9 arguments why olives are healthy
It's no secret that olives are healthy. Pressed into cooking oil or eaten in general, these small fruits are excellent heart helpers. The benefits even go beyond just helping the cardiovascular system. Once you know these benefits, you'll want to start living a Mediterranean lifestyle.
1. They are good for a healthy cardiovascular system
Olives are full of monounsaturated fatty acids, a type of fat associated with lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol while maintaining HDL (good) cholesterol. The powerful antioxidant properties of olive polyphenols may also protect against oxidative stress and chronic inflammation - a key factor in the development of heart disease. In addition, long-term evidence suggests that people who consume extra virgin olive oil daily have a lower risk of heart attack, hypertension and cardiovascular mortality than people who do not consume olive oil.
2. they can improve blood circulation
The plant compounds in olives can increase nitric oxide production and improve vascular function by promoting blood flow to your tissues. This is beneficial for both short- and long-term health, as better blood flow improves everything from sprints at the gym to overall risk for chronic disease. Some olive varieties can also provide up to 25% of your iron needs - an important mineral that helps oxygenate your organs.
3. they have anti-inflammatory properties
The polyphenols found in olives can help reduce chronic inflammation by stopping organ tissue damage before it starts. However, olives are best known for their primary role in the Mediterranean diet, which is full of health-promoting vegetables, fruits and 100% whole grains.
4. they can be useful for your bones
Polyphenols can also improve bone mineral density by reducing cell decay. In addition, the Mediterranean diet has been linked to a lower risk of bone fractures in older adults.
5. They may improve brain health
Because olives help reduce oxidative stress caused by inflammation, they also protect the tissues of vital organs from harmful and potentially irreversible damage. Another benefit: Olives contain vitamin E, an antioxidant that has been linked to improving cognition and reducing the risk of cognitive decline. Diets that rely on olive oil as a primary source of fat are also associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease.
6. they can help you stay satisfied
Using extra virgin olive oil in cooking can increase satiety by providing healthy, flavorful fats that keep you fuller longer. One tablespoon equals about 120 calories, while 120 calories for olives equals about 30 olives (depending on the type and size). Eating the fruit also provides fiber. However, those on a low-sodium diet should stick to the oil version.
7. they can reduce the risk of some cancers
The benefits of fruits and vegetables make them an ideal companion for daily meals and snacks. Foods high in antioxidants, such as olives, may also reduce the risk of certain cancers both by protecting cellular DNA (potentially preventing tumor growth) and by reducing oxidative stress.
8. They may improve blood sugar levels
Extra virgin olive oil, in particular, could lower blood sugar as early as two hours after a meal by supporting insulin action. The oleic acids (a heart-healthier type of fat) and polyphenols in olives may also help. Research shows that a diet high in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants can reduce the risk of type II diabetes.
9. they can help you absorb other nutrients better
It has been found that many vegetables and fruits are best digested when consumed with dietary fat such as olives. Adding a tablespoon of olive oil to salads and dipping them in veggie dips can help improve the absorption of carotenoids, which benefit your eyes and reduce long-term disease risk.
Eating olives in addition to more vegetables and fruits comes with some significant perks that will help you reach your weight loss goals and make a positive change that will benefit your long-term health.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure that the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.