Olives are one of the oldest foods still in existence, and with good reason! They’re loaded with nutrients and protective compounds that help keep your body healthy and functioning at its best. This article explains more about the benefits of eating olives for your health.
What are Olives?
Olives are small, oval-shaped fruits that grow on olive trees. These trees are native to the Mediterranean region, where they have been cultivated for centuries. Olives are a popular ingredient in many cuisines, and they are also used to produce olive oil, which has numerous health benefits.
Olive oil makes a bigger part of the Mediterranean diet, one of the healthiest diets known for longevity and good health.
Olives are a good source of antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, which are believed to help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, among other benefits.
100 grams of green olives, canned or pickled, offer about
- Calories: 145
- Carbohydrates: 3.8 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 15.3 grams
- Saturated: 2 grams
- Monounsaturated: 11.3 grams
- Polyunsaturated: 1.3 grams
- Fiber: 3.3 grams
- Sodium: 1,556 milligrams, or 65 percent of the daily recommendation
- Vitamin E: 3.8 milligrams, or 19 percent of the daily recommendation
- Vitamin A: 393 IU, or 8 percent of the daily recommendation
- Copper: 0.1 milligram, or 6 percent of the daily recommendation
- Calcium: 52 milligrams, or 5 percent of the daily recommendation
- Iron: 0.5 milligram, or 3 percent of the daily recommendation
- Magnesium: 11 milligrams, or 3 percent of the daily recommendation
- Vitamin K: 1.4 mcg, or 8 percent of the daily recommendation.
Health Benefits of Eating Olives
1. They are rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or delay damage to cells caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that have an unpaired electron. When free radicals react with other molecules, they can cause damage to cells. Antioxidants donate electrons to free radicals, which helps neutralize them, thus preventing them from causing damage.
Olives are a good source of antioxidants, such as polyphenols, which have been shown to protect against chronic conditions like cancer. Phenolic compounds have also been shown to increase the amount of glutathione in the body. Glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants in the body, with the ability to recycle other antioxidants.
2. Lower cholesterol
High cholesterol levels can lead to serious health problems like heart disease. However, studies have shown that olives can help to lower cholesterol levels. This is because olives contain monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol while raising HDL (good) cholesterol. In one study, people who consumed olives daily for eight weeks had significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels than those who didn’t consume olives.
Another study found that consumption of the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil reduced participants’ serum cholesterol by about 14% compared to a control group given a lower-fat diet not supplemented with olive oil.
Also, one tablespoon of high-quality virgin olive oil can reduce LDL cholesterol levels by up to 8%. But it’s worth noting that this effect is achieved more easily when you eat it raw or add it to your food at the last minute rather than cook with it.
Additionally, olives contain a compound called oleuropein, which has been shown to lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Oleuropein works by inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol in the gut.
It also helps reduce inflammation, another contributing factor to cholesterol buildup. So, if you’re looking for a natural way to lower your cholesterol, add some olives to your diet.
3. Prevents heart disease
Olives are rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid that has been shown to prevent atherosclerosis and lower the risk of heart disease.
Oleuropein in olives has also been shown to protect against heart disease. Oleuropein is an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation and prevent damage to blood vessels. This, in turn, helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Generally, studies have shown that people who consume olives regularly have a lower risk of developing heart disease.
4. Lowers blood pressure
Eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to control high blood pressure, but including olives can boost the benefits even more. A recent study found that people who consumed olive oil had lower blood pressure than those who didn’t. The study’s authors believe that the healthy fats in olive oil help reduce inflammation and improve blood vessel function. This, in turn, lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Another study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who consumed olive oil for four weeks significantly reduced their systolic blood pressure. The effect was even more pronounced in people who were also taking medication to lower their blood pressure. This shows that olive oil can boost the effectiveness of blood pressure medication.
5. Prevents diabetes
Olive oil is a fantastic way to protect against diabetes and other chronic diseases because of its fat content. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil are made up mostly of oleic acid, which has been shown to protect against high blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity.
A 2005 study from The New England Journal of Medicine found that people who got more monounsaturated fat (from foods like avocados, almonds, and olive oil) were 22% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who didn’t.
A 2007 review published in the journal Obesity Reviews confirmed this finding: Researchers analyzed 18 different studies and concluded that olive oil-based dietary patterns might be protective against the development of diabetes.
Olives are also rich in antioxidants, which protect cells against damage by free radicals. A 2011 study showed that people with a high intake of antioxidant-rich foods had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those with a lower intake of such foods.
6. Promotes weight loss
Olives are not only a delicious addition to many dishes, but they also have some weight loss benefits. One of the main ways that olives promote weight loss is by helping control hunger levels. Olives are a good source of fiber and healthy fats, both of which can help keep you feeling full for longer.
