Olives are an ancient part of the human diet, and with good reason: Aside from tasting good, they provide numerous health benefits. This post goes over seven reasons to include olives in your daily diet, which you can do by eating olives as a snack or part of a meal, or incorporating olive oil in your cooking.
Reason 1: Vitamins and Minerals
As pointed by Adda Bjarnadottir on Healthline, olives are a great source of vitamins and minerals. For example, they provide vitamin E, which is an antioxidant, and iron, which helps the oxygen transportation of red blood cells. Moreover, vitamin E has been linked to benefits such as better cognition and reduced cognitive decline.
Reason 2: Multiple Antioxidants
Vitamin E isn’t the only antioxidant olives provide. Bjarnadottir writes that olives are also a source of oleuropein, tyrosol, oleanolic acid, and other powerful antioxidants.
Why are antioxidants important? The Mayo Clinic advises that they may provide protection for your cells against free radicals, which are harmful molecules produced by the breakdown of food or exposure to harmful forces such as radiation and tobacco smoke.
Reason 3: Stronger Bones
Good Housekeeping’s Jaclyn London and many other sources have pointed out that olives are linked to stronger bones. The reason is that olives contain polyphenols, which fight bone degeneration and therefore keep bone mineral density at a high level.
Several studies have backed up the fact that olives can be particularly useful when it comes to fighting off age-related bone deterioration, or osteoporosis. The NIH compiled a review of such studies, which you can read more about here.
Reason 4: Cancer Prevention
As covered by the Huffington Post, one study found that extra virgin olive oil may have powerful cancer-fighting properties. The researchers came to the conclusion that because extra virgin olive oil contains a compound called oleocanthal, it may be able to help fight breast, melanoma, colon, and liver cancer cells.
Reason 5: Versatility
Aside from their incredible health benefits, olives are an extremely versatile food and cooking ingredient. For example, olives can be a part of tapenades as well as salads. They can even serve as a standalone component of a meal, as pointed out on WHFoods.com.
Olive oil is perhaps even more versatile. It, too, can be a valuable part of a salad. It can also be a key part of sauteed meals, soups, dips, and more. Adding to the good news is the fact that it is simple to experiment with olive oil: It has never been easier to buy olive oil online, so look up different recipes and give them a shot!
Reason 6: Heart Health
Healthline’s Joe Leech writes that olives can be a powerful friend to one of our most important organs: the heart. Specifically, extra virgin olive oil can lower blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease. Additionally, it assists the blood vessels by boosting their lining. Perhaps most strikingly, in one study, olive oil cut the need for blood pressure medication nearly in half.
Reason 7: Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Many of the health benefits of olives have the fruit’s anti-inflammatory properties at their roots. In particular, extra virgin olive oil has been shown to significantly reduce certain inflammatory markers, according to Healthline’s Franziska Spritzler. Extra virgin olive oil appeared on her list of the most anti-inflammatory foods available.
Getting the Olives You Need
If this article has convinced you to start consuming olives daily, you’re in luck: It’s incredibly simple to buy high-quality olives and olive oil online through Olivegevity. Check out what we have to offer by clicking here.