heather's healthy habit: polyphenols

Polyphenols are nature's antioxidants. Extra virgin olive oil is a natural fruit juice containing polyphenols, valuable antioxidants that cannot be found in any other edible oil. Many consider the polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil to be responsible for the low incidence of heart disease associated with people who regularly consume a Mediterranean diet.
eating mindfully
The major polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil include:
  • Oleuropein: Responsible for bitterness in olive oil, this compound is known to help promote autophagy, the human body’s process of eliminating damaged cells and regenerating new, healthy cells. This process helps make extra virgin olive oil a powerful weapon against neurodegeneration.
  • Oleacein: In studies this compound has shown to be beneficial for combating cardiovascular disease, as well as having antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial effects. It is also considered anti-proliferative, meaning it inhibits the growth and propagation of cancer cells.
  • Oleocanthal: Responsible for the pungency (burning sensation in the back of throat) in extra virgin olive oil, this compound is proven to be a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent, similar to ibuprofen. Oleocanthal has also been proven to be fatal to cancer cells.
Source: nih.gov