Oleuropein in olives has also been shown to boost metabolism and reduce inflammation. So, if you’re looking to lose weight, adding some olives to your diet could be a helpful step.
7. Promotes strong bones
Olives are a good source of calcium, which is essential for strong bones. They also contain vitamin K, which helps to keep calcium in the bones. In addition, olives contain oleuropein, an antioxidant that has been shown to prevent bone loss.
In one study, rats fed a diet containing oleocanthal had significantly less bone loss than rats not fed this compound. Oleocanthal appears to work by inhibiting the activity of osteoclasts, cells that break down bone. This makes olives a potential natural treatment for osteoporosis.
Studies have shown that people who eat olives regularly have a lower risk of osteoporosis and other bone diseases. So if you want to keep your bones healthy, make sure to include olives in your diet!
8. Promotes healthy skin
Olive oil can do wonders for your skin because it is rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. Olives are rich in antioxidants, which help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. They also contain vitamins A and E, both of which are essential for healthy skin. In addition, olives contain oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that can help keep the skin hydrated and supple.
9. Boosts brain health
Olives are a great source of healthy fats that can promote brain health. They contain monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of age-related mental decline. Also, olives are a good source of antioxidants, protecting the brain from damage caused by free radicals. These nutrients working together make olives an excellent food for promoting brain health.
10. Rich in iron
Olives are a good source of iron. Iron is an essential mineral that our bodies need for many different functions. It helps to transport oxygen in the blood, supports a healthy immune system, and is necessary for cell growth. Iron also aids in the production of energy and plays a role in cognitive function. Because it is so important for our health, we should make sure to include iron-rich foods like olives in our diet.
11. Improves eye health
Olives are a great source of antioxidants, which are important for eye health. They can help protect the eyes from damage caused by free radicals. Also, olives contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients known to be beneficial for the eyes. Lutein and zeaxanthin can help to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
12. Reduces pain and improves arthritis
Olives are a good source of anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help reduce arthritis symptoms. In particular, the polyphenols in olives can inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines. They can also help reduce the pain and swelling associated with arthritis. Olives are a healthy addition to any diet and may provide some relief for people with arthritis.
13. Aids digestion
Olives can aid in digestion in a few ways:
- They can help stimulate the production of digestive juices
- They can help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract
- Olives contain a type of fiber that helps to promote regularity.
All of these factors can contribute to better overall digestion.
14. Prevents allergies
Eating olives may help reduce the severity of allergies, according to a new study. The study found that people who ate olives had a lower response to allergens than those who didn’t eat olives.
This is because olives reduce allergy symptoms by blocking histamine production. Histamine is a chemical that is released during an allergic reaction. It causes symptoms like itching, swelling, and runny nose. By preventing histamine from being released, olives can reduce the severity of these symptoms.
Also, olives are a great source of antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. One of the benefits of reduced inflammation is a decrease in allergies. So, if you’re looking for a natural way to reduce your allergies, adding olives to your diet is a good option.
How are olives processed?
When fresh, whole olives are usually bitter and unpalatable. This calls for additional processing to reduce the bitterness.
To achieve this step, dry olives are cured in salt for few days, after which they are rinsed and soaked in oil with some herbs and spices for added flavor. This process can take at least 3 months. This results in less bitter olives with improved taste and health benefits.
Too much sodium
Olives are high in sodium. This is because they are cured in brine or salt water. When you eat olives, you are getting a lot of sodium all at once. This can be a problem if you are on a low-sodium diet or have high blood pressure. If you are concerned about your sodium intake, you should limit the number of olives you eat.
It’s always recommended to eat between 2-3 ounces or about 16-24 small to medium-sized olives per day.
Too much Acrylamide can cause cancer
Acrylamide is present in some canned black olives. It is formed during the cooking process, and can be harmful to your health if consumed in large amounts.
This substance has been linked to cancer in animals, but the amount present in olives is thought to be too low to pose a risk to humans. However, it is still best to limit one’s intake of acrylamide by eating fresh olives instead of canned ones.
Eating olives has a number of health benefits. They are a good source of healthy fats that can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Olives are also a good source of antioxidants, substances that can protect cells from free radicle damage and may reduce the risk of some chronic diseases.
Additionally, olives are also a good source of vitamins, including vitamin E. This vitamin is important for maintaining healthy skin and eyesight.
Overall consuming olives can be very beneficial to your health: but keep in mind that olives tend to be very high in sodium, so it’s good to limit your intake, especially if you are on a low sodium diet or if you have high blood pressure.
Other Related Articles
- Summer Savory Benefits And Uses
- 13 Health Benefits Of Red Onions
- Benefits Of Red Potatoes
- Muscadine Grapes Health Benefits
- Dry Fruits Benefits
Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.
Fortunately, because of the Ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families.