mental health
High levels of polyphenol aren't just good for you—they also help keep your olive oil fresher for longer. These natural antioxidant compounds slow the oxidation process, making a polyphenol-rich olive oil slower to turn rancid than other commercial oils.
So what is the best way to enjoy high-polyphenol olive oils? The first thing to do is purchase olive oil from a trusted producer like Texana Brands and then use them with abandon!
Your taste buds will evolve, so don't fret if you don't love the bitterey, peppery flavor immediately. To help you along, our team suggests trying your polyphenol-rich olive oil with foods served hot or with more intensely flavored dishes.