Olives have always been associated with Italian cooking. From adding to Pasta or enjoying them as whole fruits, Olives are a staple for Italians. Thanks to many continental restaurants and Pizza joints, Indians need no special introduction to Olives. However, the question, “Are Olives Healthy?”, remains a mystery, probably due to their association with fast food. In this article, we shall demystify the Olives for you to help you understand why they deserve a special place in your kitchen! Here get to know the wonderful health benefits of olives with nutritional information!

Image Source: Shutterstock

What Is An Olive?

Olive is small oval-shaped fruit grown on the Olive trees, called Oleo Europaea. They have a small seed or stone in them and hence belong to the family of Drupe fruits. Raw, unprocessed Olives are extremely bitter in taste and are used only for extracting Olive oil. The edible ones are processed using brine Curing methods to remove the bitterness.

Types Of Olives:

There are two basic types of Olives, Green and Black. The colour varies with the amount of ripening and the stage at which they are picked.

  • Green Olives: These are unripe Olives, which are mostly used for extracting Olive oil. They have a firm texture and a very bitter taste.
  • Black Olives: They are fully ripe Olives, which are softer and less bitter compared to the green olives.

Are Olives Healthy?

Besides their delectable flavour, Olives are known for doing plenty of good to our body. Listed below are some of the key benefits of eating Olives:

  • Improves Digestion
  • High on Dietary Fiber
  • Loaded with Vitamin E
  • Rich in anti-oxidants
  • Boosts Immune system
  • Prevents signs of Aging
  • Lowers the risk of degenerative diseases like Dementia
  • Shields the body from Cancers
  • Improves energy levels
  • Increases fertility

How To Eat Olives?

Eating olives is made as easy as popping candy into your mouth. Everything is prepped, cut, pitted and ready to eat. However, if you want to enjoy the experience of eating a whole Olive, here are the steps:

  • Open the Olive can and scoop out an Olive from the brine.
  • Smash the Olive with a spoon and get the seed out.
  • You can either cut the fruit into pieces or eat it as a whole.
  • Olives are also tossed with garlic, olive oil and other agents to enjoy a savoury delicious food.

Best Time To Eat Olives:

When it comes to Olives, there is no specific right time! You can enjoy Olives throughout the day along with your meals in small portions. Add them to your toasts, salads or portions of pasta for a delectable and nutritional meal. However, eating them too late in the night may ruin your sleep due to an upset tummy!

How Many Olives Should I Eat A Day?

Olives are certainly healthy and are loaded with benefits for your body. However, processed olives are pickled in high amounts of salt and hence, indirectly contribute to sodium levels. This is why experts recommend mindful eating of 15-20 Olives per day unless you are a hypertension patient.

Olives Nutrition Facts:

Here is the nutritional value of Olives, ripe and canned, per 100 gms of Serving:

  • Total Calories: 115
  • Water: 80 %
  • Proteins: 0.8 gm
  • Carbohydrates: 6.3 gm
  • Fibre: 3.2 gm
  • Fat: 10.7 gm
  • Saturated Fat: 1.42 gm
  • Unsaturated Fat: 7.89 gm

Wonderful Health Benefits Of Olives:

Here we enlisted 15 best benefits of olives for health, hair and skin. Let’s have a look into them.

1. High On Nutrition:

The main importance of Olives is their nutritional profile. The Olive fruit is an abundant source of minerals, such as iron, iodine, phosphorus, magnesium and sodium as well. It also brings in the much-needed calcium of the body, along with vitamins, such as A and E too. Olives are also rich in amino acids and oleic acid, which helps keep the heart healthy and protected as well.

2. Antioxidant Properties:

Olives are rich in antioxidants, which can damage the cells in your brain and cripple its functionality. Stronger memory and mind behaviour now possible when olives are consumed, say experts. This is because of the polyphenols present in the fruit which reduces the oxidative stress in the brain cells.

3. Energy Booster:

For more energy and power, experts advise the consumption of olives. This is because the fruit has a lot of iron in it, which helps with carnitine synthesis. Carnitine is an amino acid, which helps convert body fats or consumed fats into the much-needed energy needed. Iron, as we know, helps with oxy transportation in the blood and also helps prevent anaemia too. So, pop in some Olives every day to keep weakness at bay!

4. Delays Signs Of Aging:

One of the best health benefits of Olives is their role in delaying the signs of ageing. This humble fruit would help with appearance and also brings down the wrinkles thanks to the presence of oleic acid in them. Olives also have plenty of vitamin E in it, which is an antioxidant that helps fight free radical damages and keeps the skin healthy too.

