Put the kale smoothie down, there’s a new superfood on the block. And according to Dr Mary Flynn, Associate Professor at Brown University, it’s the healthiest food on the planet.
Take a bow extra virgin olive oil.
Why EVOO? Well, the quicker the oil gets from the groves to your pasta means the higher the levels of antioxidants. And EVOO is the indicator that what you’re pouring was first off the press and as fresh as a daisy.
Olive oil has long been heralded for its heart and skin benefits, but studies on oleocanthal (the most super of all antioxidants), is the key to EVOO’s healthiest food moniker. But with EVOO consisting of around 65 per cent of the Olive oil market, how do you know which one to choose?
Easy. That catchy bit at the back of your throat? That’s a good thing. And if it makes you cough? Even better. Pungency and ‘oesophageal catch’ are indicators of high levels of oleocanthal – a naturally occurring phenol that shares anti-inflammatory properties with ibuprofen.
And it doesn’t even matter if you cook with it. Turns out, EVOO is not only salad-worthy but is the safest oil to cook with. More antioxidants equals great oxidative stability which equals better for cooking. Swoon…
According to a study by Deakin University, long-term consumption of EVOO may contribute to a reduction in joint and neuro degeneration as well as inflammatory disease. “Published studies show that no other food comes close to extra virgin olive oil for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease,” says Flynn.
Couple that with the uber-high tocopherol (vitamin E) and you’re improving your chances of a glowing complexion, too. Good health, great taste and fabulous skin! Tick.
But, know this: as is the way with anything super, beware the imposters. Some olive oils are masquerading as virgins but have, you know, (whisper), been somewhere else first. Namely, heavily processed and treated with chemicals.
How to know? That little catch in the throat is the sign, but that’s only possible once you’ve opened the bottle. Behold the supermarket aisle for the Australian Extra Virgin Certified triangle that’ll tell you you’re getting the good stuff. With no triangle, there’s no certainty you’re getting the antioxidants that’ll help with heart, skin and joint health.
If you’re not already adding a glug of this golden girl to your daily diet then it’s time to do it, stat.