Studies have shown that polyphenols can help to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. One key polyphenol, oleocanthal, has a similar effect on the body as ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory medication, without the negative side effects. Another, hydroxytyrosol, has strong antioxidant properties and protects cells from damage.
It's important to note that not all olive oils contain the same amount of polyphenols, the content varies depending on the variety of olives, the terroir and the production process. Extra virgin olive oil is considered as the oil that has the highest content of polyphenols, as it is made from pure, cold-pressed olives and has no defects or chemical treatments.