Olives have been consumed for years now and they have always been associated with good health. These small green fruits can be consumed whole or they can be squeezed to make oil which is used for cooking. We are going to discuss the benefits of consuming olives as well as some recipes to make olive salad.
Health benefits of consuming olives
The following are some of the health benefits you will get from including olives in your diet on a regular basis:
1. Olives help to improve your blood circulation
Olives contain many plant-based compounds that help to increase the production of nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide helps to increase the flow of blood to your body tissues which will greatly benefit your health.
Olives are also a great source of iron which is one necessary component when it comes to your blood’s ability to carry oxygen.
The improved circulation will help you to be more active and productive in your day to day activities as well as reduce your risks of getting a number of chronic diseases.
2. Olives are great for your bones
Studies have shown that olives contain polyphenols which are minerals that help to increase the density of your bones.
These minerals are able to achieve this by greatly reducing your bone degeneration. This helps to decrease the risks of getting fractures when you grow old.
Olives help to reduce the effects of some bone diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and osteoarthritis. This is thanks to the presence of oleocanthal which is acts as a natural painkiller.
3. Eating olives are great for your heart
For years people have used olives to keep their hearts healthy.
Studies have shown that olives contain a staggering amount of monounsaturated fatty acids which help to lower cholesterol.
Olive polyphenols are also powerful antioxidants that help to reduce oxidative stress and also protect you against having constant inflammation which are known factors to cause heart diseases.
People who are able to consume extra virgin olive oil on a daily basis are able to protect themselves from getting diseases such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular infections.
4. Olives are beneficial to your brain
Olives help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress which in turn helps to protect your vital organs. One of these organs is your brain which has very sensitive tissues.
Olives are a great source of vitamin E which has been proven to improve your brain’s cognition as well as reduce your risk of having cognitive decline.
People who eat a diet which uses olive oil as the main fat source greatly decrease their chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Olives act as anti-inflammation agents
Consuming olives or extra virgin olive oil will help you to prevent inflammation. Olives are able to achieve this as they contain polyphenols which stop tissue damage before it actually starts. This will help to protect your body organs tissues and thus generally improve your health.
6. They help in weight reduction
Consuming olives or using olive oil in your cooking will help you stay satisfied for longer and thus reduce the amount of food you actually eat.
Olive oil contains flavorful fats that are very healthy and which help you to remain fuller for a longer time period.
Olives also have very low calories and thus makes them healthiest choice for snacking as compared to all snacks.
7. Olives improve your body’s nutrient absorption
Many vegetables and fruits contain a lot of antioxidants which are great for your body. If you want your body to absorb these nutrients more effectively, you should pare your fruits and veggies with olives or olive oil.
You can add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to your vegetable salad which will improve your body’s intake of carotenoids which help to improve your eyesight as well as minimize your risk for getting diseases in the long term.
8. Olives help to prevent some cancers
Olives are high in anti-oxidants which are great at protecting your cellular DNA and thus prevent potential tumor growth.
Olive consumption also helps to reduce oxidative stress which helps protect your body tissues from damage.
9. They help to improve blood sugar
Having really high blood sugar is risky as it increases your chances of getting diabetes.
When you consume extra virgin olive oil, you can reduce your blood sugar level in a matter of hours. This is achieved by the presence of polyphenols and oleic acids in the olives that helps to increase insulin action in your body.
These healthy fats help to protect you from getting type II diabetes.
10. Eating olives help boost your digestion
Olives contain a lot of fiber which is very important when it comes to digestion.
Fiber is also important in preventing constipation which can be quite uncomfortable as our bodies have to get rid of all waste digestion products. This helps to keep your body healthy and keep it functioning effectively.
Olive oil also helps to increase the secretion of pancreatic juices and bile which helps prevent you from getting gallstones.
11. Olives help to prevent gastritis and stomach ulcers
Olives have a lot of fiber which helps the digesting food to move smoothly through the digestive tract. This prevents any one part of the digestive system from getting overworked.
This also helps to ensure that there is a balance in the number of digestive chemicals as well as microorganism populations which helps to prevent ulcers and gastritis.
12. Help keep your skin and hair healthy
Black olives are rich in antioxidants and fatty acids that are known to help keep your skin nourished and healthy.
They also contain vitamin E which protects your skin from harmful sunrays whether you apply the olive oil topically or if you ingest the black olives. This helps to protect you from skin cancer as well as early aging.
Applying olive oil to your hair will also help to keep it looking healthy and also keep it strong. You can use olive oil combined with egg yolk as a conditioner for your hair when washing it.
Why should you eat olives?
Even though there are a few issues with olives, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. There are people who are allergic to the pollen from olive trees but there have been no cases reported yet of allergic reactions to olives which makes it safe for consumption even with people who have many allergies.
These fruits are high in fiber which will help you maintain a healthy digestive system and is highly recommended to people suffering from constipation. These snacks are great for weight loss as they are low in calories but they keep you feeling full for much longer than any other snack.
A sample olive salad recipe
The following is an easy to follow recipe for making a delicious salad incorporated with olives:
- 2 ounces of black olives that have been chopped and pitted
- 1 anchovy fillet that is salt-packed
- Green olives, 6 ounces that have been pitted and chopped
- Juice from ½ a lemon
- Extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup
- Red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons
- Fresh thyme leaves 1 ½ teaspoons
- Chopped fresh oregano leaves 2 tablespoons
- 1 ½ teaspoons of flat-leaf parsley leaves fresh and chopped
- Salt, coarse
- Hot source
- Freshly ground pepper
- Rinse your anchovy fillet and then chop it.
- Take a medium-sized salad bowl and mix your anchovy, lemon juice and two kinds of olives.
- Take a smaller bowl and mix your vinegar and oil together using a whisk
- Pour in the vinegar and oil mixture with your olive mixture.
- Add the oregano, parsley, and thyme and then toss them together to mix using a wooden salad spoon.
- Season the salad using pepper, salt, and Tabasco.
- Cover your salad with a clear foil and then place in the fridge overnight.
From the information here it is clear that olives have numerous health benefits. These fruits have been consumed by humans for thousands of years and people have been reaping their nutritional benefits since the time of the ancient Greeks.
Olive oil may be much more expensive than all other types of cooking oils but it provides a lot of health benefits which make it worth every cent.
People who suffer from cardiovascular disease are advised by their nutritionists to use extra virgin olive oil as this helps to reduce cholesterol which is one of the causes of high blood pressure and heart diseases.
Olives help to reduce stress and inflammation which can make it really hard for you to enjoy a good night’s sleep. This means consuming olives/olive oil on a daily basis will help to ensure you get quality sleep every night. This will then reflect positively on your daily activities such as work, school, and social interactions.
Read more: 7 Reasons Why You Should Eat Salmon Confit