Olives taste good, are salty, and are fun to eat. But did you know that they are good for your health in many shocking ways? Here are 11 reasons why eating olives is good for your health and why you should eat more olives every day:
Benefits of Olives
1. Olives Are a Great Source of Antioxidants
Free radicals break down the plastic, fade the paint, and damage works of art. In people, they speed up aging and cause diseases like cancer, heart attacks, and strokes.
Free radicals are molecules in your body that don't have a partner electron. They are looking for a partner electron and are very unstable and harmful to the molecules around them.
Antioxidants are what get rid of free radicals. Antioxidants are chemicals that can safely interact with free radicals, giving up some of their electrons to neutralize the free radical. (We like to think that the antioxidant gives the free radical a hug and makes it feel better.
Olives have a lot of antioxidants in them. That means that every time you eat them, you send an army of good-guy neutralizers into your body to help those bad-guy free radicals calm down. Getting enough vitamins is an important part of living a healthy life, and olives are a tasty way to do this.
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2. Olives Don't Have Many Calories
About 7 calories are in one olive. They have a “negative calorie load,” which means that eating one burns more calories than it gives you. Because of this, olives are a very healthy snack to eat.
3. The Fat in Olives Is Good for Your Heart
The main type of fat in olive oil is oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat that makes up 73% of the oil. The rest of the fat in olives is made up of 15% saturated fat and 11% polyunsaturated fats, such as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Olives have the same healthy monounsaturated fat that nuts and bananas do. Good cholesterol goes up when you eat foods with monounsaturated fat.
In research tests, people who ate more monounsaturated fats (but not too much total fat had lower blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and the ratio of LDL cholesterol to HDL cholesterol. All of this makes heart disease less likely. Good stuff!
4. Olives Are One of The “Smart Drugs” Found in Nature
Olives have a natural chemical called polyphenols in them that helps lower oxidative stress in the brain. A 2013 study on mice showed that adding olive polyphenols to the diet raises the amounts of the proteins nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which are called neurotrophins. Both of these are very important for brain cells to grow, change, and stay alive.
5. Olives Are Beautiful
Olives have antioxidants that fight the free radicals that cause aging. They also have Vitamin E and Vitamin A, which are also antioxidants that help keep skin soft and healthy.
Vitamin E stops free radicals, which can cause skin diseases, from forming and keeps the skin wet. It also protects the skin from UV rays that can be harmful and slows down the signs of aging. Olives' vitamin E can also keep your scalp healthy and improve blood flow to it by helping to make new blood vessels.
Vitamin A keeps the pH level of the skin in check, which is important for healthy, soft, and younger-looking skin. Olives are also good for your hair. Eat olives to stay pretty.
6. Olives Help Control Your Hunger
If you eat a few olives before a meal, it will make you less hungry. This is because the monounsaturated fatty acids in healthy olives slow down processing and make the hormone cholecystokinin more active. Cholecystokinin tells the brain that you are full and satisfied.
7. Olives Can Help Reduce Inflammation
Since inflammation is thought to be the root cause of most illnesses, avoiding inflammatory foods and replacing them with anti-inflammatory foods should be the first step for anyone trying to improve their health.
Olives have chemicals in them called oleocanthal that stop inflammation and stop enzymes from being made that could cause diseases like arthritis and type 2 diabetes. The strong anti-inflammatory effects of oleocanthal are similar to those of ibuprofen, making it a natural painkiller.
7. Olives Are Anti-Inflammatory
Chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can be major causes of cancer, and if our cells can't handle them, our chance of cell cancer goes up.
Olives can help us avoid this dangerous mix of chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation by giving us a lot of antioxidants and nutrients that stop inflammation.
8. Olives Have Anti-Cancer Properties
Some olives are made through a natural process called lactic acid fermentation. This makes the olives a live-culture food full of good bacteria called probiotics. Probiotic-rich foods are superfoods for gut health, and top scientists, doctors, and nutritionists suggest them as part of any protocol for gut health.
It's important to know that not all olives are healthy foods that are raw and alive. Olives in cans and olives on dry store shelves have been sterilized, so they don't have a live culture. Check out these links to see our full line of 12 or more live culture olives.
10. Olives Contain a Lot of Fiber
Olives have about 1.5 grams of fiber for every 10 olives. We now know that the fiber you eat feeds your microbiome, which is a group of good bacteria that live in your body, mostly in your gut.
Your health as a whole depends on how well you take care of your microbes. Most Americans eat less than half of the recommended daily amount of fiber, which is about 30 grams. Olives are good for you when you eat a lot of plants and olives.
11. Olives Have Oleuropein and Hydroxytyrosol in Them
Oleuropein is only found in olives and can't be found anywhere else. It goes well with hydroxytyrosol, the other big, important chemical in olives.
Together, these two things have strong health benefits, like stopping bone loss, helping wounds and skin heal, and keeping hormones in good shape. These are just a few of the ways that these two chemicals in olives protect your health.
Side Effects of Eating Olives
MUFAs are thought to be good fats to eat. If you swap saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats like MUFAs and PUFAs, it may be good for your health. But even good fats like olive oil have a lot of calories, so don't eat too much of them.
How to Add Olives to Your Meal Plan?
Olives are full of flavor, which makes them a great food to use. If you put it on a pie or add it to a salad, it makes the dish taste better. Olives are simple snacks that can be eaten on their own. A great snack to have while making dinner is a small handful of Butter Olives.
It goes so well with your salad or grain bowl to add a few Kalamata olives. And don't forget to give your guests olives. Stuffed Olives are loved by many people and look great. They are a popular addition to a charcuterie board. Olive trees produce olives.