Olives were once a supporting character in salads, in a martini or on pizzas, but now they rise to nutritional superstars.
A number of healthy olives are available, such as oil-cured Kalamata olives, ubiquitous black olives, and green Spanish olives known as Manzanillas, usually stuffed with pimentos.
One of the healthiest oil, olive oil, is available in different varieties, too. Along with being delicious, the olives also have a lot of health benefits.
Olives were eaten 3,000 years BC, and they are one of the oldest foods in the world. Olives originated in Greece and they gained popularity quickly. Ancient people used olive trees for fuel, medicine, and shelter. The olive tree is represented in Greek mythology, Egyptian art, and in the Bible, and it’s a symbol of peace and wisdom.
Health benefits of olives
Olives contain a lot of beneficial properties for health, especially for heart health, thanks to their high content in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats. In addition, they are good for your vision and many other health conditions.
Vision: Vitamin A is essential for normal vision, especially in low light, and for eye health and integrity.
Anti-cholesterol action: Polyphenols and monounsaturated fats found in olives can prevent oxidation of cholesterol, and therefore have a great preventive and protective effect against atherosclerosis and other related cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke.
Anticancer and antioxidant activities: Vitamin E, polyphenols and beta-carotene are the most important substances found in olives, which have anti-oxidant properties. It’s particularly significant the antioxidant activity of polyphenols. Through their action against free radicals, they can prevent premature aging, cancer, heart disease and many other types of chronic and degenerative conditions.
Restorative properties: Olives are an excellent natural alternative to multi-mineral supplements, which are used to give your body more strength, nutrients, and energy, thanks to their high content in minerals.
Bone health: Olives are high in calcium, phosphorous and vitamin D, which all play an important role in bone growth, remodeling, and maintenance and can prevent some bone conditions, such as osteoporosis in adults and rickets in children.
Heart health: Polyphenols have an effect on the cardiovascular system by preventing the formation of blood clots and promoting vasodilation, in addition to their anti-cholesterol action. This results in improved heart function and decreased heart work.
Skin health: Antioxidants found in olives have a beneficial effect on skin health since they can prevent damage or skin tissue caused by free radicals. In addition, olives also contain high amounts of the precursor of vitamin A, vitamin E, and beta-carotene which can stimulate skin regeneration and provide skin protection. Therefore, these combined effects can maintain a healthy, young and smooth skin.
Purifying effect: Olives improve the intestinal and liver’s functions, prevent or fight constipation, and help cleanse the colon, thanks to their high content in fiber. The result of all these effects is improved detoxification and excretion of toxins from your body, with consequent improved health and function of the whole body.