Listen Up ~ Important Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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We are proud to offer premium quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Our oils are among the freshest available and of the highest quality. Our fusti tags give the crush date, as well as the chemical breakdown of the oil at the time of crushing. Why is this important? Because even the best extra virgin oils decrease in flavor and health benefits over time. Fresh crushed olive oil equates to freshly squeezed fruit juice in that it contains the most flavor and nutrients. Old, processed, deodorized, or improperly stored olive oils have fewer, if any, health benefits and undesirable flavors.

Our oils are independently tested by Modern Olives, an industry award-winning laboratory. You will find values for these crucial olive oil chemical components:

Oleic Acid is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in olive oil. In extra virgin olive oil, the range is generally 55-85%. EVOO high in oleic acid has greater resistance to oxidation, therefore, higher percentages are better. Our oils have a minimum of 65%.

Polyphenol count – polyphenols are a class of antioxidants which are responsible for many of the health benefits associated with consuming fresh, high-quality EVOO. Polyphenols such as oleuropein, oleocanthal, and hydroxytyrosol impart intensity in flavors such as pepper, bitterness and other desirable flavor characteristics. The higher the polyphenol content, the greater the health benefits. There is no industry standard for phenolic content. Our oils must have a number greater than 130.

Free Fatty Acids – (FFA) Based on IOOC Standards, the maximum limit for free fatty acids in EVOO is .8%. A low FFA is desirable. Free fatty acid speaks to the condition of the fruit at the time of the crush. The higher the FFA, the greater the indication of poor quality fruit such as damaged, overripe, insect infestation, overheating during production, or too much of a delay between harvest and crushing. Our oils have less than .3% FFA.

Peroxide value – Based on IOOC Standards, the maximum peroxide value for EVOO is 20. A very low peroxide value is desirable. Our oils must have less than 9. Unsaturated free fatty acids react with oxygen and form peroxides, which create chain reactions that result in volatile compounds responsible for a musty/rancid oil smell. These reactions are accelerated by high temperatures, light, and oxygen exposure.

So Why does all this matter??

Because …… fresh EVOO

~ is full of antioxidants which can prevent the formation of LDL cholesterol. Too much LDL cholesterol will eventually cause blockages in your veins leading to the possibility of heart attack. The human body employs oxidation reactions to produce energy. Unfortunately, these reactions produce cell-damaging molecules known as “free radicals” which contribute to premature aging, hardening of the arteries and a range of diseases including cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. The best defense is the antioxidant molecule which neutralizes free radicals and which are abundant in EVOO and balsamic vinegar.

~ is full of monounsaturated fats. The prominent fatty acid in olive oil, oleic acid, helps reduce inflammation and is believed to beneficially affect genes linked to cancer. Higher rates of olive oil consumption are associated with lower odds of having any type of cancer.

~ reduces inflammation. oleocanthal, an antioxidant in EVOO, has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. High levels of inflammation in the body have been shown to be the cause of many of the most common diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and rheumatoid arthritis. Scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia found that oleocanthal has a potency strikingly similar to ibuprofen in inhibiting the COX enzyme that causes pain and inflammation.

~ reduces the risk of stroke. Due to high levels of monounsaturated fats, consuming EVOO results in a lowered risk of having a stroke.

~ is antibacterial. Extra virgin olive oil has several chemical components that can kill harmful bacteria, particularly Helicobacter pylori, which is the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers and cancer.   

~ aids bone mineralization and calcification. Consumption of extra virgin olive oil helps calcium absorption and plays an important role in preventing osteoporosis.

~ improves the sensitivity of cells to insulin which helps to prevent metabolic syndrome. Preventing metabolic syndrome is important because the syndrome increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.

~ helps cognitive function. Early harvest EVOO with high phenolic content reduced the symptoms in patients with mild cognitive decline (precursor stage of Alzheimer’s disease). The action of high phenolic extra virgin olive oil in the protection of the central nervous system seems to be verified in humans after extensive studies on experimental animals at universities the world over. Oleocanthal, the compound shown to protect nerve cells from Alzheimer’s damage, is now being studied to see if it can decrease levels of amyloid beta – known to play a role in Alzheimer’s – from accumulating in the brain. In studies using laboratory mice, oleocanthal seemed to increase production of proteins and enzymes necessary to remove amyloid beta from the brain. Studies are ongoing.

The medical advantages of fresh high phenol extra virgin olive oil are unrivaled and research uncovers more advantages almost daily. We are just beginning to comprehend the many ways olive oil can enhance our well-being and our lives. Olive oil is the foundation of the Mediterranean diet that has been shown to be compatible with healthier aging and increased longevity. A diet containing polyphenol-rich olive oils reduces blood pressure. Olive oil intake is inversely associated with both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

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