I love to eat olives. Have ever since I was a kid. I like black olives and green ones with the pimento paste in them. I also like to use olive oil to add good fats to my salads and sprinkle over my pasta. Italy is on my places to visit one day list. They use a lot of olives over there, sounds delicious! Here’s 5 amazing health benefits of olives from the Natural Food Series site.
5 Amazing Health Benefits of Olives
Olives amazing health benefits include significant protection against cancer, keeping blood vessels healthy, relieving pain, supporting gut health, decreasing risk of developing diabetes, promoting weight loss, preventing infections, reducing likelihood of osteoporosis development, preserving brain function, reducing seasonal allergies, supporting eye health.
Olives are among some of the healthiest fruits (yes, they are fruits) on the planet, associated with the Mediterranean regions. They are, in fact an important part of the Mediterranean diet, which is responsible for improved health and well being. They may be small, but their importance cannot be overstated.
Offer Significant Protection Against Cancer
It is no mere coincidence that people living in the Mediterranean regions have some of the lowest cancer rates on earth, as much of this protection is attributed to their abundant use and consumption of olives and olive oil. Olives are loaded with phenolic compounds including squalene and terpenoid, potent anti-cancer agents. They are also loaded with Vitamin E, an anti-oxidant that is not given its fair share in the spotlight. Finally, its high content of monounsaturated fats help reduce inflammatory markers and shut down processes that could set cancer in motion.
Help To Keep Blood Vessels Healthy
One of the major risk factors of a cardiovascular event is the formation of atherosclerotic plaques on the blood vessel walls. Accelerated oxidation of LDL cholesterol contributed greatly to the formation of this plaque, but olives and olive oil help to stop this. Thanks to the presence of phenolic compounds, oxidation of this cholesterol is reduced significantly, keeping blood vessels clearer and free to the passage of blood. These compounds also promote blood vessel flexibility by preventing hardening of the endothelium.
Help To Naturally Relieve Pain
Olives are loaded with phytochemicals, among them being one called oleocanthal. This compound is a potent anti-inflammatory compound, being able to match the action and effect of many of the most powerful NSAID pain killers. This can make olives a powerful remedy for chronic inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis or following a workout. Consume a diet higher in olives in place of opting for a painkiller, and your health will love you for it!
Supports Gut Health
Regular consumption of olives and olive oil play an important role in supporting the health of our probiotic bacteria, by offering them energy necessary for their survival. Consumption is associated with improving colony size of many different probiotics, including Bifidobacterium, which help the body to produce natural anti-biotics.
Decreases Risk Of Developing Diabetes
Olives are extremely beneficial for anyone who may be diabetic, or at risk of becoming, having a naturally low glycemic index. For one, olives are rich in monounsaturated fats, which among other things can significantly slow down the speed of blood glucose absorption. But that’s not all it does to help diabetics, as consumption following diagnosis still has its role. Oxidative damage can run rampant in diabetics, hastening deterioration of organs such as the kidneys and eyes. The anti-oxidants found in olive oil, as well as the anti inflammatory nature of the fat, help ensure diabetic complications do not make the disease much worse than it already is.
People of the Mediterranean have consumed olives for centuries as part of their diet, and have prospered with healthy lives. The benefits of olives are established in the West as well, but yet many people still do not use olives or its oil. Opt for extra virgin olive oil, as it retains much of the polyphenols that makes olives great, and you can save yourself the heartache of disease later on.
That’s some pretty amazing stuff for a little fruit. Do you eat olives or use olive oil?