Useful properties of olive oil - the truth and fiction
Dear your kitchen, most likely, not as fresh, high-quality and healthy, as you used to think about it. Despite convincing advertising and high price tags, this is true in most cases. Is it true that the beneficial properties of olive oil are not stored in the products that fall on the shelves of our supermarkets? Quite possible. You have a good feeling about using it, don't you? The beneficial properties of olive oil are described in detail, it is tasty and easy to use. However, to make it really beneficial for your body, other data should be taken into account. The beneficial properties of olive oil are 99% related to the presence of phenolic compounds in it: here we are talking about polyphenols, which are found in wine, tea, cocoa, many vegetables and fruits. When testing, it turned out that the level of these substances is surprisingly low in commercial products.
How polyphenols affect our bodies
Polyphenols reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, lowering blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood clotting, and enhance the health of vascular walls. Scientists have discovered a gene that affects the development of the metabolic syndrome: a group of factors that together lead to heart disease. The use of a fresh product with a high content of polyphenols has a positive effect on the work of this gene, reducing the risk of dangerous diseases. Types of olive oil with a low level of phenolic compounds do not have such a favorable effect. Polyphenols reduce the risk of cancer, preventing the appearance of malignant tumors. They act as antioxidants, protecting the body's cells from oxidation and damage by free radicals. Polyphenols can reduce the activity of microbes and the rate of spread of infections. In the old days, the beneficial properties of olive oil were available even to the poor inhabitants of the Mediterranean countries, whose diet was rich in fresh produce.
After harvesting, days, weeks and months pass, and the content of polyphenols plummets.Olive oil can be compared with freshly squeezed juice, the shelf life of which is small. According to experts, several factors are responsible for the content of polyphenols in the product. Even the best varieties of olive oil are subject to rapid aging and loss of their original qualities.
- Method of harvesting: rough handling and exposure to natural elements reduce the level of nutrients.
- Age of trees: olives from old trees contain significantly more polyphenols.
- Maturity: oil from green fruits is healthier, despite the fact that it is easier to get it from ripe.
- Recycling: the smaller the better. Cold-pressed, high-quality natural oil contains the most polyphenols. Refined products lose a significant proportion of nutrients.
- Storage: If the harvested crop or oil is exposed to heat, sunlight or air, the level of polyphenols drops (when you use the product for cooking at high temperatures, you lose useful substances in any case).