Olives truly are filled with so many amazing health benefits making them a superfood. So it isn’t just olive oil that is a superfood and so good for us. This small fruit, yes olives are a fruit are for sure tasty on pizza and in a salad.
September is olive harvest time but they are available all year. They cannot be eaten right off the tree as they are too bitter off the tree; olives need to be cured to reduce their bitterness. OK, now let’s learn out the many health benefits of delicious olives.
8 Health Benefits of Olives
Reduces Risk of Stroke
In a study with 7,625 people ages 65 and older with no history of stroke from three cities in France, it was found that those who regularly used olive oil for cooking and salad dressing or with bread had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke.
Excellent Antibacterial Qualities
The bitter glucoside in green olives has oleuropein which acts against bacterial infections in the body, both internally and externally.
Helpful Against Seasonal Allergies
Olives have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce seasonal allergies. A study found that hydroxytyrosol, a powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient in olive oil extract can be very helpful against allergies.
Protection Against Breast Cancer
It has been found that the skin of olives has properties to prevent breast cancer from developing. Oleic acid, the main monounsaturated fatty acid in olive oil has been found to stop the growth of cancer cells in the breast.
It has been found that the occurrence of cancer is lower in the countries that eat the Mediterranean diet which includes olives and olive oil. Olive oil has been found to have anti-tumor effects.
Related: Cut Breast Cancer Risk With These Everyday Habits
Suppresses Bacteria Growth
Olives have ingredients that act as a defense against bacteria that cause stomach and airway infections, according to a study.
Prevents Colon Cancer
An ingredient in olives, Erythrodiol has been found to stop the growth of cancer cells in the colon.
Inflammation can be a causative factor in many major diseases. Raising the level of antioxidants in the body can help lower inflammation. Eating olives have been found in studies to raise the level of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant.
- They are stone fruits related to cherry, mangoes, and peaches.
- Just because an olive is green does not mean it isn’t ripe. Some olives start off green and become black when fully ripe but there are some that stay green and are fully ripe and even others start out black.
- Extra virgin olive oil, a healthy fat is a main part of the Mediterranean diet.
- 90% of olives in the Mediterranean countries are used to make olive oil.
- There are at least 25 million acres of olive trees worldwide.
- Spain grows approximately 6 million tons per year making them the largest producer and Italy produces approximately 3.5 million tons.
- California has approximately 27,000 acres.
- Olive trees have been around for 6,000–8,000 years; there is evidence of olive trees being in Spain.
- They have been cultivated in grown in Crete and Syria for 5,000 years.
- The olive tree is also native to parts of Asia and Africa.
- The Spanish colonizers brought them over across the Atlantic Ocean in the 1500 – 1700’s. Seems like they also took some to Mexico and then were taken to California where there are many groves.
Olives are full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients as well as a number of flavonoid and phytonutrients. They are a very good source of copper, iron, dietary fiber and vitamin E. Learn more about Olive Nutrition.
How to Select the Best Olives
- Go to your farmers’ market and get the best, close-to-organic quality.
- Best to avoid buying canned from large-scale producers, as they are likely to be sprayed with pesticides and then treated with lye, to speed curing.
- When buying bottled, look for organic brands that have been naturally cured to avoid the lye cured ones.
- Best to buy them fresh in bins at the market.
Which Olive Oil do You Trust?
Do you know about the ‘Olive Oil Fraud’? Find out more here: Which Olive Oil to Buy? The Olive Oil Fraud!
Recipes with Olives for You
- Delicious Black Olive Tapenade – This is a very tasty appetizer before a meal or for a party dip.
- Quinoa Arugula Salad– The addition of olives to this salad makes it extra tasty.
- Sauteed Zucchini With Olives For Dinner – I love this dish of sauteed zucchini with olives because both of those foods are so tasty. Together they make a very tasty meal.
Learn more about some of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will always want to have in your pantry or growing on your deck.
READ: Superfoods – Over 100 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Have in Your Diet and learn more about the variety of Superfoods we think you should have in your diet.