High Polyphenols Olive Oil

High Polyphenol Extra Virgin Olive Oil – the liquid gold

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is widely considered one of the healthiest oils on the market. In ancient Greece, it was referred to as ‘Liquid Gold’ because it was so highly valued for its medicinal and beauty benefits.


EVOO is a monounsaturated fat, which in and of itself makes it a healthier alternative to saturated fats that have been shown to adversely affect certain aspects of your lipid profile and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Monounsaturated fats on the other hand can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells as well as being an excellent source of vitamin E. 


But there is a special category of premium of olive oils, for which there is plenty of research supporting numerous health benefits offered. These are known as High Polyphenols Olive Oil, Medical Grade Olive Oil, High Phenolic Olive Oil or Health Claim olive oil.


This category of olive oils is rich in some amazing compounds known as Polyphenols and require a very demanding and strict set of natural production procedures compared to mainstream cheap olive oils found in supermarkets (specific olive tree varieties selection, cultivation methods, extraction process, early harvesting, temperature during harvest, type of method used when pressing oils and many other factors).


This production process including early harvesting has a higher production cost as it produces a limited quantity of oil as less juice is extracted compared to fully ripened olives, however, this ensures significantly higher polyphenols than common oils that are recognised by European Food Safety Authority (EFSA – Olive Oil Health Claim EU 432/2012 ) for the important health benefits offered when this type of high phenolic olive oils are consumed regularly. 



What are Polyphenols and why are they important?

Polyphenols are bioactive compounds found in certain plants that protect the body against the effects of oxidative stress that can lead to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and some neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s. 


High Polyphenol Olive Oils contain a higher level of phenolic compounds compared to other olive oils, specifically, HYDROXYTYROSOL, OLEUROPEIN, TYROSOL, OLEOCANTHAL, CAROTENES and OLEACEIN which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that help fight specific physical and neurological diseases by reversing the damage caused to healthy cells resulting from oxidative stress.


Not all olive oil however is created equal. According to the EU Health Claim Labelling Regulation of 2012, the minimum level of HYDROXYTYROSOL and its derivatives, including OLEUROPEIN and TYROSOL must be at least 5mg per 1.5 tablespoons (20grms) of olive oil for a producer to claim their oil can deliver any meaningful health benefits.



The cost of High Polyphenols - is the Price tag worth it?

Premium high polyphenol EVOO cannot be produced at low cost, so don’t be tempted by low cost olive oil brands.


Production of high phenolic olive oils is of limited scale and as it yields lower quantity of olive oil (but higher levels of healthy polyphenols) it can end up costing multiple times higher to supermarket olive oils.


There are also various other cost elements including the fact that high polyphenol olive oil producers test each harvest batch in independent lab tested at the time of bottling to determine polyphenol levels, which adds to the cost of production. This certification provides consumers with confidence they are purchasing a medical grade oil that could provide them significant health benefits.


Another challenge for producers is to adopt production methods that ensure the polyphenols in the fruit are protected, through the way the trees are cultivated, how the olives are harvested, and the conditions through which the olive oil is extracted and stored, including bottling and transportation.


For example, producers will typically harvest the olives by hand, to ensure minimum damage to the fruit making it a more labour-intensive process. High Polyphenol EVOO is always produced from an early harvest when the olives are still maturing but when the phenol count is at its highest. At this stage, the olives are still firm and difficult to rupture, so the yield of juice that can be extracted from the olives is limited. Olive oil used in the production of high polyphenol EVOO will always be fresh, coming from the most recent harvest and not blended with inferior or older oils and will be cold extracted within hours of being harvested to retain maximum flavour and benefits.

Extraction and storage temperate are also key to protecting the oil, requiring temperature-controlled tanks as well as optimal storage and transportation facilities. Consideration is also given to protecting the oil once purchased so premium high polyphenol EVOO will come in darkened bottles and will often have sealed specialist pouring mechanisms to protect the oil from elemental damage. All these factors combined contribute to the costs of producing high polyphenol EVOO and will have an impact on the price.


