Olive oil is one of the few oils that contains natural antioxidants, particularly one called polyphenol. Polyphenols have natural anti-inflammatory properties which have a host of beneficial effects from healing sunburn to lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and risk of coronary disease. There can be as much as 5g of polyphenols in every 10g of good quality olive oil!
With so much healthy goodness in olive oil, it is really important to look after your oil and one of the best ways to do this is to protect it from oxidisation.
Oxidisation is a reaction which causes a change of state of a substance. With olive oil, if oxidisation occurs, it changes the properties in the oil which removes the goodness and particularly the antioxidants. For olive oil in particular, oxidisation occurs with the exposure to oxygen, light and heat. We can’t stress the importance of how to store your olive oil enough and here are 2 main tips:
- When selecting bottles, always select an oil in a dark bottle – the dark bottle will protect the oil from the sunlight and lighting in your kitchen
- Store your olive oil in the cupboard – close the lid tight and store your oil in the kitchen cupboard as this will protect it even further from light and oxygen ingress
Now, whilst olive oil does have many health giving properties, it will always best be consumed in combination with an overall healthy diet and plenty of exercise. And please also remember, olive oil is ultimately a food substance so remember to think about the provenance and taste of your oil as much as you do about its packaging and storage conditions!