Nutraceuticals (super-foods which are also pharmaceuticals) started with Hippocrates and became globally known with the book " You are what you eat" by Henry Lindlahr in 1942.
Polyphenol compounds are the key drivers in transforming food into medicine. Why ?
Due to aging and/or polluted environment the human body develops excessive Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). ROS can become so numerous to overcome the cells antioxidant system therefore generating oxidative stress in our body, which then ends up with Diabetes, Cardiovascular D. , Parkinson, Alzheimer,..
A summary of polyphenols impact on health can be seen in Figure 1 (taken from MPDI-Nutrients - Polyphenols : Benefits to the cardiovascular system in Health and in Aging which can be downloaded here).
There are four types of polyphenols: phenolic acid, flavonoids, lignans and stilbenes. They all are natural compounds that are in many edibles : red wine, berries, peanuts, tomatoes, plums, onions and olive oil.
Each of those edibles contains one or two polyphenols with the exception of Olive Oil which contains quasi 30 different phenols. In addition, those phenols keep their bioavailability high after ingestions. We can therefore consider Premium Olive Oil as the King of all Nutraceuticals.