Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
High quality, fresh Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) has lots of antioxidants and health benefits, and you can be healthier by simply adding it to your diet today.
With my background as a doctor I know both how important our health is, and how difficult it can be to look after ourselves when we live busy lives. I believe the food we eat is central to our overall wellbeing (physical, mental, and social), and that’s why I’m passionate about people being able to eat well as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Scientific studies show that a great way to eat more healthily is to add fresh Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) to your diet – the bonus is that it’s really easy! Proven results include:
- Reduction in blood pressure (1).
- Reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease including heart attacks and strokes (2).
- Reduction in risk of invasive breast cancer (3).
My top tips for buying great EVOO are:
- Buy Australian – We have a very well-regulated olive oil industry so you can be confident that you’re buying the real deal. AND it hasn’t had to travel halfway around the world to reach you.
- Check the harvest date – Buy the most recent harvest if possible; Australian oils are mostly harvested between April and July so new season oils are hitting the shelves now.
- Bitter is better – The antioxidant compounds that give EVOO its superpowers have a bitter flavour, so in general bitter oils are better for you.
- Buy direct from the grower – Most farmers’ markets in Australia feature local olive oils, but if this isn’t possible for you, check out online sales and local delicatessens. Good quality Australian oils can also be found at most supermarkets.
How can I get more olive oil into my daily routine?
It’s a myth that you can’t cook with EVOO, a fresh oil is well able to stand up to cooking at high temperatures, and this has been proven in laboratory studies (4). So, don’t just drizzle it on salads! I also love it for sautéing vegetables, marinating meats, baking banana bread and chocolate brownies, and using as a finishing touch on soups. It’s pretty much the only fat I use in my kitchen!
How is Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced?
Modern olive presses (like ours) use a centrifuge to separate the oil from the olive fruit paste instead of the ancient method of compressing paste spread onto mats. This also has the benefit of reducing exposure to air. In modern olive oil production, cold pressed means that the temperature of the paste is kept below 27°C throughout pressing.
Our Extra Virgin Olive Oil is cold pressed to maximise the antioxidants present in our products.
Temperatures higher than this start to degrade the oil, impairing flavor and reducing all the healthy nutrients that make fresh Extra Virgin Olive Oil such a superfood.
In technical terms, lower quality oils have higher acidity, and generally a shorter shelf life. To be classified as Extra Virgin, an oil has to pass laboratory tests, which include a sensory evaluation where the oil is tasted by trained assessors (yes, that’s actual people!)
(1) Flynn M, Wang S. Report. Olive oil as medicine: the effect on blood pressure. December 2015. UCDavis Olive Center.
(3) Toledo E, et al. Mediterranean Diet and Invasive Breast Cancer Risk Among Women at High Cardiovascular Risk in the PREDIMED TrialA Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med.2015;175(11):1752–1760