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Olives Benefits and Drawbacks You Didn’t Know About

olives benefits
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Hans

Embrace the mediterranean diet and add olives to your life! Not only are they delicious, but olives have lots of benefits for your health and wellness.

Found in salads, sandwiches and pizza, olives are an easy ingredient to add to your meal for some healthy fats and rich flavor. Popular varieties include Spanish green olives, black olives and California olives. Most olives are fermented to remove their bitter flavor, but green olives can be snacked on raw as well. 

Olive consumption has all kinds of health benefits, ranging from the probiotic to antioxidant properties. They are high in fat and low in carbohydrates, containing zero sugar. Oil produced from this savory stone fruit is versatile as well; use olive oil for frying food, discover the benefits of olive oil for hair, and add olive oil to your skincare routine.

Benefits of Olives

Both olives and olive oil have loads of health benefits.
Both olives and olive oil have loads of health benefits.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / stevepb)
  1. Antioxidants: Olives are high in antioxidants, which help keep the body healthy by fighting inflammation, regulating the immune system, maintaining a nutrient metabolism and more. 
  2. Anti-inflammatory: Since olives have anti-inflammatory properties, they are, in a way, a natural pain-killer. This property has may even help improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
  3. Healthy fat: Olives are made up of mostly monounsaturated fat, called oleic acid. They also have some polyunsaturated fats, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
  4. Low calorie: Olives make a delicious, low calorie snack. Although they are high in fat, olives are considered to have a low calorie density. They can help you feel full for longer than things like chips, and with less calories.
  5. Vitamins: Olives are high in Vitamin E and Vitamin A, both of which are good for skin elasticity and health. 
  6. Fiber: Olives have a lot of fiber, which is beneficial for digestion and gut health. 
  7. Minerals: Olives are high in iron, copper and calcium. Just a handful of olives can provide you with about a third of both your copper and iron intake for the day.
  8. Reduce blood pressure: Studies have found olives to reduce the need for medication in mitigating high blood pressure, likely due to a calcium channel blockade. 
  9. Regulate cholesterol: Due to the oleic acid found in olives, the fruit can help reduce bad cholesterol in the body.
  10. Probiotics: Fermented olives can have probiotic traits which improves digestive health.
  11. Bone health: Several studies link olive consumption with bone health, and even osteoporosis prevention.
  12. Cancer prevention: Possibly due to the antioxidants found in olives, some studies have shown compounds in olives can disrupt cancer cells 
  13. Improved memory: Olives have the power to mitigate cognitive decline amongst the elderly. This can be helpful for individuals with dementia.

Drawbacks of Olives

Watch out for some of these drawbacks of olives.
Watch out for some of these drawbacks of olives.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / manfredrichter)
  • Allergies: Olive allergies are rare, but possible. Make sure not to consume loads of olives before making sure you won’t have an adverse reaction. 
  • Acrylamide: California black olives can be high in acrylamide due to their processing. It’s best to limit consumption of this ingredient as it has been linked to increased risk of cancer.
  • Salt: if your doctor has expressed concern over your salt intake, you may want to avoid eating too many olives. These savory, scrumptious fruits are unfortunately high in sodium.

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