Olive oil, declared by Unesco humanity?s intangible heritage, is a valuable ingredient of the Mediterranean diet and also an important ally of our health. Italy is a country with a strong vocation for olive oil and ranks second in the world for the longevity of its inhabitants (source: Global Burden of Disease) thanks to the Mediterranean diet, diet in which olive oil is the main protagonist.
As it is known, the polyphenols typical of the olive are powerful natural antioxidants that counteract the action of free radicals and have outstanding biomedical properties. They have preventive effect on some major diseases like heart attacks, cancer, hypertension and obesity and soon they will become beneficial as the result of international scientific research. Everyone knows that olive oil is wholesome but few people know that its health properties derives from polyphenols.
Prof. Servili of Perugia University, interviewed by RAI in a Linea Verde broadcast says:
?Meanwhile, olive oil is food and as such it has important health properties. The substances contained in extra virgin olive oil are good for one?s health when they arrive in certain concentrations. These substances are phenolic compounds or polyphenols that are bioactive molecules which have very important effects in the reduction of many diseases, those cardiovascular among them?.
But how do you know if an olive oil is good for your health?
?Just taste the olive oil and if the taste conveys a bitter and spicy sensation it is good for your health. (an olive oil that doesn?t transmit such taste has no beneficial health properties comparable to spicy and bitter oils)
A spicy and bitter olive oil suggests indirectly that the concentration of these bioactive phenolic substances is sufficient to have a positive impact to human health.