5. Promotes Weight Loss:

Health freaks know the importance of Olives for weight loss. Ten pieces consumed before every meal would bring into the body all the monounsaturated fatty acids needed, which help with digestion and also with hormonal stimulation that aids in losing weight. The essential fatty acids in Olives can help you deal with energy loss and other problems too.

See More: Olive Oil vs Coconut Oil

6. Prevents Heart Diseases:

Cardiovascular health would be taken care of with the consumption of olives every day, thanks to the antioxidants and the fatty acids in it, which makes LDL go away and increases HDL in the body. This is one of the best benefits of eating Olives and hence are recommended for chronic heart patients.

7. High On Dietary Fibre:

Another key use of Olives is its support in improving the digestion. Olives are high in dietary fibre and offer the right amount of roughage to your guts. They also aid in smooth bowel movement and prevent constipation. Eating whole fruits every day can help you deal with many digestive disorders.

8. Keeps Cancers At Bay:

The Olive fruit benefits in shielding the body from Cancers as well. The use of olive oil can help with uterus cancer prevention and also helps the brain to function well on a daily basis too. According to many research documents, it has been found that Olive can assist in reducing cancer and different symptoms. The best way to reduce cancer as soon as get to know about the symptoms would be to consume olives.

9. Protects From Degenerative Diseases:

Olives are quite effective in fighting a number of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia According to experts and nutritionists, this fruit has some of the best natural beneficial materials that are required by our body if we are suffering from such harmful diseases. This is one of the major advantages of olives consumption on a long term.

10. Prevents Blood Clots:

It can assist a person if she is suffering from blood clotting problems. The phenols prevent in Olives are known to prevent clotting of blood and thereby help you deal with problems like Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT. This is one of the best olive fruit uses to our health.

See More: Olive Oil Benefits

11. Improves Chances Of Fertility:

Olive is good for the reproductive system. If you are a mother and expecting a baby, then olives will be one of the most essential fruits for you at that time. The fruit is so useful that it will treat almost all sorts of health issues and can be said to be one of the finest things for you out there. Olives can be easily found and they taste good as well. Olives are so far one of the best fruits for us humans out there which we can avail quite easily. It takes care of the fertility problems as well.

12. Strengthens Immune System:

They come with some of the best elements of nature such as sodium, magnesium, etc and many more which are required by our body almost on a daily basis. If you are looking for one of the best nutritionally beneficial fruits out there, then this might be one of the best fruits that you can avail. It can assist with the immune system problems and can protect you from different viral diseases as well. If you are suffering from stress, then have olives as they are great stress reducers and work great and are effective for both the genders.

Image Source: Shutterstock

13. Keeps You Satiated For Long:

It can reduce the appetite and daily consumption of this fruit can make you healthy as well as controlling your appetite quite effectively. You won’t feel hungry so frequently after consuming olives. If you are willing to solve your physical problems, then olives might be the best naturally found companions by your side.

14. Promotes Healthy Skin and Hair:

The benefits of Olives for skin are numerous. As a face mask, the oil of olives or the fruit paste would be great to use. It helps smoothen the skin texture and also helps with moistening the skin and removing acne too. The fatty acids in Olives can improve the texture of your skin and even repair the damage of your hair shafts. It is also believed that regular usage of black olives for hair can help in protecting the natural black colour of your mane.

15. Controls Diabetes:

Research says that eating a diet rich in Olives can offer wonderful benefits to diabetic patients. Along with preventing Insulin resistance in the body, it also lowers the blood sugar levels. Regular consumption of Olives can also reduce the risk or delay the onset of diabetes in both adults and children.

See More: Olive Oil For Hair

Olives Side Effects:

Olives are largely free from side effects and have very little implications on your health. However, as mentioned above, they are packed in sodium-rich brine, which can pose a hazard to hypertension patients. Other minor effects of eating Olives in excess are:

  • Stomach upset
  • Vomiting
  • Appetite Loss
  • Nausea
  • Burning sensation
  • Blisters in mouth

Next time you spot an Olive in your food, don’t throw it away! Remember that, Olives are one of the most revered fruits in the world and are highly valued in many cultures. Their health benefits have long been recognised by the Italian and Mediterranean communities, who have spread the message to the entire world! With Olives made more affordable and easily available to us, why lose out on their benefits? Try to pop into its delicious goodness!


About Saanvi

Saanvi Sharma is an excellent web content writer in health and nutrition. Her expertise in the subject stems from in-depth research and knowledge that she gained over the years. Her interest in science coupled with a bachelor's degree in biotechnology proves as an added advantage and further adds value to her writing. She is highly interested in science, thus writing quality content became her virtue.