When you take account of production costs and the certification process involved one can understand why high polyphenol EVOO sells at a premium price compared to other olive oils. As a rule of thumb, consumers will typically find that the higher the polyphenol content of the oil the more expensive it is because less needs to be consumed, to gain the benefits. However, the value to the consumer largely depends on what they want to use the oil for.


For a delicious range of award-winning medical grade and fresh harvest EVOOs made using Koroneiki Olives from Crete, Greece, visit the premium olive oils section of MasWorth store today.


Diabetes: Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) health benefits on Diabetes

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and how it can help Diabetics

Diabetes: A Chronic Global Heath Issue

Most food is converted by the body into glucose, which is released into the bloodstream signalling the pancreas to release insulin enabling the blood sugar to enter cells and then be used as energy. Diabetes is a serious chronic disease that disrupts this process and negatively affects how the body turns food into energy.

There are three main types of Diabetes: Type 1 when the body cannot produce enough insulin due to an autoimmune response; Type 2 when the body cannot use insulin effectively to manage blood sugar levels; and Gestational Diabetes developed during pregnancy which threatens the health of the baby and increases the mothers’ risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future.

According to WHO, diabetes is a major global health issue and is associated with numerous chronic health complications, including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease (nephropathy), nerve damage (neuropathy), eye disease (Retinopathy), foot problems and increased risk of some cancers.

Approximately 5-10% of diabetics have Type 1 and will need to administer insulin for the remainder of their lives. Unfortunately, there is no known way to prevent or cure Type 1 Diabetes. Most, between 90-95% have Type 2 Diabetes, which by adopting a healthy lifestyle could either be prevented or delayed. Incorporating healthy habits around diet and exercise can also mitigate the risk of developing the above-mentioned complications by effectively controlling blood sugar, blood pressure and blood fats (Cholesterol).



Cholesterol and the link to Type 2 Diabetes

Cholesterol has an important role in the body as it is responsible for moving fluid across cell membranes and participating in various metabolic functions. High Cholesterol is strongly linked to cardiovascular disease but what about diabetes?

Research has linked insulin resistance in Type 2 Diabetes with a condition called “dyslipidemia”, characterised by:

  • high levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL-C), the large and sticky cholesterol molecules, known as ‘bad’ cholesterol. High glucose levels contribute to LDL-C staying in the bloodstream longer than normal causing health complications.
  • low levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL-C), the smaller cholesterol molecules, known as ‘good’ cholesterol that help to naturally cleanse LDL-C via the liver.
  • high triglycerides which are common fats floating in bloodstream.

When high Triglyceride is coupled with high LDL-C, there is a greater risk of hardened arteries and therefore potential heart attack, problems with peripheral circulation called Peripheral Vascular Disease, and stroke.



Type 2 Diabetes & High Cholesterol: The Importance of a Healthy Diet


It is well established that if you have ‘high cholesterol’ you should follow a heart healthy diet to increase your “good” cholesterol intake and decrease your “bad” cholesterol intake. The Mediterranean diet has many health benefits and is certainly considered to be a heart healthy diet and recent studies have demonstrated that one of those benefits is to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes or improving glycaemic control for those with the disease. The Diabetes Council recommends if you have high cholesterol and diabetes, you should specifically increase monosaturated fats in your diet and reduce saturated and trans fats.

Preliminary research conducted at Sapienza University is one of the first to directly link the consumption of EVOO (the main source of dietary fat within the Mediterranean diet) as part of a balanced diet to a greater reduction in blood sugar and ‘bad’ cholesterol levels compared to many other fats.

The findings are consistent with previous studies, which have also linked EVOO to higher levels of insulin.

