Olive Benefits

Health Benefits of Olive

Hi, this is Bhavani Raman, presenting you an article on the benefits of olives.

The name olive is very famous with the topping of pizza, yes the popular food all over the world, the only one food where no one can say "no."
Olive is a fruit, grown on the olive tree (scientific name olea Europaea).  Olea is the Latin word for oil and "Europaea" suggesting that olives are native to the Mediterranean region of Europe.

Almost all the parts of olives are beneficial like leaves, fruits, fine wood, oil, amongst which it is very much famous for olive oil, whose benefits are innumerable.

The color of olive fruit depends upon the degree of ripeness.  They change color from yellow and green to purple and black as they ripe.  Olives are harvested in September but it is available throughout the year.

As such raw fruit are of bitter taste.  So they cannot be eaten raw and so they require special processing to reduce their bitterness.  These processing methods are not unique.  They vary with the variety of olives, the region where they are cultivated and the desired taste, texture and color.  Some olives are left green while others are allowed to turn black naturally in the tree itself.  Not all of the black olives available begin with a black color.  With some processing methods unripe greens olives are turned to black or purple.  Moreover, the color of the fruit is affected by fermentation and/or curing in oil, water, brine or salt.  These methods may not only change the color of olives to black, purple, brown, red, or yellow, but they also affect the skin texture, causing it to be smooth and shiny or wrinkled.

Some of the delicious varieties of olives available are Moroccan oil-cured, Kalamata, Nicoise, Picholine, Hojiblanc, Gordal, and Manzanilla.
Olives are a very good source of monounsaturated fat and also a good source of iron, vitamin E, copper, and dietary fiber.

Eating a cup of olives daily will not harm us because they are one of the healthiest foods that we can eat.  Traditionally cured olives, such as those found at most olive bars offer a lot of health benefits.  They are rich in iron, vitamin E and copper, and are an excellent source of fiber.
Now we will see some of the benefits of olives.

1. Olives are used in our culinary as appetizers and also in salads, soups, stews, sauces and in main dishes.  It is commonly used in pizza and bread toppings, also used in cocktail in preparing martini, in sausages.

2. Olive tapenade is a delicious and easy-to-make spread that we can use as a dip, sandwich spread, or topping for fish and poultry.

3. We can add chopped olives in pasta, tuna, or any salads to make it more colourful and nutritious.

4. Olives are excellent raw snacks and because of their high oil content they are very satiating and make great substitute for popcorn and potato chips.

5. Olives are also very light foods (with low calories), but at the same time very filling; being able to quickly satisfy hunger, and lead to fewer total calories ingested.

6. Olive oil can be used for sautéing, browning, stir-frying, deep frying, and as an ingredient in many dishes.

7. Olives are a good source of vitamin E, which offers antioxidant protection.  Anti-oxidants help to strengthen the body’s immune system as well as delaying the effects of ageing.

8. Olives and olive oil contains mostly mono saturated fats, when combined with the antioxidant protection offered by vitamin E, lower the risk of damage and inflammation.

9. Olives also contain phytonutrient compounds including polyphenols and flavonoids, which also appear to have significant anti-inflammatory properties.  The anti-inflammatory actions of the monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and polyphenols and flavonoids, in olives may also help reduce the severity asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, arteriosclerosis, cancer, stomach problems, constipation, and digestion.  In addition, the vitamin E in olives may even help to reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes in women going through menopause.

10. Naturally ripened purple/black olives contain anthocyanins, which have anti-aging property.

11. The juice of the olive, otherwise known as olive oil, is a delicious source of antioxidants.   Olive oil has its extensive use in cooking, health and medicine, pharmacy products, cosmetics like soaps.  Of course, olive oil is truly "Liquid Gold".

12. The human body easily absorbs olives, which aids digestion.

13. Olive oil so as to keep the bowels moving, soothing pains and fighting against constipation.

14. Olives are antibacterial and antifungal because whole olives contain antibacterial oxidant polyphenols.

15. Olives stimulate production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

16. Olive oil erase fine lines and wrinkles and also smooth the skin and also improve complexion and provide protection from the sun.

17. Although it hasn't been proven scientifically, some say that green olives make men more virile and black olives increase a woman's sex drive.

18. Olive Leaf is a delicious and powerful herbal antioxidant.  Olivus(olive leaf) tea, Capsules, Powder, Extract, Lotion, and Soap are made from olive leaf and olive leaf extract.

19. The compounds contained in olive leaf also reduce blood pressure and "bad" cholesterol.

20. Olive leaf is really a powerful anti-oxidant, and has antiviral and antifungal, properties.

21. Now it has been found out that olive leaf has some properties, which help us to fight against HIV also.

22. Olive leaf tea has a mild sweet aroma and pleasant taste.  Olive leaf tea form is a diuretic too, which can help people with kidney function problems and also is a mild anti-inflammatory like fruits, so it can help with arthritic conditions such as gout.

23. Olive leaf extract is even anti-parasitic.  It has even been used to treat malarial patients in flushing out the parasite.

24. Olive leaf is commonly used to combat colds, flu, viruses, bacteria and shingles and to increase energy.

The best olives in terms of health are black olives that are water-cured or sea-salted.  Green olives are unripe olives that have a much lower mineral content and are generally treated with a chemical called "lye".

When choosing olives for their health benefits and flavor, it is always better to go in with the traditionally cured as opposed to lye-processed.

Try to avoid canned olives that are pasteurized and/or soaked in ferrous gluconate and olives that are pickled in vinegar as they cause more acidity.

The biggest negative factor for olives is the high amounts of sodium.  Because of this negative factor, they should be eaten in moderation particularly those you have high blood pressure.  Olives because of their higher fat content (although mono saturated), are also relatively rich in calories compared to some fruits and vegetables.

In addition to this eating too many olives on an empty stomach can cause digestive upset.

So we all will try to add some amount of olives in our menu as they are sure to add a burst of flavor and nutrition to any dish and let us start enjoying the health benefits of olives from today.

About the author:  Bhavani Raman, a successful ex-student of Enoma, is working as a family and Juvenile counsellor.  She is also pursuing a diploma on food and nutrition.  She enjoys reading books, meditation, meeting people, spending time with her family and friends and also a Reiki practitioner.

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