Delicious olives offer an amazing array of health benefits that humans have likely been enjoying for thousands of years. Historians note that olives were part of the diet for people as far back as 6,000 years ago in the early Bronze Age. Although the Mediterranean region is particularly note for their delectable olives and high-quality olive oil, olives also grow in regions of Portugal and the Middle East. There are many different varieties of olives, but the research is suggests that each variety offers spectacular health benefits. Whether you’re a fan of green olives or black olives or all the wonderful olive varieties that exist, you should add them to your weekly diet to obtain their many health benefits.
Good for Your Brain
With their brain-supportive antioxidants, olives provide support for strong cognitive function. Because your brain requires so much oxygen, it’s more prone to the development of free radicals than other parts of your body. Antioxidants neutralize these disease-causing free radicals to protect brain health. Additionally, olives contain vitamin K; a lack of vitamin K has been linked to diseases like Alzheimer’s. As if those benefits weren’t enough, there is research that suggests that olives can reduce the risk for depression. So, simply be eating olives, you could elevate your mood and protect your brain health at the same time.
The antioxidants contained in olives has been shown to reduce pain by reducing inflammation. Inflammation is associated with many kinds of diseases that include conditions like arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Many people are concerned about taking pain medications in association with these conditions and are looking for reliable natural alternatives to cope with, at least, mild bouts of pain. Studies have shown that olives can reduce inflammation, so if you suffer from joint pain, for instance, you should give olives a try. There is a myriad of ways to introduce olives to your diet. You can slice them to top your pizzas or include them in casseroles.
By including heart-healthy foods in your diet that include monounsaturated fats, you can enhance heart health. According to research, the oleic acid (a monounsaturated fat) contained in olives can reduce conditions like atherosclerosis and plaque build-up in the arteries. This acid is also associated with lowering bad blood cholesterol. The phenolic compounds contained in olives have been shown to reduce the risk for blood clot development. So, to reduce your overall risk of heart disease and stroke, you should include more fiber-rich olives in your weekly diet to enjoy its heart-healthy benefits.
Olives appear to have important cancer-fighting properties that include anthocyanins. These nutrients are associated with cancer prevention. Additionally, olives are rich in oleic acid, which has been shown to inhibit the growth of some types of breast cancers. The maslinic acid contains in olives appears to have the power to induce cellular apoptosis in colon cancer cells. Since olives are also so rich in antioxidant protections, they are able to neutralize free radicals that can actually cause many diseases that include cancer. Olives are so portable and convenient to eat, that it makes perfect sense to include them as a weekly snack if you want to enjoy its disease-fighting potential.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll definitely want to include plenty of olives in your diet. First, olives contain healthy fats that your body needs, so they aren’t likely to detract from your weight loss goals. With their rich fiber content, olives can make you feel fuller between meals so you’re less likely to reach for a non-healthy snack. Researchers have even suggested that olives, with their monounsaturated fats, can actually induce weight loss. Studies demonstrate that people who snack on olives have, on average, been able to reduce their intake by 200 calories. Delicious and healthy, olives will form a reliable part of your weight loss diet.
Good for Your Skin
For centuries, women have sworn by the power of olives to enhance skin health. Many people continue to rely on olives to ward off skin wrinkles. It’s even possible that olives can ward off some skin diseases with their powerful protections. Researchers suggest that it’s the vitamin E, copper, iron, and fiber that help make olives such a potent skin protectant. If you want to keep your skin feeling smooth and supple, be sure to add more olives to your weekly diet. You can gain these skin protections by eating olives or adding olive oil to food preparations or your salad dressing.
Rich in Antioxidants
Olives are rich in antioxidant protections. Antioxidants are important combatants of free radicals. Free radicals form as a result of normal cellular processes, but their numbers can increase in our bodies with exposure to pollution, cigarette smoke, and other commonplace toxins in the environment. These free radicals are unwanted molecules that can affect healthy cells, even causing them to mutate. Cellular damage can be a precursor to many diseases. By reducing free radicals in the body, antioxidants can help protect health. Olives also offer protection from some bacteria that could cause stomach infection, making their disease-fighting properties something we shouldn’t ignore.
Good for Digestion
Olives can supply as much as 20% of your daily need for fiber, which makes them an outstanding aid for digestion. In fact, just a single cup can provide this delicious health benefit. Fiber is vital for digestive and gastrointestinal health. Fiber stimulates the digestive tract and promotes regularity. Olives can even help reduce the risk for gallstone formation. To keep your digestive tract running smoothing, consider eating a cup of olives a couple times each week. You can add black olives, for example, to your salad or eat them alone as a snack between meals.
Help for Seasonal Allergies
If you suffer from seasonal allergies like hay fever, you should stockpile olives and snack on them throughout late summer and fall when hay fever strikes. Olives contain compounds that actually block receptor sites for histamines, which trigger your bouts of sneezing and itchy eyes. In this respect, olives function like anti-histamines. While they may not block all of your seasonal allergy attacks, there is research that suggests it can reduce the number and possibly the intensity of your seasonal allergy attacks. Because olives are famously known to provide so many other benefits, their allergy-fighting properties are sometimes overlooked. If you sneeze through the beautiful autumn season, be sure to include more olives in your diet.
The jury is out whether or not certain foods are actually aphrodisiacs in the classic sense of the world, but scientists have been able to confirm that many types of foods to benefit aspects of sex. Olives have been associated with male virility for centuries. Researchers suggest that olives may have their reputation as aphrodisiacs because their rich antioxidant content and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats have the ability to increase blood flow and hormone production. This could, indeed, enhance sexual performance and mood. If you’re looking for foods with natural aphrodisiac potential, you should note that olives frequently make top-ten lists of potent aphrodisiacs.