Olives have become increasingly popular in the West in recent years. They are an important part of Italian foods such as pizza and various pasta dishes, and they have become even more popular as a result of the introduction of the Mediterranean diet. Mediterranean or not, there’s no doubt that olives are great for your health. Olives are a part of a group of fruits that are referred to as stone fruits, sometimes also known as drupes. These fruits are related to other things like mangoes, cherries, and almonds. Olives are high in fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamin E, and they’re also loaded with antioxidants. This means that they can help us improve the health of our heart as well as helping to ward off conditions like osteoporosis and cancer.
As you would probably guess, olive oil is extracted from olives. Olive oil is a very healthy oil as it retains some of the nutrients from the original olives. If you’re going down this route, make sure that you choose extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil because this is processed the least and thus retains the most nutrients. Many unripe olives are green; they tend to become black as they get ripe. There are some species of olive that stay green when they’re ripe, but many of the green and black olives available at the supermarket are the same type unless otherwise labeled.
Regardless, olives are quite healthy. In this article we’re going to discuss ten of the most prominent health benefits that you can expect to experience if you begin including olives or olive oil in your diet.
Benefit #1: Fights Oxidation
Olives are a rich source of antioxidants, which are compounds known to help prevent damage from free radicals in the body. Free radicals are atoms that are missing an electron. They tend to compensate by stealing an electron from a nearby atom, which upsets the balance of the body’s structure.
Antioxidants, on the other hand, have an extra electron. They are able to offset damage from free radicals by providing them with an extra electron so they can be neutralized. Antioxidants are useful for helping to prevent chronic diseases and illnesses, as well as mental health deterioration, caused by oxidation.