According to the Diabetes Council, EVOO, which is generally considered a healthy monosaturated fat can help those with Diabetes in some other important ways too:

  • The high level of polyphenols and antioxidants found in EVOO can help diminish the impact of oxidative stress on cells caused by high levels of sugar in the blood. One of the main ways antioxidants may help prevent or potentially reverse damage from oxidative stress is by reducing damage to the endothelium, the layer of cells that line blood vessels.
  • Inflammation is the main cause of chronic disease and thought to be an important contributor to diabetes and its complications. The polyphenol oleocanthal acts in a similar way as NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen is found in EVOO giving it a potent anti-inflammatory effect which can help reduce inflammation and therefore the damage that long-term inflammation causes to cells.

EVOO – What you should consider when purchasing

When using EVOO as part of a healthy balanced diet to assist in the management of Type 2 Diabetes, it is important to choose an oil that is high in polyphenols and has been certified as medical grade. Olive oils are categorized based on how they are processed and not all offer the same benefits. For an oil to be categorised as medical grade under the Olive Oil Health Claim (EU 432/2012) it must contain at least 250 mg/kg of hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol or their derivatives.  The benefits are obtained with a daily intake of 20 gr of olive oil.

Fresh, early harvested Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is always the best option to ensure a good concentration of polyphenols. For daily cooking and baking, there are some great fresh olive oils that may be lower in polyphenols but still provide many benefits.

For a delicious range of independently certified and award-winning medical grade and fresh harvest EVOOs made using Koroneiki Olives from Crete, Greece, visit the MasWorth store today.

MasWorth Favorite Products

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO): A great choice for the Keto Diet

Keto: much more than a weight loss program


The Ketogenic Diet (Keto) is a low carbohydrate diet often associated with quick weight loss. The way the diet works is that calories are consumed primarily from eating proteins and fats rather than refined sugars and carbohydrates. When the body consumes less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, after about 3-4 days it runs out of fuel (blood sugar) it can use for energy. At this point the body is said to go into a state of ketosis as it starts to break down protein and fat to produce ketones to be used by the body as an alternative energy source.

However, the Keto diet is much more than a weight loss program. Research indicates there are some significant longer-term health benefits to following the diet over and above reducing body weight and BMI. The strongest scientific link is to epilepsy and seizure disorders in children, but there are also indicators that because the diet has been shown to decrease levels of triglycerides, ‘bad’ cholesterol, and blood glucose, and increase levels of good cholesterol, this can help mitigate some of the risks of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s disease, ADHD, Lyme Disease and Type 1 & 2 diabetes as well as the health complications associated with diabetes.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO): A great choice for the Keto Diet

Critics of the Keto diet point to the fact that people following the diet often eat an abundance of saturated fats from low quality refined vegetable oils, seed oils, animal fats, and highly processed meats such as bacon and sausage therefore increasing their risk of chronic inflammation and disease. Exchanging these for polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids) and monounsaturated fats from foods like salmon, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados which have all demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects therefore provides healthier alternative fat sources.

There is a significant amount of research that proves the health benefits of consuming a good quality EVOO which is an excellent source of oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid known to prevent heart disease and reduce cholesterol.  The monounsaturated fats and polyphenols such as hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, oleuropein, and oleocanthal which are abundant in EVOO have been scientifically proven to reduce chronic inflammation, one of the leading cause of diseases of the body and mind and their potent antioxidant properties can also help protect and heal the body against the effects of oxidative stress.

Our High Quality Olive Oils

Crystallised Honey

What is Crystallisation?

When honey turns from a liquid state to a semi solid state this process is called crystallisation. It is a completely natural process and over time almost all pure raw honey will crystallise, albeit at different rates and consistencies depending on several factors.


Why does crystallisation occur?

Because honey contains approximately 70% natural sugars and less than 20% water, honey is in essence an unstable super-saturated sugar solution. The ratio of the two natural sugars found in honey are between 30-44% Fructose and 25-40% Glucose depending on the floral nectar source of the honey which can also impact the size of crystals formed. Honey produced from Wild Thyme for example may be one of the most delicious and nutritious honeys available, but it also has a rapid crystallisation rate. Manuka honey on the other hand granulates more slowly but forms large crystals.  


