Olives are small, oval-shaped fruits with a hard pit in the center. They come in a variety of colors, including green, black, and brown. Olives are commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine and can be found in dishes like pizza, salads, and pasta.
Are olives good for you? Yes, due to its nutritional profile, regular consumption of olives has several health benefits. For instance, several studies indicate that olives are rich in vitamins E and A, which are essential for healthy skin, hair, and eyes. They also contain iron, which is vital for maintaining healthy blood and preventing anemia. In this post, I’ll give you seven reasons why you should start eating olives more often.
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1. Olives are Rich in Antioxidants
Olives contain a high level of antioxidants, which protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals can lead to various diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. Hence, eating olives regularly can help prevent these conditions and keep your body healthy.
2. Olives Can Help Lower Cholesterol
Olives contain a type of fat called monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which have been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels. In fact, a study found that people who ate olives for six weeks saw a significant decrease in their LDL cholesterol levels.
3. Olives Boost Your Immune System
Olives are high in vitamins A and E and phytochemicals that help to fight free radicals and boost your immune system. Also, the iron in olives helps produce strong red blood cells and fight off infections.
4. Olives are Good for Your Digestive System
Olives are high in fiber, which is essential for maintaining healthy digestion. Fiber helps keep things moving smoothly in your digestive tract and can reduce your risk of constipation, hemorrhoids, and other gastrointestinal issues. Moreover, olives are a fermented food, so they contain healthy bacteria that can improve the balance of your gut microbiome.
5. Olives are a Great Source of Healthy Fats
As mentioned earlier, olives are rich in MUFAs, healthy fats that can benefit your body in various ways. Some researchers believe that eating foods that contain healthy fats can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce inflammation, and improve heart health.
6. Olives May improve heart health
Olives are extremely rich in antioxidants, including quercetin, oleuropein, and oleanolic acid. These antioxidants have been shown to help reduce the chance of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels, preventing clotting, and reducing inflammation.
7. Olives Can Help With Weight Loss
Eating olives can help you feel fuller for longer, preventing you from overeating and helping you lose weight. Olives are low in calories yet packed with healthy fats and fiber. This combination can keep you satiated and prevent your body from holding onto excess fat.
8. Olives are Good for Your Bones
Olives are a good source of calcium, which is essential for maintaining strong bones. In addition, olives contain a range of other minerals that are important for bone health, including magnesium and potassium. Some studies have even suggested that a diet rich in olives and olive oil may be linked to a lower risk of osteoporosis, an ailment that causes bones to become weak and brittle.
9. Olives Can Help Prevent Cancer
Several studies have suggested that consuming olives regularly can help prevent various types of cancer, including breast, stomach, and colon cancer. Olives contain a compound called oleocanthal, which has been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
10. Olives Can Improve Your Mood
Believe it or not, eating olives can actually improve your mood! Olives contain a compound called hydroxytyrosol, which has been shown to have anti-depressant properties. Besides, the healthy fats found in olives can help improve brain function and ease symptoms of depression and anxiety.
The Bottom Line
Olives are an excellent addition to any diet. They are packed with nutrients that can benefit your health in numerous ways, including reducing your risk of cancer, improving your heart health, and boosting your immune system. So, start incorporating olives into your meals and snacks today! You won’t regret it. So, next time you’re looking for a healthy snack, grab a handful of olives and enjoy all their benefits!
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- Olives 101: nutrition facts and health benefits. Healthline.
- A review on management of cardiovascular diseases by olive polyphenols. Food Science & Nutrition, 8(9), 4639-4655.
- Potential of olive oil phenols as chemopreventive and therapeutic agents against cancer: a review of in vitro studies. Molecular nutrition & food research, 57(1), 71–83.