The olive plant has many benefits and health properties, with its best being the fruit. Olives, particularly olive oil, is often regarded as a food to avoid because it is a source of fat, but what if I told you it is a healthy fat? Confusing but once we explain we’re sure you’ll be running to stock up on some olives and some oil to drizzle on your salads.
Black olives- the ripe olives- are rich in fatty acids, holding more antioxidants than green olives. Black olives are very high in iron, which of course improves the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. Having a lack of iron in your diet can make you feel cold or weak, as our tissues don’t get enough oxygen and our energy production can be lowered. The proper function of the immune system is dependent on having a sufficient amount of iron in the body.
Black olives also contain vitamin E, which has been shown to protect skin from UV radiation, guarding it from skin cancer and premature aging. By applying a few drops of olive oil to a freshly washed face you can use it to help gain a glowing complexion. Leaving it to work for 15 minutes before rinsing it off once a week should do the trick. You can even moisturize with olive oil before bathing or showering, and it works as a great conditioner for your hair when mixed with an egg yolk.
Monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and polyphenols found in black olives, have anti-inflammatory abilities, which can help dull the asperity of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Most suffering one of the three bone maladies had them brought about by high levels of free radicals. Researchers found that oleocanthal- a chemical found in olives- inhibits inflammation like a pain killer, acting like drugs such as ibuprofen.
The nutrients within the olives have also been known to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are dangerous in our body as when oxidized cholesterol and blood vessels are damaged, while fat builds up in the arteries which can lead to a heart attack. The antioxidant nutrients in black olives obstruct this oxidation of cholesterol, helping to prevent heart disease and even colon cancer.
For those who don’t understand what monounsaturated fats are, they fat molecules that have one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule. Unlike other fats when consumed in moderation they can be beneficial to our health, helping to reduce bad cholesterol levels in our blood lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke whilst providing nutrients to help develop and maintain our body’s cells.
One cup of black olives contains 17% of your daily fibre allowance and 10% of your daily recommended vitamin A allowance. The fibre is essential in helping to improve your digestive tract health by moving food through the system at a healthy pace by stopping any one part of the digestive tract from having to work harder than it should, whilst also supporting the ideal balance of chemicals and microorganism population required for a healthy digestive system.
The vitamin A is crucial for healthy eyes, as it improves night vision by helping the eye to better distinguish between light and dark. Vitamin A is also believed to be effective against age-related ocular diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Introducing olives into your daily diet or having at least 5 olives a week, can be enough.
If this information has made you want to go out and buy some olives- in particular the black ones- then why not try growing your own Standard Olive Tree? Then not only will you have a beautiful hardy long lasting tree to feature in your garden, but a direct olive source for you and your family.