What causes honey to crystallise?

It is the glucose in honey that causes crystallisation due to its low solubility, therefore the ratio of fructose to glucose and glucose to water is perhaps the most significant determinant of how fast crystallisation occurs. In simple terms, the higher the ratio of glucose to water, the faster crystallisation happens because the glucose, which can no longer be absorbed into the water separates to form tiny crystals either uniformly throughout the honey or as two separate layers with the crystals at the bottom and the liquid on top. Beekeepers refer to this as set honey.

Other external factors that affect crystallisation include how the honey is processed and bottled as well as the packaging used. For example, Raw honey which is unprocessed or unfiltered contains small particles of plant components, beeswax and pollen which act as catalysts for more rapid crystallisation. This is also true for honey sold in plastic containers.

The temperature which you store your honey is also important. Ideally it should be stored below 4﮿C or above 25﮿C, with crystallisation occurring most rapidly between 10-15﮿C. To maintain the long-term stability of honey, it is therefore best to store it at room temperature in an airtight container where possible.


Is crystallisation of Honey a good or bad thing? A consumer’s perspective.

It is true that people eat with their eyes as well as their mouths, so consumers who expect honey to have a clear runny consistency and smooth texture, may question the purity and quality of honey that crystallises. Neither concern is valid since crystallisation does NOT affect the quality of the honey only the colour, which becomes lighter and the texture which becomes more course and grainy.

Much of the honey found in supermarkets remains in liquid form because it has been highly processed through pasteurisation and filtration to dissolve crystals and remove particles or passed through a process called creaming, where it is rapidly granulated at a low temperature to achieve a smooth texture from ultra-fine crystals which can’t be seen or detected on the palate.

As consumers move away from processed food and look to purchase Raw unprocessed food with greater nutritional value, they should expect to see higher levels of crystallisation in the honey they purchase and whilst set honey may not ‘look’ as appetising to some, it is not only easier to spread it also has a richer flavour.

Therefore, in the end, whether crystallised honey is a good or bad really comes down to personal preference. Questions relating to the quality of the honey are more to do with the providence of the honey and experience and quality standards of the beekeepers. Natura Hives Thyme, Wild Herbs and Pine Honey sold and distributed by MasWorth is produced in a Natura 2000 protected coastal area of Crete which restricts the use of pesticides and is the product of a family of beekeepers who have been producing superior honey for over four generations.    

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OLIVE OIL: Why Fresh is always best!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Why Fresh is always best!

Why Freshness of EVOO is important

Unlike wine, Olive Oil does not improve with time. Like all fruits, the flavour and nutritional goodness are at their peak when they are first harvested and pressed. These qualities degrade after some months, so many of the potential benefits gained may be lost beyond this point. This is why it is recommended to prefer olive oils that are fresh and using them up to 18 months since their harvest date and not later than that.

For EVOO producers, it is very important to ensure olives are plucked from the tree at just the right time. If producers leave the fruit to ripen too much, the olive oil will lose a large amount of the potent polyphenols that make it so healthy.

Typically, olives start to ripen in early September when they are bright green and still quite bitter. Olive Oils made from September to early November are considered early harvested and contain the highest potency of polyphenols and antioxidants. There is limited production of oil during this stage because the olives are still firm so do not yield a lot of juice, however comes with higher health benefits.


Unfortunately, most of the large Olive Oil companies tend to avoid including the harvest date in the bottling together with the expiration date. This is why it so important to choose producers and brands that are fully transparent and share all this important information with consumers.

Benefits of a diet rich in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Many studies highlight the health benefits of eating a diet rich in EVOO primarily because of its high polyphenol content and excellent antioxidant properties. High Phenolic Olive Oils are considered as natural anti-inflammatories. 


