Delicious and good for you too!
Olives are actually a fruit packed with nutrients that benefit the entire body. As far as the health benefits of black versus green olives, registered dietitians say they are about equal.
Whether your preference is black or green olives, here is something to consider. A half cup of black olives has an estimated 725 milligrams of sodium and a half cup of green olives has an estimated 1,560 milligrams of sodium. According to the American Heart Association, sodium intake should be limited to 2,300 milligrams a day. So if your sodium intake is a concern, just keep that in mind.
Besides being delicious… here are 10 body benefits.
1. Olives are good for your heart in moderation
Olives contain unsaturated fats which directly benefits heart health and is linked to lowering cholesterol and the risk for cardiovascular disease.
2. Olives support brain health
Regularly consuming unsaturated fats help reduce inflammation in the brain, which protects cognitive function as well as supports mental health.
3. Olives help protect against chronic inflammation
Olives contain vitamin E – an antioxidant that helps prevent chronic inflammation.
4. Olives support bone health
Both black and green olives contain calcium, an important nutrient for bone health. Green olives are slightly higher in calcium than black olives.
5. Olives support gut health
Olives are considered fermented because they are placed directly in brine, which ups the amount of good bacteria in them. As such, they contain probiotics as well as some fiber.
6. Olives support eye health
Olives contain vitamin E, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin – nutrients that support vision. While only a little bit, every bit helps!
7. Olives are good for your skin
They contain vitamin E. Beauty experts know that vitamin E is good for the skin. This is because it can help fight damage from the sun’s UV rays as well as protect from inflammation from other environmental factors.
8. Olives help provide your body with energy
A serving of olives has under six grams of carbohydrates. While watching your intake of carbohydrates, they are crucial for health in helping to provide the body with energy. Another benefit of olives is that they have iron. Iron also provides the body with energy.
9. Olives make you feel full after snacking
Olives have a higher amount of fat, so are a filling snack. That’s because fat takes longer to digest, so it helps make you feel full. They’re good for your health and keep hunger at bay until your next meal.
10. Olives may reduce the risk of breast cancer
Scientific studies show that eating olives regularly may decrease the risk of breast cancer. This is because olives contain a compound called oleocanthal, which can kill cancer cells.
Olives are a key staple food in the Mediterranean diet, often praised by health experts as the healthiest way to eat. And if you want to add even more health benefits to your diet and body, consider using extra virgin olive oil.