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Stephanie D. Murillo
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10 Surprising Benefits of Eating Olives

Who does not like olives on pizzas, sandwiches, salads, pies, or alone? Well, stay here and continue to read this article. After reading this, you’ll definitely love these tiny delicacies. Here, I’m going to explain the amazing health benefits of eating olives that improve overall human health.

Olives are small, delicious and healthful fruit that grow on olive trees, Olea europaea. These medium-size trees are naturally originated from Mediterranean countries. They belong to a group of fruit named drupes or stone fruits. In the Mediterranean countries, 90% of olives are used to prepare olive oil which is known as a key ingredient of a healthy and balanced diet. Ancient Greeks believed that growing olive would bring prosperity and peace in the region because entire nation would rely on this crop in order to protect most of the life essentialities.

Olives are incredibly delectable and affordable food which is mainly consumed as a starter in various counties. You can also enjoy them with or without bone, whole or chopped, on top or as an ingredient in many recipes. This fruit not only gives you a heavenly taste but also offers a lot of healthy attributes that it brings to our body as goodness of nature. However, it is crucial to consume a moderate dose of olives. Excess of everything is usually not beneficial. So, whenever you have the opportunity to eat olives, a moderate dose will always be healthy.

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Popular Type of Olives:

Olives come in dozens of varieties depending on the region where they are originated and cultivated. There are widely available in different shapes, sizes, and colours. Black and green olives are the world’s famous types of olives which are commonly used. Followings are some popular olive varieties:

Cerignola:

This giant-size olive comes in both green and black colours. The green variety has a mild and bitter vegetal taste, while black is subtle, softer and sweeter, as well as having a fruity taste.

Gaeta:

Although this small brownish black olive is hard to pit, it has a nice flavor, which is just like the taste of nuts.

Niçoise:

This small brownish-purple variety is commonly found in southern France. These chewy and flavourful olives are hard to pit as compared to other varieties.

Kalamata:

This purplish Greek variety is very popular in US markets and used in most recipes as a good choice of ingredients.

Sicilian Green:

They are sometimes called Sicilian Colossals. These oversized olives have a dense and sour flesh.

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Oil-Cured:

These wrinkled black olives are often very salty, having a meaty and chewy texture.

Image credit by vraaghetaanjeroenmeus
Image credit by vraaghetaanjeroenmeus

The Nutritional Value of Olives:

Nutritionists recommend that you should take 7 olives a day if you want to live longer and healthy. Olives are considered as one of the world’s healthiest fruits which have high nutritional value. These tiny delicacies are a rich source of vitamin E, vitamin A, and vitamin B, which helps in maintaining a healthy life. They also contain several minerals including iron, iodine, potassium, sodium, copper and calcium. They have low carb content and are high in monounsaturated fat and water content. Additionally, they also have many antioxidants and plant compounds which make them more nutritious.        

The Nutritional Profile of Olives:

Nutrition Nutritional Amount (per 100 grams)
Calories 115
Total fat 11 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 735 mg
Potassium 8 mg
Dietary Fiber 3.2 g
Iron 18%
Vitamin A 8%
Calcium 8%

 

Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Olives

Olives are luscious, exquisite, wholesome and satisfying fruits widely available all around the world. There are a huge number of health benefits that they can offer. Here are 10 reasons why you should incorporate into these little delicacies every day.

  1. Heart Health

When free radicals oxidize cholesterol, blood vessels are damaged, and fat builds up in arteries, possibly leading to a heart attack. The antioxidant nutrients in black olives block this oxidation of cholesterol and help in preventing heart diseases. They also have healthy monounsaturated fat which can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and improve the amount of good cholesterol. According to recent research, monounsaturated fat found in olives is also helpful to reduce blood pressure and to keep LDL cholesterol at a normal level, which supports a healthy heart.

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  1. Weight Loss

It has been shown by research that monounsaturated fat found in olives may help in weight loss. The moderate olive oil consumption not only supports the fat breakdown inside fat cells but also burns belly fat and reduces insulin insensitivity. According to research, the aroma of this oil can give you a feeling of fuller and cut calories intake by almost 200 a day.

