Olives are a bit of an acquired taste; however there are a lot of health benefits olives can provide us with. Olives are the true taste of the Mediterranean and have been linked to reducing the risks of heart disease as well as the risks of cancer. Here we shall take a look at the health benefits of both olives and olive oil.
Cancer protection, both olive oil and olives contain anti-cancer compounds which consist of terpenoid and squalene as well as containing a high level of phenolic, which is a type of antioxidant. Olives also contain a very high amount of oleic and monounsaturated fatty acid which helps to reduce inflammation. These compounds work to prevent the effects free radicals can have on the body’s cells. All this combined can help protect against breast, colon and skin cancer.
Pain killer, olives also contain a chemical compound known as Oleocanthal, this has great anti-inflammatory benefits similar to that of pain killers. Olive oil has been proven to reduce the pain caused by arthritis and can be incorporated into our diet daily to reduce pain.
Boosting iron intake, olives also contain an impressive amount of iron, this is key for the formation of haemoglobin; this is the protein which carries oxygen around the body using the blood stream. Iron is also what helps in building up enzymes which regulate immune cognitive development and function.
Heart health, olive oil is a great source of bisphenols, which help to reduce the bad cholesterol in our bodies which can lead to cardiovascular diseases. High levels of bad cholesterol in our bodies are a contributing factor to oxidative stress, which can lead to the hardening of the artery walls. The bisphenols in olives help to reduce blood pressure which in turn reduces plaque build-up in the arteries.
Olives are a nice and easy snack with a number of health benefits, try them in salads and try swapping out regular vegetable cooking oil for olive oil.