Olives: Nutrient Facts and Health Benefits

Olives

Olives are small fruit that grow on olive trees. They belong to a group of fruit called drupes, or stone fruits, and are related to mangoes, cherries, peaches, almonds, and pistachios. Olives are very high in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants. Studies show that they are good for your health and may be perfect against osteoporosis and cancer. Healthy fats in olives are extracted to produce the olive oil, one of the key components of the incredibly healthy Mediterranean diet. Olives are also enjoyed in salads, sandwiches, and spreads. Some immature olives are green and turn black when they ripen. Others remain green even when fully ripe. In the Mediterranean region 90% of olives are used to make olive oil. So in this article we will tell you everything you need to know about olives. For more research you can also visit Wikipedia.

What are Nutrition Facts of Olives?

Olives contain 115-145 calories per 3.5 ounce (100 grams) or about 59 calories for 10 olives. The nutrition facts for 3.5 ounce (100 grams) for ripe, canned olives are:

  • Calorie: 116
  • Protein: 0.8 grams
  • Carbs: 6 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 1.6 grams
  • Fat: 10.9 grams
  • Saturated: 2.3 grams
  • Monounsaturated: 7.7 grams
  • Polyunsaturated: 0.6 grams

Fat:

Olives contain 11-15% fat, 74% of which is oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fatty acid. It is the main component of olive oil. Oleic acid is linked to several health benefits, including decreased inflammation and a reduced risk of heart disease. It may even help fight cancer.

Carbohydrates and Fiber:

Carbs comprise 4-6% of olives making them a low carb fruit. Most of these carbs and fiber. In fact fiber makes up 52-86% of the total carbs content. The net digestible carb content is therefore very low. However, olives are still a relatively poor source of fiber, since 10 olives only provide about 1.5 grams.

Vitamins and Minerals:

Olives are a good source of several minerals and vitamins, some of which are added during processing. This fruit’s beneficial compounds include:

  • Vitamin E
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Sodium

Other Plant Compounds:

Olives are rich in many plant compounds, particularly antioxidants including:

  • Oleuropein
  • Hydroxytyrosol
  • Tyrosol
  • Oleanolic acid
  • Quercetin

What is the Processing of Olives?

The most common varieties of whole olives are:

  • Spanish green olives, pickled
  • Green black olives, raw
  • California olives, ripened with oxidants then pickled

Because olives are very bitter they’re not usually eaten fresh. Instead, they’re cured and fermented. This process reduces bitter compounds like oleuropein, which are most abundant in unripe olives. Fermentation process may also reduce cholesterol levels and increase beneficial bacteria in the final product. However, they are the same varieties that don’t need processing and can be consumed when fully ripe. Processing olives may take anywhere from a few days up to a few months depending on the method used. Processing methods often rely on local traditions, which affect the fruit’s taste, color, and texture. Lactic acid is also important during fermentation. It acts as a natural preservative that protects the olives from harmful bacteria.

What are the Health Benefits of Olive Oil?

Although olive oil has mostly been studied for its effects on heart health, its consumption has been associated with a number of other health benefits as well.

Antioxidant Properties:

Dietary antioxidants can lower your risk of chronic diseases like heart diseases and cancer. Olives are packed with antioxidants which have various health benefits like fighting inflammation and inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. In an older study from 2009, consuming the pulpy residue from olives was found to significantly boost levels of glutathione in the blood. Glutathione is one of the most potent antioxidants in your body.

Improved Heart Health:

High blood cholesterol and blood pressure are both factors that increase the risk of heart disease. Oleic acid, the primary fatty acid in olives, is linked to better heart health. It may help regulate cholesterol levels and protect LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidation, although more research is needed to confirm this. Additionally, some studies suggest that olives and olive oil may help lower blood pressure.

Improved Bones Health:

Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by reduced bone mass and quality which can increase the risk of fractures. Interestingly, Mediterranean countries have lower rates of osteoporosis compared to the rest of Europe. This has led to speculation that olives might offer protection against this condition. Some plant compounds found in olives and olive oil have been shown to prevent bone loss in studies involving animals and laboratory tests. Furthermore, observational studies suggest that following a Mediterranean diet may lower the risk of bone fractures.