Polyphenols are micronutrients naturally occurring in plants and are potent antioxidants that help eliminate the free radicals that continually attack the body damaging healthy cells. This process, known as oxidation, is a natural result of our metabolism and the oxidative stress it produces in our bodies is linked to certain diseases as well as ageing. The antioxidant properties of polyphenols can help reduce abnormal cell formation, combat inflammation and over time, restore cells back to normal health.


The most important polyphenols in EVOO include OLEUROPEIN, TYROSOL, HYDROXYTYROSOL, OLEOCANTHAL, CAROTENES and OLEACEIN. Each possess strong antioxidant properties that can help fight specific physical and neurological diseases by reversing the damage caused to healthy cells.  Studies claim that a daily dose of EVOO over a period, either as a natural supplement dosage or used in cooking can for example:

  • Help prevent heart disease
  • Promote good cardiovascular health
  • help control Type II diabetes
  • Reverse the aging process
  • slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s disease
  • counter the free radicals causing certain cancers
  • Act as natural anti-inflammatory, offering some help on autoimmune conditions/other inflammation related conditions

In addition, it helps boost vitamin and antioxidant absorption from other foods.



The saying ‘beauty radiates from within’ is often understood with respect to individual personality and character, but it is also true in the sense that what we eat can fundamentally impact our external appearance.  As the largest organ in the body, our skin is the major interface between us and the external environment, so it is essential we take great care of it. Whilst the health benefits of regularly consuming Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil as part of a Mediterranean diet are commonly known, how often do we consider the benefit of using it as part of a natural beauty regime?



Beauty rituals have existed since ancient times as people have searched for the elusive ‘fountain of youth’. Olive Oil applied directly on skin dates back thousands of years to ancient Greece where the Olive tree thought to be a gift from the Goddess Athena was considered sacred because of its health and beauty benefits.  Used in cosmetics, as a natural eyeliner mixed with charcoal for example and natural skin care, in face masks and moisturisers, women in ancient Greece recognised the cleansing, protective and anti-aging properties of Olive Oil and used it abundantly to enhance their appearance. This ancient wisdom has transcended time and olive oil is still used today as an ingredient in skin care products. But what of using Olive Oil in its purest form as the ancient Greeks did?



Whilst for some people, using oils is counterintuitive for fear it might leave the skin oily, I personally have not found this. As an advocate of DIY beauty products, I have experimented with a variety of oils on my skin, which is naturally dry in parts so thirstily drinks up the oil, leaving it smooth and more elastic.

I admit, until now, Olive Oil has not been part of my regime, but the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and healing properties of polyphenols naturally found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and high vitamin E content that have been proven to fight free radicals and combat oxidative stress which causes collagen breakdown, dark spots, and premature aging make it a natural choice for a green beauty enthusiast.

If you are new to making DIY beauty products or using natural oils directly on your face, there are several ways Olive Oil can be used as part of a natural beauty regime.

  • Makeup Removal: Because oil attracts oil, using olive oil can help dissolve oils commonly found in makeup. Either remove makeup from around the eyes using a few drops of oil on cotton wool and gently wipe across the eyes to avoid wrinkles or massage onto your face in a circular motion and rinse with warm water to remove stubborn oil-based foundations.  
  • Exfoliation: A simple mixture of a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and sugar or salt produces a natural exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and leave your skin feeling rejuvenated and smooth.
  • Cleansing: Mix equal quantities of olive oil and castor oil and rub on to your face. By rinsing with a warm cloth, you can dissolve the oils, dirt and pollutants that clog up the pores and cause blackheads without stripping away your natural barrier and disrupting the skin’s microbiome. This important layer keeps the body healthy by communicating with our internal immune system, fighting infection, reducing inflammation, and protecting the skin from environmental damage. Cleansing with oil is a great first step, especially for people with dry skin and can be followed up with a double cleanse using foam or gel-based cleansers for those with combination or oily skin.
  • Moisturising: Because Olive Oil has occlusive properties enabling it to act as a sealant to trap in moisture, it has an excellent moisturising effect when used on damp skin or over water-based products, helping to protect and balance your microbiome.

