Visit any Mediterranean country and you'll notice one food that is EVERYWHERE you look!
Olives. And it's no wonder people who live in the Mediterranean are known for their collectively great health.
Olives protect your body in a lot of ways. They even have a secret weapon that NO other food can boast.
Here are a few reasons to reach for olives, they:
- Protect your heart
- Protect your DNA from damage
- Prevent cancer
Just what is it in Olives that makes them so worthwhile?
Olives are super rich in antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory in nature. They are good source of fiber, copper, iron and vitamin E.
Olives have Triple Action Protective Nutrients
Olives are full of antioxidants, which help prevent many diseases. Phenols and flavonoids are the major antioxidants in Olives.
Their powerful antioxidant action is because of 2 things:
- Rich in vitamin E, which is a fat soluble antioxidant
- loaded with antioxidant minerals like zinc and selenium
There is evidence that olives lower inflammation. Polyphenols in olives lower a type of protein in your body. This protein, C-reactive protein, causes inflammation.Tweet
MUFA content: Olives are rich in mono unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). This kind of fat doesn't get converted to harmful oxidized compounds. In other words, olives have the good fat that you want to eat.
Oleuropein: This is a strong secret weapon and it's only found in olives. Studies show that oleuropein fights inflammation by blocking the activity at site.
Here's why: An enzyme (iNOS) triggers inflammation, the oleuropein in olives slows the enzyme down. This results in less inflammation.
Olives are high in cancer-fighting compounds. The antioxidants and the nutrient, oleuropein make olives a powerful anti-cancer agent.
One study showed that nutrients like oleuropein in olives help fight cancer cells by:
- preventing growth and multiplication of cells
- causes automatic cell death (easy to see why oleuropein is called a secret weapon)
Best ways to reap the benefits from olives
- Eat 8 – 10 whole olives every day, OR
- Use 2 or 3 tablespoon of olive oil in your recipes.
- Use in preparations which do not involve heating or cooking.
- Use cold pressed, organic and extra virgin olive oil.
- Use olive oil in its raw state in salads.
How to choose olives & storage tips
- Choose olives that are firm, free from bruises and not mushy.
- If choosing olives from a olive bar, choose ones that are brine-cured.
- Canned olives store well in the fridge for up to 10 days.
- You can either store it with the brine solution or make your own. 1 teaspoon of salt to 1.5 cups of water = Brine
A note on sodium and olives
Most of us here in the U.S. buy canned olives but they have a lot of sodium.
Brined olives are loaded with sodium but canned olives in brine, soak up even more sodium. One small canned ripe olive has 26 mg sodium. A single pickled olive has a whopping 40 mg of sodium.
Eat olives in moderation, too much sodium increases blood pressure and other conditions. Look for low-salt or water cured olives.
Olives add great flavor to salads, and for toppings on pizzas and pastas. Another great way to enjoy olives is as an appetizer. Serve them along with raw vegetables as a healthy appetizer before a meal.
Olives are one of the reasons populations around the Mediterranean have low disease rates. Go ahead, enjoy this wonder food!
Yours in health,
P.S. Please share this with everyone you know and don't forget to leave me a comment below!