Cancer Prevention:

Olives and olive oil are commonly consumed in the Mediterranean region, where rates of cancer and other chronic disease are lower compared to other Western countries. Therefore, it’s possible that olives may contribute to reducing the risk of cancer. These potential benefits could be attributed to their high antioxidants and oleic acid contents. Observational and laboratory studies suggest that these compounds may disrupt the life cycle of cancer in various organs such as the breast, colon, and stomach. However, more long-term, controlled human studies are needed to confirm these findings. Currently, it remains unclear whether the consumption of olives or olive oil directly leads to lower cancer rates.

What are the Potential Drawbacks of Olives?

Olives are well tolerated by most people but may harbor high amounts of salt due to their packaging liquid.

Allergy:

While allergy to olive tree pollen is common, allergy to olives is rare. After eating olives, sensitive individuals may experience allergic reactions in the mouth or throat.

Acrylamide:

It is linked to an increased risk of cancer in some studies, although other scientists question the connection. Some people chose to limit their acrylamide intake as much as possible. Some olives varieties, especially ripe black olives may contain high amounts of acrylamides as a result of processing. Olive producers are investigating ways to reduce the amount of acrylamide that forms during processing.

What are the Demonstrated Benefits of Olive Oil?

Olive oil might be good for your health because it has healthy fats and antioxidants. It can also help reduce inflammation in the body. Some people debate about whether eating fats is healthy or not. But many experts think that olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is good for you. Here are some benefits of olive oil that may help your health, based on science.

  • Olive oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats
  • Olive oil contains large amounts of antioxidants
  • Olive oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties
  • Olive oil may help prevent strokes
  • Olive oil is protective against heart disease
  • Olive oil is not associated with weight gain and obesity
  • Olive oil may fight Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Olive oil may reduce type-2 diabetes risk
  • The antioxidants in olive oil have anti-cancer properties
  • Olive oil can help treat rheumatoid arthritis
  • Olive oil has antibacterial properties

Olive oil vs. Canola Oil Which is Healthier?

Canola oil and olive oil are two of the most popular cooking oils worldwide. They are both promoted as heart-healthy and share similar uses. However, some people wonder how they’re different and which is healthier. This article explains the differences between canola oil and olive oil.

What are Canola Oil and Olive Oil?

Canola oil is made from rapeseed that has been bred to be low in toxic compounds like erucic acid and glucosinolates, which rapeseed naturally contains. This engineering makes canola oil safe for consumption. Canola processing generally involves heating, pressing, chemical extraction and refining but expeller and cold-pressed canola oil is also available. This oil also undergoes bleaching and deodorizing which give it a neutral color and odor. On the other hand olive oil is made from pressed olives, the fruits of the olive tree. While many types exist, the two most popular are regular or pure olive oil and extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is extracted using only pressing while regular olive oil contains a combination of virgin oil and refined olive oil. Although extra virgin olive oil is more expensive than regular olive oil it is considered healthier because it’s less refined.

Similar Nutritional Profile of Olive Oil and Canola Oil:

In terms of nutrients, canola oil and olive oil are quite similar. The nutrients in 1 tablespoon (15ml) of canola and regular olive oil are:

Canola Oil:

  • Calories: 124
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Saturated: 7%
  • Monosaturated: 64%
  • Polyunsaturated: 28%
  • Vitamin E: 16% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K:8% of the RDI

Olive Oil:

  • Calories: 124
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Saturated: 14%
  • Monounsaturated: 73%
  • Polyunsaturated: 11%
  • Vitamin E: 13% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K:7% of the RDI

Notably olive oil provides more saturated and unsaturated fat, whereas canola oil contains more polyunsaturated fat.

What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Why is it Healthy?

Extra virgin olive oil is a great source of antioxidant compounds like vitamin E, oleacein, and oleocanthal. It may help prevent heart disease, promote brain function and protect against certain types of cancer. Known for its rich flavor, versatility and health benefits, extra virgin olive oil is an excellent ingredient to keep in your kitchen cupboard. Not only is it easy to use for roasting, frying, baking, or sautéing, but it’s also jam-packed with antioxidants and heart-healthy fats. Plus, it’s been studied extensively for its many health benefits with some research suggesting that it can protect against heart disease, combat cancer and alleviate inflammation. This article takes a closer look at the potential benefits downsides and uses of extra virgin olive oil along with it stacks up against other common cooking oils.

What is Olive Oil and how is it Prepared?

