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Health Benefits Of Olive

The olive fruit as well as olive oil have been regarded as extremely healthy for centuries and its use can even be traced back to the Neolithic age. The olive tree is native to the coastal regions of the Mediterranean and certain areas in Iran. It is included in the regular diet of the people in these regions. There are numerous olive health benefits and since this is a very versatile fruit, it can be included in various cuisines.

Olive health benefits can be obtained from the leaves and fruit of this plant as well as from olive oil. Research on olive leaf extracts and its health benefits for high blood cholesterol patients show that it can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol as well as increase circulation.
Olive leaves can also be effective in simple home treatments of a variety of mundane problems such as the common cold or flu as well as for serious illnesses and even certain cancers. There are many people who swear by the health benefits of drinking olive oil but it is better to avoid consuming large quantities of any oil. Olives can be divided into two broad categories: green olives and black olives. Black olives health benefits rank above those of green olives primarily because they are cured in water. Green olives are plucked before they ripen and so they have lower mineral values. They are sometimes put through a caustic soda treatment and are then pickled in brine. More information on advantages of olive oil

Olive Nutrition

The olive fruit is very rich in health protective nutrients such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Although it is a fruit, it is widely considered as a zesty vegetable. One of the most important olive nutrition facts is its natural content of Hydroxytyrosol which is known to be linked to cancer prevention. A healthy diet of olives can prevent bone loss as well. Another important item from the list of olive nutritional properties is the use of olive leaves in the treatment of inflammatory problems. These extracts have special application in allergy-related inflammations. Olive extracts are known to function as anti-histamines at a cellular level. The olive’s nutritional value is particularly underlined by their high content of monounsaturated fat. Olives are a high fat food - about 80-85% of the calories in olives come from fat. However, almost 75% of this fat comes as oleic acid. This high monounsaturated fat content is known to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. The monounsaturated fat found in olives (and olive oil) can help to decrease blood pressure and are thus a very important part of any diet.

A majority of olive phytonutrients function as antioxidants and help us avoid unwanted problems due to stress. Olives are a great source of vitamin E which is an antioxidant and so they are very useful for skin problems. Olives contain a plethora of minerals including calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron. Olives also contain copper, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. Most of these minerals add to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. There are also plenty of vitamins in olives. Olives are a great way to get a good portion of daily monosaturated fats while reducing the intake of sugars.

Nutrients In Olive

The most important nutrients in olive and olive oil are the phytonutrients that serve as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients when combined with the various vitamins and minerals in olives. The nutrition in olive oil is highlighted by its high monounsaturated fat content. Additional olive oil nutrients facts show that virgin olive oil offers a certain amount of protection from malignant tumors especially prostate and breast tumors as well as tumors in the digestive tract.

Olive oil is a very high energy food. It packs 885 kilo calories per 100g serving while providing 100 grams of fat – 73% of which is monounsaturated. 93% vitamin E and 52% vitamin K only add to its nutritional appeal. Whether applied topically or ingested, the high vitamin E content in olives and olive oil help protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation. This helps protect the skin against premature aging and cancer.

The anti-inflammatory abilities of black olive’s monounsaturated fats working in tandem with its vitamin E content may reduce the harsh effects of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The same combination is also known to reduce the risks of colon cancer. A healthy amount of black olives is very rich in fiber. This promotes digestive tract health.

Calories in Olives

Olives are a high calorie food. They are rich in fats. However, a majority of these fats are healthy monounsaturated fats that provide higher energy levels while protecting against cardiovascular problems. Calories in black olives, which are more matured fruit, are considerably lower at 25 per 4 olives as compared to the 60 calories in green olives which are generally lye cured and pickled. Both green and black olives are versatile and can be used in pasta, salads, and appetizers. It can even be included in cocktails. Calories in small olives are slightly lower than those in medium or large olives. The difference is very small at about 1 or 2 calories between olives of different sizes. The range of calories in olives is between 4 calories in a small olive to 9 calories in a jumbo olive. Olives have a rather high calorie content considering that they are so small; but keep in min that the calorie values for olives differs from one type of olive to the next. Olives are most commonly used as pizza toppings but this can be a rather unhealthy meal, especially if it is prepared with a lot of cheese and oil. In order to include olives in your daily diet, you can add sliced olives to your salad. This will also help to make your salad flavorful as well as make it attractive. You can also make a healthy sandwich with olives, by using whole-wheat bread, a little olive oil, a small amount of low calorie mayonnaise, and sliced vegetables of your choice. Grill your sandwich, dust it with a little fresh pepper, and enjoy your snack!

Side Effects Of Olive

The olive’s benefits are plenty and very significant, but detox reactions form a big part of olives side effects. Most detox programs require the individual to consume a very large quantity of oil and this places a great deal of stress on the digestive system and can cause a reaction. In some chronic cases, there may be an adverse reaction due to the liver, kidneys, and other organs becoming overburdened as the body begins to deal with dead microbes. People with low blood pressure can face dizziness due to the natural blood pressure reducing capabilities of olives, olive oil and olive leaf extracts. Very strong olives can cause stomach irritation or diarrhea, even candida in extreme cases. These are few of the risks of eating olives that can be alleviated by dilution or maintaining a healthy intake of water.

It is important to note that olive leaf extracts can have a negative effect on medications to maintain blood pressure levels as well as diabetes control drugs. They can also increase the effects of blood thinners and this would result in the excessive thinning of the blood. This can result in slower blood clotting and even internal bleeding. Make sure that you discuss these effects with your doctor before you consume olive leaf extracts.
Submitted on January 16, 2014