  1. Cancer Prevention

In the Mediterranean region, people commonly consume olives and olive oil and rarely experience cancer and other chronic diseases as compared to American and European countries. It is possible that olives are rich in antioxidants and also have anti-inflammatory properties which make them a natural protection against cancer. They are also full of monounsaturated fatty acid and oleic acid which reduce chronic and excessive inflammation to fight various kinds of cancer. Test-tube experiments indicate that this little healthiest fruit can disturb the life cycle of cancer cells in the colon, stomach and breast because of containing a high content of phenolic antioxidants and anti-cancer compounds (terpenoid and squalene).

  1. Reduce Allergies
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If you often suffer the itchy eyes, runny nose, shortness of breath and congestion of allergies, then you should consume olive and olive oil on a daily basis. New Research reveals that olives may play a special role in the anti-allergenic diet. Because of anti-inflammatory properties and a high amount of antioxidants, they are considered as a home remedy for allergies. When you eat olives every day, you’ll be able to breathe easier. They will improve blood flow and help to lessen the effects of illnesses like asthma.

  1. Improve Skin Health

Black olives are abundant in fatty acids and antioxidants that can protect your skin too. They contain vitamin E, which is potent to provide the optimal protection to the skin from ultraviolet radiation. This healthiest fruit also helps in fighting skin cancer and premature aging. Consuming this oval-shaped fruit can also eliminate wrinkles by 20% as they have oleic acid. So, if you want to make your facial skin healthy, glowing and younger, just apply a few drops of olive oil to vulnerable spots of your face and let it work its magic for 15 minutes and then wash your face with warm water.

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  1. Boost Energy

These little fruit are rich in iron which plays a vital role in the production of energy. If you’re suffering from a lack of iron, it means that your tissues don’t get enough oxygen, and you often feel cold or weak. Iron offers assistance in the synthesis of carnitine, an amino acid that converts fat into energy. In this way, it not only boosts power but also improves the function of immune system. According to research, an average cup of olives provides you with 4.4 mg of iron.

  1. Encourage Eye Health

Olives are also better for eye health. According to research, one cup of olives have 10% of daily recommended intake of vitamin A. When you eat this tiny luscious fruit; it is converted into a retinal form in your body, which is beneficial for healthy eyes. Vitamin A enables the eye to make the better difference between light and dark, since improving night vision. Moreover, it is believed that vitamin A is effective against several ocular diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and other age-related eye diseases.

  1. Reduce Pain
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Olives are a rich source of a powerful compound called oleocanthal which contains strong anti-inflammatory properties. Because of these features, they naturally reduce the pain of chronic inflammatory diseases like arthritis. They are also helpful to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a disease in which bone mass and bone quality are decreased and the chances of bone fracture are high. So, add olives to a daily diet and get an effective aid for pain reduction and bone health.      

  1. Improve Memory

This healthiest fruit also contains polyphenols, a natural chemical that lessens oxidative stress in the brain. According to research from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, consuming a daily serving of olives helps improve your memory by 25%. So, include them into your daily diet and have a healthy brain and sharp memory.

  1. Control Appetite

A recent study in Italy has revealed that eating 10 olives before a meal can reduce appetite by up to 20%. This is because of the monounsaturated fatty acids found in these green tiny food. These fatty acids slow the digestion process and stimulate the hormone cholecystokinin, a hormone that delivers messages of fullness to the brain. Additionally, these acids also stimulate the production of adiponectin, a chemical that burns fat for five hours after ingestion.

Image credit by pinterest
Image credit by pinterest

Common Serving Methods of Olives:

As we all know that cured and ready-to-eat olives have been an essential part of Mediterranean diet since ancient times. But, now they are getting popularity as finger food in numerous other countries and easily available in the grocery stores and supermarkets. Both black and green olives are used in a huge number of traditional recipes of different countries. You can eat this little fruit as you like. Here are some serving tips which you should know:

  • Olives are traditionally consumed as side food or snack in-between meals.
  • They can be served as appetizers or starters.
  • They also offer a special salty taste to sauces, dips, and tapenade,
  • Pitted/sliced olives are a great addition to salads and pasta and also perfect for pizza toppings.
Stephaine D. Murillo is a Dubai-based American professional nutritionist who tells the secrets of a healthy and longer life. She is ambitious to find the significant benefits of a nutritional and balanced diet. She guides food lovers about the health benefits and drawbacks of vegetables, fruits and other types of food. She loves to share information about food & health through Papaorder Blog. So, subscribe Papaorder blog to get her health & food tips.

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