The olive, which belongs to the family Oleaceae, found mostly in Mediterranean Basin, Africa, South Asia and many other regions. The olive’s fruit or the olive is a major cultivation in Mediterranean Basin, especially the Eastern region. Since ancient time, olives has been used in culinary and for medicinal purposes, particularly in Rome and Greece.
There are various species of olives that all provide essential elements for a healthy diet. Olives can be eaten raw as salty snack or appetizer, or added into salads or sandwiches. Also, the fruit are used to make olive oil for a countless number of other purposes.
Nutritional Value of Olives
With 100 grams of olives, you are going to get 115 calories, 80% water, 0.8 gram of protein, 6.3 gram carbs, 10.7 gram fat, 6.3 gram carbohydrate, 3.2 gram fiber. Besides, olives also provide you a huge quantity of vitamins, especially vitamin E, minerals such as copper, iron, sodium and calcium. Other compounds have been found in the fruit are hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein, tyrosol, quercetin, oleanolic acid and so on.
Health Benefits of Olives
Thanks to the nutritional value that olives possess, the fruit is able to improve heart health, prevent cancer, aid digestion and benefit bone health as well. Additionally, olives can reduce inflammation, infection as well as promote blood circulation.
Let’s take a closer look at top health benefits of olives.
Besides mentioned valuable substances, olives also possess an incredible amount of fiber. In fact, the source of fiber in each cup of olives can meet 20% of the body’s daily requirements for fiber. And the most well known function of fiber is to promote peristaltic motion of the intestine, which in turn improves digestive functioning. By making you feel full, fiber can reduce the hunger pang and get rid of overeating. This is good news for those who want to lose weight.
Another great health benefit of olives is the ability to prevent cancer and slow down its development. To explain for this, olives possess a rich source of anthocyanins that act as a powerful antioxidant fighting against free radicals. Accordingly, olives can neutralize this harmful by product of metabolism and protect healthy cells from cancerous ones.
Plus, the oleic acid in the olives can prevent the growth and development of factors causing breast cancer. Meanwhile, the hydroxytyrosol can protect the DNA from damage and mutation.
Generally, a healthy amount of olives consumption can significantly reduce the risk of various types of cancer.
Read also Top Natural Foods to Prevent Cancer.
3. Heart Health
The heart is believed to be the most important organ inside the body but there are so many factors that can affect it and lead to diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, etc. This makes heart health one of the most concerned problems of people worldwide.
Among natural ingredients used to protect the heart, olives appear as the simplest and most effective thanks to its monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. By reducing blood pressure, the substances also reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Besides, the phenolic compounds in olives are able to prevent blood clots and stimulate the blood flow. With a regular consumption of olives, you can ensure the functioning of several organ systems.
There are various substances in olives that act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents at the same time. This means a lot to the inflammation in various body parts, especially muscles, tendons, injuries, and joints. More specifically, these substances help to reduce the pain and annoyance caused by various types of inflammation. With a proper amount of olives consumption, you can reduce the risk of gout, arthritis and rheumatic conditions.
Read also Top SuperFoods for Inflammation.
5. Bone Health
It has been found out that olives contain a huge amount of hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein, which are used to improve bone density and reduce the risk of getting osteoporosis. Accordingly, it is worth to add olives oil into your daily diet with a healthy amount to prevent the risk of bone degeneration.
Also with the anti-inflammatory properties, olives help to ease the allergic reaction as well as the frequency of the condition. In detail, substances and compounds in the fruit have the ability to block the receptor site for histamines, which is involved in inflammatory and allergic response. Accordingly, olives can reduce the signs of many types of allergies, especially seasonal allergies.
Read also Home Remedies for Allergies.
7. Blood Circulation
As we all known iron is essential for hemoglobin, an inevitable element in red blood cells production. Meanwhile, copper is needed for oxygen transportation throughout the body. If the body lack of these two minerals, there will be likely to appear such ailments and diseases like anemia, headaches, cognitive dysfunction, fatigue and stomach problems. Fortunately, you can always get these elements from natural sources like olives. With a rich content of iron and copper, olives help to promote blood flow and improve blood circulation.
Read also Home Remedies to Improve Blood Circulation.
8. Antibacterial Properties
The oleuropein in olives can act as an antibacterial and antimicrobial agent after being absorbed. Therefore, with a regular consumption of olives, you can get enough oleuropein to fight back bacterial infections in various body parts, internally and externally.
Adverse effects and Warning
Generally, olives appear as a healthy food that give people a lot of benefits, but there are some things you should take into consideration before using the fruit.
There are many cases of allergy to olive tree pollen that have been reported. Although allergy to olives is rare, you’d better be careful since the allergen from the tree pollen can get into the olives.
Besides healthy beneficial minerals, olives also contain heavy metals like sulphur, tin, boron, etc. Therefore, it is advisable to consume olives in a proper amount to avoid adverse effect from the fruit, which is the risk of cancer.
Olives should also be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women due to its potent acids and organic compounds.
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