If you already know your extra virgin olive oils and how to tell if they are of superior quality, then this should be quite enough to convince you:
- Family farmed in Greece
- 100% Organic
- Carefully cold extracted
- Bottled in tin for superior preservation
- Early harvested for ultimate polyphenol potency
- < 0.5 Acidity
However, if you think all extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) are created equal then please read on!
But first... Let's take a quick look at the benefits that elevate this oil to superfood status!
These benefits listed are only attributed to extremely high quality oils which can be shown to have maintained their levels of pholyphenols, especially oleocanthal.
- EVOO is being increasingly shown to have preventative effects on cognitive decline and the development of cognitive disorders like Alzheimer's.
- The cardiovascular health benefits of EVOO are mounting, even on patients already presenting with dyslipidemia. It is also being shown to slow and even prevent the oxidisation of LDL cholesterol (this is when it becomes harmful).
- The higher the level of polyphenols, particularly oleocanthal in the oil, the higher the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects of the oil. In fact the anti-inflammatory effects of EVOO in high enough doses are now being compared to those of Ibuprofen.
- As research continues it is being used for more and more specific applications, like this study which found high quality EVOO to reduce DNA damage in post menopausal women.
That's a whole lot of well researched, critical health benefits all in one.. If longevity is what we are after it's time to start taking this food seriously.
so why do I have to choose with caution?
A random bottle of olive oil from the shelf will not provide you with all of these.
In fact the overwhelming majority of EVOOs will also fall short.
The reasons for this are many...
- A vast number of manufacturers dilute the EVOO with other oils to increase profitability
- Huge manufacturing plants leave olives to lie around for too long before extraction allowing fermentation to take place and the polyphenols to dissipate
- Olives may be harvested too late, while they ripen they produce more oil, however the polyphenols are reduced. Increasing profitability but decreasing superfood
- Many EVOOs are not farmed organically, meaning along with your anti-inflammatory properties you are getting the chemicals and pesticides which CAUSE the inflammation in the first place.
- Some companies still bottle their EVOOs in light or only slightly darkened glass, leaving the oil vulnerable to oxidisation on the shelf or in your kitchen. This turns what was once a super food into a bottle of potential DNA damage.
- Large companies often buy the cheapest harvests from a variety of countries, but still process them in say Italy for example, and may then label their product 'bottled in Italy. This directly impacts the quality of the oil as the nutrient profiles of all those olives will be diverse, and when mixed severely diluted.
Frightening... we know
so how do I ensure I'm choosing an oil that IS actually a superfood?
Having read everything above, making sure your EVOO truly packs a Super Power Punch can seem a little daunting.
So we have made a checklist for you.
- Make sure the oil is ORGANIC. Olives are tiny fruits, and easily coated in pesticides and chemicals which are difficult to remove.
- ONLY buy EVOO in DARK glass or tin. Studies show that tin is actually the most effective packing for preserving
- Check the acidity level listed on the bottle. To be classified as EVOO the acidity should be lower than 0.8, so the lower the number the higher the quality of the oil. If this isn't listed, don't buy
- Research the company you are buying from and ensure that they guarantee their olives are coming from a single country, and ideally a single farm to avoid discrepancies in olive quality.
- While researching, check that the company notes an early harvest of the olives. This will mean you will be getting the most potent concentration of polyphenols and especially oleocanthal.
- After buying the oil, give it a taste on its own... If you get a peppery feeling at the back of your throat that makes you feel like you need to cough, you KNOW you've got the goods. Your oil is PACKED with oleocanthal(which is the property that creates that effect) and you're good to go!
want us to take the labor out of your hands?
Meet Kouris Organic EVOO
Kouris Organic EVOO meets that entire checklist and more.
- It's 100% organic.
- It's bottled in specially prepared tin.
- The acidity level is listed on the bottle and is superbly low at under 0.5!
- Kouris Organic EVOO comes from our chief operations officer's family farm in Greece. So we can provide you with a 100% guarantee that all the olives are a single variety, the Koroneiki, from a single mineral rich farm with an almost century old tradition of olive farming.
- Kouris prides itself on a consistently early harvest, ensuring the highest possible potency of polyphenols and oleocanthal.
- It passes the taste test with flying colours. The peppery taste in the back of the throat is distinct. In fact among experts one cough, two cough and three cough oils are discussed, three being the most potent in antioxidants. In the ingfit team test Kouris scored a clear three cough across the board!
so how can I use it to ensure I'm maximising its benefits?
An oil of this quality CAN be used for cooking and is stable up to 400 Fahrenheit, however, while it will not oxidise like other poor quality vegetable oils, the health benefits will become neutralised in the cooking.
So... to turbocharge your health, try the following:
- Max Lugavere's 'Huge Fatty Salad.' He notes repeatedly that pairing highly nutrient dense salad or vegetables with a super powered fat like organic EVOO doubles the absorption of the nutrients in the vegetables and salad too!
- As a finisher for grilled fish and meat. So the oil is drizzled over the protein after it is cooked in another fat, retaining its healthful properties and enhancing the taste.
- Drizzle over your low carb pizza just before serving to enhance taste and bioavailability.
- The list is endless really... the best thing to do is keep a bottle in the middle of the dining table and have everyone drizzle a little over whatever is being served right before eating, in the Mediterranean tradition.
For more information please visit www.kourisoliveoil.com