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Health Benefits Of Eating Olives

Updated on August 1, 2013
Benefits of eating Olives
Benefits of eating Olives

Everyone in todays society is concious of eating the right kind of foods to improve or maintain a healthy lifestyle. If your not one those people then you should seriously consider revising your eating habits and going for healthier options.

In this hub I want discuss the much loved ‘Olive’. Olives have been used eaten raw, in foods and processed into other forms for human consumption for many centuries, today we most often use it as a topping for our cherished pizza.

Quite often we eat foods without knowing how they affect our body and mind; this fact of being oblivious of what we are eating needs to change. We need to become more inquisitive of what we eat, how often we eat it and how that food affects our body, mind and overall health.

So let’s get back to my topic for today which is finding out about the wonderful Olive, What is it? What health benefits do we get from eating Olives?, What health benefits do get with Olive Oil?.

What is an Olive?

The olive is a species of small tree in the tree family of Oleaceae, it is a native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin it is also grown in northern Iraq, northern Iran and the south of Caspian Sea.

The Olive tree bears fruits, also called the Olive. Olives and olive oil have long been considered sacred. The olive has been over the centuries the symbol of peace, sign of wisdom, glory, and mark of fertility, power and purity.

The olive tree and oil are mentioned seven times in the Quran. The olive is also honoured as an important fruit. Olive is also mentioned in one of the verses of the Quran, Ayat an-Nur:

Olives mentioned in the Quran and Bible
Olives mentioned in the Quran and Bible

Olive tree and olive oil have many health benefits these have been encouraged in Prophetic medicine. The Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) is reported to have said: "Take oil of olive and massage with it – it is a blessed tree" (Sunan al-Darimi, 69:103).

The olive tree and olives are also mentioned more than 30 times in the Bible. It is one of the first plants mentioned by name in the Bible, and one the most significant. As an example during the great floods at the time of Prophet Noah (AS), the dove brought back an olive leaf to Noah demonstrating that the flood was over.

The olive is also found mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as one of the seven species a noteworthy product of the Land of Israel.

What are the health benefits of eating olives?

There are many health benefits of eating Olives or using Olive Oil in your diet, I am going to list a few important ones in this hub to get you started on eating Olives if you are not already using Olives in your food intake.

Want a healthy heart then use Olive Oil in your diet

Good processed Olive oil contains biophenols, this wonderful compound suppress the synthesis of LDL (better known as the “bad cholesterol) which has been known to play a role in the development of cardiovascular disease. Very high levels of bad cholesterol in the blood magnify oxidative stress resulting in hardening of the arterial walls. The biophenols in olives contribute to reducing blood pressure, therefore decreasing the development of arterial plaque. This effect has a positive impact on your well being and promotes a healthy heart.

Boost your Iron intake by eating Olives

It is proven that Olives contain a significant amount of iron, a key element in the formation of haemoglobin, the protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body using the bloodstream. A good intake of Iron also helps to build the enzymes responsible for regulating your immune system and its function, iron also promotes cognitive development.

Do you suffer chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis – eat Olives

The good old Olives contain a compound known as oleocanthal that has been proven to contain a strong anti-inflammatory, which mimics the action of ibuprofen. Olive oil naturally reduces the pain of chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and can be added to a daily diet to aid in pain reduction. Note the hadith from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) above stating massage Olive Oil, its beneficial health qualities were also known back then.

Experts recommend one consumes approximately seven olives daily . It can be consumed whole or chopped green and added to salads or other foods. Olive oil can also form part of that daily intake and used as an ingredient in numerous dishes.

Listed below are some other benefits of eating Olives:

* Olives are nutritious and rich in mineral content like sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and iodine.

* Olives contribute to calcium intake in the body and provide Antioxidants resulting from group B vitamins and provitamin A and E.

* Olives provide essential vitamins and amino acids.

* Improve memory - Olives contain polyphenols. Eating a daily portion of olives improves memory according to research from the University of Massachusetts.

* Reduce wrinkles (wonder why they Mediterranean’s don’t look their age)- Eating olives improves the appearance of wrinkles since they contain oleic acid, this helps to keep skin soft and healthy. In addition, olives contain vitamin E, an excellent antioxidant and beneficial to skin health.

* Control appetite and reduce body fat - Studies have shown that eating ten olives before meals reduced appetite. Monounsaturated fatty acids containing olives slows digestion and stimulate the hormone cholecystokinin, a hormone that is responsible for sending messages of satiety to the brain. Also useful fatty acids also stimulate the production of adiponectin, a chemical that burns fat for five hours after ingestion.

Cooking with Olive Recipe videos

These videos show you the kind of dishes that you can create using Olives as the main ingredient. This should give you the ideas you need to include Olives in your diet and cook some really healthy wonderful dishes.

Black Olives Salad Recipe

Marinated Olives Recipe

I hope that reading this hub has tempted you to start considering adding Olives to your diet and you may also consider cooking with Olive Oil rather than other types of oils. Doing so will improve your health.

Remember always eat in moderation never eat too much of anything. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:

Eat in Moderation
Eat in Moderation

Over indulgence in eating not only harms your health but it also leads to Acid reflux and many other digestion related complication over time.

Therefore control how much you eat, what you eat and maintain a healthy active lifestyle.

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