Are Olives and Olive Oil Good For You?
Updated: Apr 7
Ancient Greeks refer to olives and olive oil as “The Essence of Life.” As of 2016, Greeks consumed 12.8 kilograms of olive oil every year compared to a consumption of 4 kilograms in North America. Heavy dependence on this healthy fat shows why the Mediterranean diet has been associated with lower chances of cancer and heart disease.
Olives and olive oil in your daily diet helps to reduce pain, boost your iron intake and protect your heart.
Let us take a closer look at the five health benefits that this healthy ingredient has on your overall diet:
1. Protect against the risks of breast, colon, and skin cancer
Olives and olive oil comprise high quantities of phenolic antioxidants along with anti-cancer compounds terpenoid and squalene. Furthermore, they contain an abundance of monounsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid, which lessens excessive inflammation.
2. Benefit the heart
Olive oil is composed of biophenols which reduce the oxidation of LDL (or bad cholesterol). LDL plays an important role in the development of cardiovascular diseases. Increased levels of LDL in the blood enhance oxidative stress which thickens the arterial walls. Biophenols present in olives lessen blood pressure, thereby restricting the accumulation of arterial plaque in the system.
3. Work to reduce pain
Olives comprise a compound known as oleocanthal. This compound has strong anti-inflammatory properties, similar to the action of ibuprofen. The pains from chronic inflammatory diseases like arthritis are naturally reduced with olives and olive oil. When you consume olive oil as part of your daily diet, it further aids in pain reduction.
4. Protect against ulcers
The bacteria that causes stomach ulcers can be fought with the antimicrobial properties in olives and olive oil. According to studies, high levels of polyphenols protect against the eight strains of ulcer-causing bacteria. It is observed that three of these strains are resistant to some antibiotics but the antimicrobial properties of olives and olive oil can combat the same.
5. Boost your iron intake
Olives contain iron in abundance. Iron is an important element for the development of hemoglobin. It supports the flow of oxygen throughout the body via the bloodstream. It also supports in building the enzymes responsible for maintaining immune function and cognitive growth.
If you want to reap maximum health benefits from the olives and olive oil you consume, you must buy one that is real. A lot of times olive oil is mixed with lower grade oils such as soy or canola oil. Make sure you test a few things and only buy the most healthful and highest quality olive oil for you and your family.
Check the taste of your olive oil extra virgin olive oil is different from that of light olive oil. The taste of real extra virgin olive oil is peppery and fruity. If you don’t sense a taste of olives in your olive oil, there's a chance that your oil has been deodorized, mixed with soy or canola oil and some green color. Real olive oil may be a tad expensive but if you want to enjoy maximum health benefits and make the most of the healthy fat, it’s a good idea to pay a little extra for the price. Luckily, our olive oils are very reasonably priced!