Olive oil nutrients and types

Olive oil contains naturally occurring nutrients, including vitamins and antioxidants. Find out how they can support your health.

Olive oil has a fantastic nutrient profile and is full to the brim of vitamins and healthy fats to help support your body.

What types of olive oil are there?

The most famous type of olive oil is extra virgin olive oil, sometimes known as ‘EVOO’. This kind of olive oil is unrefined and natural, and does not use heat or solvents in its production.

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Olive oil nutrients

So, now you know which type of olive oil to look for, let’s take a look at the goodness inside. Olive oil is a good source of:

  • Vitamin K: Slightly less well known than vitamin E, vitamin K also has benefits for your body. It helps the blood clot and is needed to help wounds heal. It may also contribute to bone health. (3)
  • Monounsaturated fats: Unlike saturated fats, which are thought to be bad for you when eaten in excess, monounsaturated fats are considered to be ‘good’ fats. You might also find them in foods such as avocados and nuts such as almonds and brazil nuts. Monounsaturated fats are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. (4)
  • Oleic acid: This is a particular type of monounsaturated fat and is the primary monounsaturated fat in olive oil. Research has supported numerous benefits of oleic acid such as reducing inflammation and supporting the fight against cancer. (5)(6)

Antioxidants in olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is also an excellent source of antioxidants. But what exactly are antioxidants, and what do they do?

‘An antioxidant is a substance which protects your cells from free radicals, preventing them from causing as much damage.’

Extra virgin olive oil naturally contains a range of antioxidants (phenol alcohols and acids, secoiridoids, lignans and flavones, if you want to get technical). (7)

What to avoid in olive oil

As mentioned, there are lots of types of olive oil, and some are healthier than others. For the most health benefits, we recommend the highest quality extra virgin olive oil you can find. But how can you tell which extra virgin olive oils are high quality?

How does organic come in?

Aren’t all extra virgins organic? The answer is no, not always — at least when it comes to olive oil! Organic olive oil is about how farmers grow the olives. It has nothing to do with how the oil was produced from these olives, which is where the extra virgin part comes in.

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Know where your olive oil comes from

Lastly, if you are a fervent olive lover — is there any other type of true olive lover?! — you will have noticed that, while the nutrients in the oil will be similar, Greek and Italian olives do taste different.

Bottled gold

As is probably obvious by now, at Erbology we’re huge fans of olive oil. Not only does it have an impressive nutrient profile, it can be used to create delicious dishes, or even to be eaten simply with freshly baked bread.

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