Olives are green and black fruits with numerous health benefits that many are not aware of. Raw olives are very bitter in taste and need to be cured or processed before they can be eaten.Olives are rich in vitamins E, A, sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous and iodine. Just one cup 10 olives a day can give you 24% of recommended daily allowance (RDA) of iron and 10% of RDA of vitamin A.
Cured olives have been part of the Mediterranean diet since historical times and are also what makes the Mediterranean diet such a healthy one.
Include olives in your diet for the following reasons:
1. For A Healthy Heart
Olives contain chemicals which increase good cholesterol levels and has been shown to cut down the risk of heart disease. It is also rich in antioxidants which reduce damage to arterial walls of the heart.
2. To Prevent Cancer
The combination of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and Vitamin E found in olives acts as a shield for cancer. Olives reduce oxidative damage through neutralizing properties and have been shown to cut down risks of colon cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer.
3. To Lower Cholesterol And Blood Pressure
Some studies have shown that olives lower blood pressure levels. Oleic acid in olives which has been linked to heart health lowers the cholesterol level.
4. For Maintaining Bone Health
Most of the bone diseases like osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis are thought to be linked to the presence of free radicals in the body. Olives have antioxidants that protect you from bone diseases as well as a chemical that inhibits pain and inflammation.
5. For Nourished Skin And Hair
Vitamin E present in olives nourishes skin and hair. Olive oil can be applied on body, face, and hair for a glowing skin and hair. The antioxidants and vitamin E of olives protect the skin from UV radiation and minimizes wrinkles and other signs of aging.
6. To Aid Weight Loss
The high fiber content of olives makes you feel full and cuts down calorie intake by 20%. The monounsaturated fat in olives also breaks down fats inside fat cells and can help reduce belly fat. Do watch the quantity you consume, for a 15 gram serving (3 – 5) of Black Olives, contains 45 calories.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
-Avoid purchasing olives in cans as some studies have shown high levels of a harmful chemical acrylamide in them.
-The best way of processing olives is ice-pressing with a complete absence of heat which maintains the nutritive value of olives.
-Check labels for processing procedure while buying olives.
-Whole olives are traditionally eaten as a snack between meals and as appetizers.
-Jazz up sandwiches and pizzas with sliced olives 3-5 per person, add whole olives to curries, pasta and salads for a healthy, tasty twist.
-Some people might manifest some allergic reactions to olives so be careful if you are eating olives for the first time.