Perhaps you have already heard about it: The secret of young olives? Olives are not only suppliers of high quality unsaturated fatty acids, but also contain other health-promoting ingredients: the so-called polyphenols .
But what are polyphenols anyway?
Polyphenols are natural bioactive substances that occur in nature. They are found in plants and provide their protection, taste and color. Protection is the protection against oxidation.
Plants with a high proportion of polyphenols are not only olives but also grapes from the grapevine, therefore also present in red wine, the juice of pomegranate, ginkgo, tea or black nettles.
The polyphenol in olives is called oleuropein. Basically, it can be said
that the younger an olive is, the more polyphenols it contains.
Oxidation is the reason why a sliced apple spoils quickly. He has no helpers like the olive. This not only protects the olive, but also the olive oil from heat and light.
The bioactive polyphenols also have positive effects on the human organism. Therefore, they are also included in the group of antioxidants in medicine.
What effects do polyphenols have on the human body?
They belong to the group of antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing effects , among other things .
They protect against oxidative stress : They prevent the formation of free radicals and they slow down cell oxidation. Free radicals generally arise during the metabolism in the course of a meal and lead to excessive oxygen uptake. This imbalance overwhelms the cells and can lead to damage, which is also known as oxidative stress. In the long run, this can have major consequences, such as an earlier aging process. Oxidative stress unfortunately also leads to secondary diseases such as stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular diseases.
Since these diseases do not break out immediately, it is assumed that the predominance of the disease-causing and favorable factors over the detoxifying substances such as antioxidants are decisive.
Polyphenols are therefore a good reason to choose olive oils over other oils without bioactive ingredients.
You should pay attention to this when buying olive oil:
- Basically: only buy extra virgin olive oils
- only buy olive oils where the producer has committed himself to harvesting by hand, as there are no harvesting machines that can distinguish young from ripe olives. The common method in Istria is hand scraping. MASINO olive oils are all hand- picked .
- Some manufacturers such as Chiavalon offer their own product with very young olives à MASINO product : Chiavalon Mlado .
- Only olives that are not isolated, but come into the press immediately on the day of harvest, are rich in polyphenols. This of course has an effect on the price, which makes olive oil presses more expensive on these harvest days.
- Who buys cheap, buys dear. The manual harvest and the early point in time with smaller fruits have their price. Therefore, average olive oils in the supermarket only have a proportion of 30-100 mg per kg. High quality olive oils are at least 250 mg. Peak values depending on the growing area and variety are possible with 500-800 mg.
- See for yourself: the more bitter and hot an olive oil, the higher the polyphenol content.
Stiftung Warentest, Warenkunde Öl, Berlin 2016
Wikipedia: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyphenole , 02/26/2017.