Olive oil is a type that has been extracted from olives, the fruits of the olive trees. The production process is simple. Olive can be prepared to extract their oil but modern methods involve crushing the olives, mixing them, and then separating the oil from the pulp in a centrifuge. After centrifugation small amounts of oil remain. The leftover oil can be extracted using chemical solvents and is known as olive pomace oil. There are several grades of olive oil which vary in terms of their nutritional content and the amount of processing that they undergo. The three main grades of olive oil include:

  • Refined olive oil
  • Virgin olive oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is the least processed variety and is often considered to be the healthiest type of the olive oil. It’s extracted using natural methods and standardized for purity and certain sensory qualities such as taste and smell. In addition to its unique flavor and aroma, extra virgin oil is rich in disease-fighting antioxidants and has been associated with a wide range of potential health benefits.

What is Nutrients Composition of Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Extra virgin olive oil is rich in heart-healthy fats, along with vitamins E and K. A tablespoon (about 14 grams) of olive oil contains the following nutrients.

  • Calories: 119
  • Saturated fat: 14% of total calories
  • Monounsaturated fat: 73% of total calories
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 11% of total calories
  • Vitamin E: 13% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 7% of the DV

Extra virgin olive oil is a great source of antioxidants which are compounds that help fight inflammation and chronic disease. The oil’s main antioxidants include the anti-inflammatory oleocanthal as well as oleuropein, a substance that protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation. Some people have criticized olive oil for having a high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. However, its total amount of polyunsaturated fats is still relatively low, so you probably don’t need to worry.

Extra virgin Olive Oil and Heart Disease:

Cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and stroke are among the most common causes of death in the world. But many observational studies show that death from these diseases is low in certain areas of the world especially in Mediterranean countries where olive oil is a major part of people’s diets. This observation spurred interest in the Mediterranean diet which is supposed to mimic the way the people in that region eat. Studies on the Mediterranean diet consistently show that it’s associated with improved heart health and may help prevent heart disease and stroke. Extra virgin olive oil protects against heart disease via numerous mechanisms. Such as:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce blood vessel health
  • Helps manage blood clotting
  • Lowers blood pressure

Given the multitude of health-promoting properties associated with olive oil, it’s not surprising that many studies show that increased consumption may even be linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

Other Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

While olive oil has primarily been researched for its positive effects on heart health, its consumption has also been linked to various other health benefits. Although olive oil has mostly been studied for its effects on heart health, its consumption has been associated with a number of other health benefits as well.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Cancer Prevention:

Studies have shown that people living in Mediterranean countries have a fairly low risk of cancer, which may be partly due to their consumption of anti-inflammation ingredients, including olive oil. One potential contributor to cancer is oxidative damage due to harmful molecules called free radicals. However, extra virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants that reduce oxidative damage. Oleic acid in particular is also highly resistant to oxidation and has been shown to slow the growth and spread of cancer cells in some test-tube studies. According to a 2011 review, regular consumption of olive oil may also be associated with a lower risk of developing breast cancer or cancer of the digestive system. Still more recent high quality research is needed to understand the effects of olive oil on cancer when enjoyed as part of a healthy well-rounded diet.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Alzheimer’s Disease:

It is the world’s most common neurodegenerative disease and a leading cause of dementia. One feature of Alzheimer’s disease is a buildup or proteins known as beta-amyloid plaques in certain neurons in the brain. Animal studies have found that olive oil and some of the compounds it contains could help preserve brain function by preventing buildup of these proteins. Additionally some studies show that following the Mediterranean diet which is typically rich in olive oil may also be associated with a reduced risk of dementia and cognitive impairment.

 Can I Be Allergic to Olives or Olive Oil?

Olives are two types of tree fruit. They’re an excellent source of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Olives have been found to be a good source of vitamin K, E, D and A. Black olives contain lots of iron while both green and black olives are a source of copper and calcium. Some other benefits include:

  • Maintaining heart health
  • Fighting inflammation
  • Reducing the growth of bad bacteria in the body
  • Protecting against osteoporosis and cancer

Most olives aren’t eaten fresh because of their bitterness. They’re usually cured and fermented or pressed into olive oil. The fat of olives is extracted to make extra virgin olive oil, which is known as an excellent oil for cooking. Olive oil also has many documented skin benefits. Olive fruits and olive oil allergies are rare but can occur. In fact your body can develop an allergy to any food. Food allergies have increased over the past decade, and children with food allergies have a higher likelihood of having asthma, eczema, and other types of allergies.