It is not only the face that can benefit from Olive Oil, but it can also be used to soften cuticles, as a scalp oil (leave overnight for maximum benefit and avoid if you suffer from dandruff) or as an alternative to shaving creams.



If you want to use Olive Oil on your face, then quality matters. Fresh, early harvested Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is always the best option to ensure a good concentration of polyphenols and vitamins. November Early Harvest Organic EVOO contains above 450mg/kg of polyphenols and is therefore an excellent choice not just for consumption but also external application and a little goes a very long way! If you are not into DIY beauty, then purchasing products that contain Olive Oil is also an excellent option. Why not begin the year by trying out products from The White Olive range and start to experience the amazing benefits Olive Oil can have for your skin? 



Yesterday was a great day. At 9.30am I received notification from a courier that there were only 26 stops before my parcel containing a shipment of November Organic Infused Olive Oil would be with me. In an age of what seems like endless lockdowns, I have grown to appreciate some of the simpler pleasures in life, particularly food, so like a child at Christmas time I was excited. 

Infused oils are a wonderful and healthy alternative to any cooking fat and a simple way to give meals a gourmet touch by adding aroma and flavour to almost any dish. What specifically attracts me to the November Infused Oils is not only that the base organic extra virgin olive oil has proven health benefits due to its high polyphenol content, but also November infuses their olive oil with organic essential oils obtained from plants to achieve their unique combination of flavours. Typically, I have avoided flavoured oils that contain floating ingredients like rosemary or whole garlic cloves because the water or oxygen they contain are a food safety risk, so this is a big bonus for me.


Whilst waiting for my shipment to arrive I had given some thought as to how I might use the oils in my cooking. I decided to start simple and use as a drizzle for my evening meal. In less than 20 minutes from starting preparation,I was samplingmy first taste of November Organic Infused Fennel and Lemon Olive Oil by creating a delicious meal of salmon filet on a bed of wholemeal grains and spinach accompanied by a tomato salad with a light infused olive oil drizzle to add a subtle and delightful flavour of aniseed and lemon. It was delicious.

Inspired by my success, my next culinary adventure will be to use the second of the infused oils Laurel and Orange as a Marinade to enhance the flavour of what would normally be a bland chicken breast. I am mindful that the intense flavours of infused oils can overpower a dish and may not be to everyone’s taste so I will use a combination of three parts oil to two parts vinegar.

There are other simple ways the oils can be used. If I think of them as a condiment, I can add to soups, sauces, mayonnaise, and salad dressings to give exceptional flavour. If, like me you do not like intense or overpowering flavours in food, then cutting the infused olive oil with a high-quality oil to balance the flavour is a great option. The November Infused Olive Oils bundle includes a bottle of pure organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, so you don’t need to compromise on quality. 

A little research into using as a cooking oil for Sauteing Meat or Vegetables highlights the importance of cooking at a lower temperature, so the oil does not burn and spoil the flavour. One way to avoid this is to add the oil during the final stages of cooking to ensure maximum flavour and aroma is maintained.


Storing oils is an important consideration for maintaining their health benefits and flavour. Air, heat, and light can cause oil to degrade. Whilst the premium bottles of November Oils may look great and are easily accessible sat next to the hob on the kitchen counter, it is advised to store away from direct light and heat, preferably in a dark cupboard and not a fridge.

