Valentine's Day may have come and gone, but the importance of keeping our hearts healthy is a year-round affair! And what better way to show some love to our tickers than with a drizzle of high polyphenol extra virgin olive oil?
Extra virgin olive oil has long been recognised for providing significant cardiovascular protection and reducing risk factors, including poor lipid profiles, high blood pressure, endothelial dysfunction, diabetes, obesity, and thrombosis.
For many years, science suggested that it was olive oil’s high healthy monounsaturated fatty acid content that provided all the health benefits; however, more recent scientific evidence now suggests that it’s the polyphenols that provide superior protection beyond the monounsaturated fat content.
This makes complete sense as other oils, such as sunflower and rapeseed, containing high amounts of monounsaturated fats, do not offer the same health benefits.
Extra virgin olive oil contains at least 30 polyphenols, most of which are unique to olive oil. These naturally occurring antioxidants are abundant in olive oil however the amounts vary considerably between one oil and another. This is due to several factors - olive variety, geographical location of the olive trees, olive maturity when pressing, cultivation and production techniques.
By definition, high phenolic olive oil has to contain at least 250 mg polyphenols per kilogram of oil to bear the health claim "olive oil polyphenols contribute to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress"
Oleuropein, oleocanthal, hydroxytyrosol, and their derivatives are the most important polyphenols. Studies show that these polyphenols have antioxidantdant and anti-inflammatory properties, helping to lower the risk of several chronic diseases, including heart disease. These compounds provide protection and help to reduce existing damage to the heart and arteries.
So how much olive oil should I take?
Quality is more important than quantity. Since most polyphenols are lost in the refining process, always choose a high-polyphenol extra virgin olive oil rather than a refined olive oil.
As per the EU health claim, the daily recommended amount that people should enjoy is 20 g (4 teaspoons) for improved heart health. As you can see a little dose goes a long way in protecting your heart and lowering your risk of many other chronic diseases. The Governor EVOO is extremely high in these antioxidant and anti-inflammatory polyphenols.
It is easy to incorporate EVOO into your daily diet, either enjoy it straight off the spoon or shot glass or drizzle it over salads, veggies, and soups or make delicious homemade pestos, dressings and sauces.
Treat yourself or a loved one to a gift that has value beyond its amazing taste. Our beautifully designed handmade bottles come housed in their protective boxes perfect for gifting. Cook up a romantic heart-healthy Valentine's meal (see our Extra Virgin Olive Oil Recipes for inspiration)