Olives are a tremendously popular fruit that actually outnumber grapes, apples and oranges in total worldwide production. Their cultivation dates back over 5,000 years in the popular olive growing regions of Syria and Crete. The many diverse phytonutrients that olives provide make them a uniquely healthy food.
Here are 8 health benefits of olives:
Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress from free radical activity in the body are believed to greatly increase the risk of cancer development. Research suggests that the phytonutrients in olives may help reduce the chances of these conditions from occurring. One study found that these phytonutrients may help prevent cell growth activity in breast cancer and stomach cancer. The antioxidants in olives are also believed to help prevent DNA damage, another risk factor associated with cancer.
High In Antioxidants
The many different phytonutrients found in olives act as antioxidants, reducing oxidative stress to a variety of body systems. Oleuropein is one such phytonutrient that is unique to olives. Research has shown oleuropein to reduce oxidative stress to LDL cholesterol, protect nerve cell damage and increase blood levels of glutathione, an essential antioxidant nutrient.
The monounsaturated fat content found in olives has been linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease. They help reduce blood pressure and balance cholesterol levels.
Whole olive extracts have antihistamine properties on a cellular level. Studies show that olives give a wide range of anti-inflammatory support, most notably to the cardiovascular system.
Oleuropein taken from olives has been shown to help prevent bone loss in lab tests with rats. Further studies have linked olive consumption with good bone density and reduced risk of osteoporosis.
High In Iron
One cup of olives provides over 24% of the DV of iron. Iron is essential for bone health, proper blood circulation and preventing illness caused by iron deficiency.
High In Fiber
One cup of olives provides about 17% the DV of fiber. Fiber is great for colon health, helps balance the metabolism and controls body weight.
Foods high in dietary fiber can be great for weight loss. Though olives may not directly induce weight loss, their high fiber and healthy fat content content makes them a healthy addition to any effective weight loss program.
Get the benefits of olives by adding olive oil to your diet. Check out The 6 Best Olive Oil Brands before buying your next bottle.