November Organic Infused Olive Oils are a wonderful ingredient for people who love their food but may not have the time to create delicious gourmet dishes every day. Order your bundle today to start a new culinary journey for yourself or as a perfect vegan gift for family, friends or corporate clients.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO): A Superfood for Kids

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO): A Superfood for Kids

A good parent will go to any lengths to ensure their children grow up healthy and happy, even if their child does not appreciate it at the time.  I can still remember my dad painstakingly forcing my sister and I to drink a daily tablespoon of cod liver oil.  In those days, supplements did not come in tidy little capsules that could be swallowed with a glass of fruit juice, so it is having my mouth coated in slimy oil and an unpleasant lingering taste of fish that is indelibly etched into my childhood memories. It was a challenge for us all, there were tears and tantrums, but I eventually came to appreciate it was not punishment, it was a concern for how our little bodies and brains were developing.   

Parents equally concerned about the development of their children might want to consider adding Extra Virgin Olive Oil to their children’s diet.  A significant amount of research into the health benefits of EVOO shows it is an excellent food source for growing children and adolescents. Not only is it loaded with polyphenols that work as antioxidants to fight disease and heal cells, but it also contains Vitamin D for healthy bone development. Children need a lot of calories as they grow and the high calorific content of EVOO comes from ‘good’ monounsaturated fatty acids so do not contribute to childhood obesity.

Some paediatricians argue that EVOO is one of the first ingredients you should introduce to weaning babies so they can continue to receive the DHA-laden omega-3 fats they were getting naturally from breast milk, but also because it can protect their intestine walls, ensure a healthy digestive system, and help them to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. It is therefore good to get kids into the habit of eating EVOO as early as possible.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A Natural Brain Food

Not only good for a child’s physical growth and development, EVOO is also important for cognitive development and ongoing brain functioning. Research published in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience into why there are fewer cases of Alzheimer’s disease in Mediterranean countries found that the polyphenol oleocanthal found naturally in EVOO helps to disable the abnormal proteins that attach to brain cells causing memory loss and dementia.

This is not only great news for people prone to or in the early stages of this disease, but people who suffer from headaches, confusion, fogginess, vertigo, and anxiety which may be signs of declining brain cells could also benefit. Parents who ensure their children consume EVOO regularly as part of their diet from an early age could therefore potentially help them to avoid cognitive issues in later life.

In addition, omega-3, more commonly found in oily fish and Vitamins B are also constituents of EVOO and are known to improve brain functioning, boost neuro-psycho-motor development and improve the structure of the retina. Research also suggests that EVOO can help children with ADHD to deal with their symptoms better.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: The Dos and Don’ts for kids

In early child development, when fish cannot be introduced to a baby’s diet, or later, when children become pickier in terms of the food they eat, it may be difficult to ensure children get enough of the important fatty acids they need to grow.

I would not recommend spoon feeding your kids pure EVOO and most definitely not to young babies. Whilst your child might not be left with a strong taste of fish as I had, they will probably experience a bitter sensation on their tongue and slight sting in the back of their throat which could put them off Olive Oil for life. That would be a real shame and potentially detrimental to their health!

It should be noted that these sensations, whilst unpleasant, are the flavonoid polyphenols resisting oxidation and fighting disease and a good indication that the oil is freshly harvested and has a high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory value. An interesting fact is that the quality and purity of Olive Oil is determined by three attributes: its fruitiness; pungency and bitterness.

Finding creative ways to add EVOO to your child’s diet will be worth the effort because of the health benefits it offers. Eating the oil raw is always the best option, so if you are fortunate enough to have a child willing to eat vegetables and salads then using as a drizzle or dressing is a great option. I would also suggest substituting butter for oil as a baking ingredient for cakes and cookies to give them a light and unique flavour. The fruity aroma of the olive oil can enhance other flavours commonly used in baking such as chocolate, nuts, spices, and fruit. Adding the oil to mash potatoes, smoothies, scrambled eggs or drizzled over toast are other simple ways to introduce it and with a high smoke point, it is also a great oil for frying or roasting.

If you want your children to get the best health benefits from EVOO it is important to consider the quality and polyphenol content of the oil. November Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a great option and comes in a 3 ltr tin, making it more economical if you are using for the whole family.