It is common knowledge that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the best oil for health. The exact reason for this is something of a mystery to certain people, though. Among other things is the high concentration of antioxidants, potent substances that boost immunity, fight cancers and improve longevity. Or is it the ample content of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, and minerals vital to life? How about monounsaturated fats, which indulge you with the rich taste and none of the fat-associated risks? All of the above, but there is also another player in town. It is called polyphenols.
What are polyphenols?
Polyphenols refer to a large category of organic compounds primarily found in large quantities in plants and fruits. The name comes for its structure composed of many phenol units, an aromatic organic compound. To this date, approximately 8,000 different types of polyphenols have been identified. While polyphenols occur naturally in plant-based foods, they can be synthesized and are part of many supplements. Still, it is better to get it directly from natural sources.
What do polyphenols do?
In short, they make you look and feel better. Polyphenols offer a large package of health benefits that are too tempting to be ignored. We have summarized the most important health benefits below.
Abundance of antioxidants
If you have read the previous posts, you probably know about antioxidants' wonderful effects on our health. In case you haven't, here is a brief overview. Antioxidants are known to prevent cells from getting damaged or slow down the process, thus improving your health.
More specifically, active cells produce waste substances called free radicals, just like machines and their rust. Rusted machines will be broken, cells with free radicals will be damaged. This is particularly dangerous because cell damage is the culprit behind various chronic diseases, ranging from cancer to dementia and strokes. Luckily, antioxidants can help remove free radicals from your cells and, as a result, drastically reduce your odds of suffering from said diseases.
Promoting good bacteria growth
What do you have in your guts? Answers may vary, but among other things is certainly a busy world of bacteria. The majority of those tiny organisms are good bacteria that are vital to digestion. Without them, you would probably not be able to get the most out of your food. A healthy digestive system means good health, and this is where polyphenols kick in—shown to encourage the growth of good bacteria while repressing the development of harmful ones. So if you are having digestive problems, a high intake of polyphenols may help relieve the situation.
Easing chronic inflammation
Inflammation isn't inherently bad. It is part of the body's defense mechanism. When something awful from the outside, such as viruses, bacteria, or foreign objects like a thorn, enters your body, this will trigger a biological response involving inflammation to remove it. But occasionally, the body erroneously identifies its cells or tissues as harmful and tries to destroy them. This causes chronic inflammation and leads to a host of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, etc. So what do polyphenols do? Studies show that they have excellent anti-inflammatory properties, meaning they can reduce chronic inflammation and the risk of associated illness.
Lowering risks of diabetes
Among silent killers of the modern age, diabetes is one of the most dangerous, affecting nearly 450 million people worldwide. Fortunately, polyphenols can save the day. For one thing, they reduce chronic inflammation, which is a contributing factor to diabetes. For another thing, they help control blood sugar levels by improving the release of insulin, a hormone that facilitates your body's efficient use of sugar. Failure to use this hormone properly is a significant factor in diabetes, and polyphenols ensure that it is less likely to happen.
Preventing blood clots
Blood clots are essential because they cover your wounds and stop the bleeding, preventing you from running out of your blood. However, excessive blood clots may be dangerous because they can block your blood veins and lead to strokes. Polyphenols can prevent blood clots from being formed at the wrong place and at the wrong time.
Boosting heart health
Some studies find that polyphenols can regulate blood pressure and maintain the health of your blood vessels, not to mention that they stop chronic inflammation, which plays a significant role in heart diseases. The result is a remarkable improvement in heart health.
Reducing risks of cancer
Cancer is caused by changes to the DNA within cells which tend to happen when cells get damaged. If there is minor cell damage, it is safe to assume a lower risk of cancer. This is exactly what happens when you consume a liberal amount of polyphenols because, as explained above, they reduce cell damage and inflammation.
Which food should I eat to get polyphenols?
Polyphenols are most commonly found in vegetables and fruits. But foods like whole grains, nuts, tea, and spices also contain high content of the substances.
Ilias and Sons EVOO: a great source of polyphenols
EVOO is one of the richest and flavourful sources of polyphenols. You probably want to add a spoonful of EVOO to your dishes from today. At Ilias and Sons, we offer 7Thirty Ultra Premium EVOO that reaches an astonishing polyphenol test result of 730. Even more health benefits for your body. Also, check out our other great olive products like Gourmet Organic EVOO.