Olive Allergy:

Olive fruit allergy does occur but it’s rare. The most common allergy associated with olives is a sessional pollen allergy. Those who live in places that cultivate olive trees may develop a seasonal respiratory allergy to olive pollen. While pollen allergy is the most common allergic response there have also been reported cases of contact dermatitis and food allergies. This may because there are 12 reported allergens associated with pollen while only one allergen associated with the fruit. The olive fruit is more likely to create an allergic response than olive oil, because olive oil contains fewer proteins. However, allergies to the oil can also develop. Serious allergic reactions to olive fruit are rare and skin reactions aren’t common but have been documented.

Olive Oil Allergy Symptoms:

There are many symptoms that can result from an allergic reaction to food. Most symptoms of food allergy appear within about an hour. You can experience skin reactions, gastrointestinal effects, or respiratory symptoms. The most common food allergy symptoms are respiratory and include:

  • Swelling of the sinus cavity
  • Increased head pressure
  • Postnasal drip
  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Sinus headaches
  • Asthma
  • Excessive coughing
  • Wheezing

It’s not uncommon to experience skin irritation. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Tingling
  • Swelling
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Eczema

Gastrointestinal symptoms include stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. In severe cases anaphylaxis can result. While olive oil can be a very beneficial oil for skin health, other healthy alternatives are available:

Argan Oil:  It is high in vitamin E antioxidants and essential fatty acids. It’s a no greasy moisturizer that improves skin elasticity.

Rosehip Seed Oil: It is an anti-aging oil that contains vitamins E, C, D, and beta carotene. It’s nourishing, protective and hydrates the skin.

Marula Oil: It can reduce irritation and inflammation as well as hydrate. It has antimicrobial properties that make it great for skin that is prone to acne. There are also alternatives to olive oil when cooking.

Coconut Oil: It is a saturated fat that contains lauric acid, which may raise levels of good cholesterol.

Flaxseed Oil: It is a great source of soluble fiber and is a great option for salad dressings. It’s not heat-stable so it shouldn’t be used for cooking or baking.

Avocado Oil: It contains oleic acid and is high in antioxidants. Avocado oil may also help lower blood pressure. It can be heated to high temperatures and is good for grilling, sautéing, stir-frying and baking as well as for use in marinades, dressing and sauces.

FAQs:

Is olive a fruit or not?

The olive has been used in the Mediterranean region for over 6000 years. It is a fruit very rich in lipids, mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as in vitamins. It comes from a fruit tree.

Why are olives so good for you?

Olives are very high in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants. Studies show that they are good for your heart and many protect against osteoporosis and cancer. The healthy fats in olives are extracted to produce olive oil, one of the key components of the incredibly healthy.

Olive oil 100% from olives?

Yes, generally speaking, olive oil is pure olive oil made from that fresh-pressed to capture its fine fruity flavor.

How much olive oil consume per day?

Consuming 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive per day is a common recommendation for incorporating it into your diet. This amount can provide health benefits without excessive caloric intake.

Why is olive oil so expensive?

Olive oil prices have risen sharply due to a combination of factors, including:

  • Climate changes
  • Limited supply
  • Increased demand
  • Quality factors

Can olive oil expire?

Yes, olive oil can expire, although the exact shelf life depends on several factors such as the type of the olive oil. Olive oil can last anywhere between 12 and 24 months in an unopened bottle, how it’s stored and the conditions it’s exposed to:

  • Unopened bottles
  • Storage
  • Opened bottle

Which country has the most expensive olive oil?

While Greece produces some high-quality olive oils, the claim that the most expensive olive oil in the world is the E-La-Won Luxury Edition from Greece with a price tag of $729 is not accurate. The price of olive oil can vary widely depending on factors such as production methods, quality, rarity, packaging, and branding.

Is olive oil a virgin oil?

Yes, olive oil is a virgin oil. Virgin in the context of olive oil refers to oils that have been extracted solely by mechanical means, such as pressing or centrifugation without the use of heat and chemicals.

Who invented olive oil?

Olive oil was discovered and began to be used thousands of years ago in the classical era when (various Mediterranean civilizations Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans) began to grow olive trees and extract juice from the olives.

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