The Mediterranean coast is widely recognized as the homeland of the olive tree. From centuries past, the olive tree personified life and rebirth, and its fruits were the basis of the diet of the Mediterranean peoples. The ancient Greeks believed in the mythical origin of the olives, according to which this wonderful fruit was presented to man by the Goddess of wisdom, Athena.
Olives and olive oil are the main component of the so-called Mediterranean diet, which is recognized as one of the most healthful in the world. According to scientists, the low percentage of cardiovascular and cancer diseases in Mediterranean countries is due to the habit of eating olives. Olives have the right balance of essential nutrients that prove the benefits of olives on human health. They contain:
- a lot of vitamins — C, D, E and B;
- protein and pectin;
- minerals (sodium, copper, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, selenium and other elements) .
Experts say that olives have almost all essential vitamins and minerals. Raw fruit pulp contains up to 80 % of non-drying oil, which is composed of unsaturated fatty acids:
- oleic acid (75 %);
- linoleic acid (13 %);
- linolenic acid (0.55 %).
Unlike animal fats, olive fats are not only harmless, but also bring many benefits to the body:
- inhibit the development of atherosclerosis, heart and blood vessel diseases;
- contribute to the egest of cholesterol;
- have a beneficial effect on the digestive organs.
The consumption of olives reduces the risk of:
- circulatory system disease;
- stroke, heart attacks;
- gallstones formation [2, 3, 4].
Olives are used in a variety of dishes. They can be eaten raw, roasted or stuffed and fried, alone or in salads and sauces. Olives are extremely useful for the gastrointestinal tract. They promote better digestion, egest the unnecessary substances from the body, have a healing effect and help the early healing of wounds and cuts. Eating of olives eliminates the feeling of hunger so they are actively recommended for those who want to lose weight.
Olives are very useful for the bones. Olives and olive oil contain a lot of calcium, which promotes healthy bone formation and operation of the joints. In addition, olives and olive oil are a very strong cholagogic. They help to digest the food and to prevent the formation of gallstones. Olive oil contains a lot of chlorine, and chlorine helps to ensure that the kidneys work properly. The kidneys are responsible for the timely disposal of toxins and impurities from the body. Olive oil has a positive impact on our brain vessels.
Olive oil helps to prevent atherosclerosis, the emergence of blood vessel diseases; it egests cholesterol, has a beneficial effect on the digestive organs and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes . Olives contain a sufficient amount of manganese, which has a positive effect on our muscles and their work, helping the tissue to function properly.
Owing to the essential oils, olives are used in cosmetology. Olives have a rejuvenating effect on the skin, fighting wrinkles and aging. Even in ancient times, women used olive oil and olive fruits to care for their skin. If you want the skin to be smooth, velvety and elastic, make sure you take food olives. Olive oil protects the skin from harmful solar radiation.
Olives are very beneficial to the condition of the hair. If you eat olives and olive oil, the hair becomes very thick, silky and will look really gorgeous.
However, olives have side effects. They are very high in calories and should be limited in the diet of overweight people. In addition, olives are not recommended for patients with gallstones and should be taken with care during pregnancy.
Thus, olives contain large amounts of antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer benefits and prevent heart disease.
1. 11 Proven benefits of olive oil (No. 5 Can save lives) http://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-benefits-of-olive-oil/ (accessed May 29, 2015).
2. Bulotta S., Celano M., Lepore S. M., Montalcini T., Pujia A. and Russo D. Beneficial effects of the olive oil phenolic components oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol: focus on protection against cardiovascular and metabolic diseases // Journal of Translational Medicine 2014. № 12ю P. 219.
3. El SN, Karakaya S. Olive tree (Olea europaea) leaves: potential beneficial effects on human health // Nutr Rev. 2009. № 67(11). Pp. 632–640.
4. Olives. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=46 (accessed May 29, 2015).
5. Tripoli E., Giammanco M., Tabacchi G., Di Majo D., Giammanco S., La Guardia M. The phenolic compounds of olive oil: structure, biological activity and beneficial effects on human health // Nutr Res Rev. 2005. № 18(1). Pp. 98–112.