Unlocking Phytonutrients with Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Part of Our Series on the Benefits of Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Here at Cobram Estate, we love to cook with EVOO. Of course, we love the flavor and performance of EVOO in the kitchen. We also love to cook with EVOO because there are significant health benefits to using this as your everyday cooking oil.  You probably already know that EVOO is heart healthy, but did you also know that it can also help your body to absorb some of the phytonutrients found in vegetables?

In a recently published letter to the editor of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Mediterranean diet expert Dr. Mary M. Flynn of Brown University reminded readers that cooking certain vegetables in a healthy fat like EVOO can enhance the nutritional value of the veggies. Carotenoids found in dark-colored fruits and vegetables like broccoli and sweet potato are fat-soluble and absorbed into our body only when consumed with fat. Furthermore, cooking carotenoid-rich vegetables in EVOO may enhance these nutrients' antioxidant benefits above and beyond other fats like sunflower oil.[1] Carotenoids are the compounds that give dark-colored fruits and veggies their bold colors. In our body, they have free radical quenching antioxidant effects and are also crucial for supporting our eye health.[2]

Thank you, Dr. Flynn, for reminding us of another reason that EVOO should be a staple cooking oil. Sweet potatoes roasted with EVOO, some flaked sea salt, and fresh ground pepper are going on our dinner menu, STAT!  



[1] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2020.12.022

[2] https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/carotenoids

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