The olive is known scientifically as Olea europaea, and it belongs to the group of fruits called the stalk. Humans have known it since the beginning of the Bronze Age; That is, 5000 to 6000 years ago, and ancient evidence indicates that its origin dates back to the eastern region of the Mediterranean basin. The fruits of olives are characterized by their oval shape, very bitter taste, and green color, and some of them turn black when they ripen, while some types of olives remain green. Even after its maturity, the average weight of olives ranges between 3 to 5 grams approximately, and it is worth noting that its cultivation has spread all over the world; As it constitutes a major nutritional element after undergoing treatment processes that improve its flavor, and is added to sandwiches, salads, and others.
On the other hand, 90% of olives are used to produce olive oil in the Mediterranean countries, which is famous for its nutritional, health and industrial benefits. It is used in the soap industry, in addition to the pharmaceutical industries, and it is interesting that it is rich in nutrients necessary for the health of the body, such as antioxidants, vitamin E, and healthy fats. It also has anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties.
The health benefits of olives
Olives offer many benefits for the health of the body, the most prominent of which are:
- Reducing the appearance of wrinkles: it contains oleic acid, or what is known as oleic acid; Which maintains the health and softness of the skin, and can improve the appearance of wrinkles by more than 20%.
- Contribute to promoting bone health: The phenol compounds (in English: Phenols) found in olive oil help reduce the decrease in bone mass, according to what was published by the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.
- The possibility of relieving pain: Studies have shown its ability to inhibit the growth of enzymes responsible for pain and inflammation.
- Aiding in weight loss: This is due to the fact that olives contain monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs for short, which contribute to stimulating the production of cholecystokinin, a hormone in the brain. satiety, in addition to its role in reducing the speed of digestion.
- A rich source of beneficial gut bacteria: including; Lactobacillus bacteria (English: Lactobacillus), and it should be noted that olives are classified in the list of fermented foods.
- The possibility of contributing to reducing the risk of heart disease: because it is considered a rich source of healthy fats, such as; Polyunsaturated fats, known as PUFAs, and monounsaturated acids that have been shown to lower levels of bad cholesterol, or what is known as LDL, and total cholesterol, in addition to their potential role in reducing the risk of diabetes from second type; Some studies have shown its importance in controlling the level of the hormone insulin and controlling blood sugar, and on the other hand, it should not be taken in excess; This is because it supplies the body with a large amount of calories.
- Reducing the risk of cancer: the incidence of it in the Mediterranean region, where it is common to eat olives and its oil, is lower compared to European countries, and it was found in a test tube study that it disrupts the life cycle of cancer cells in the colon, stomach, and breast. However, more studies are needed to investigate its effects in cancer.
- Reducing blood pressure: In a study conducted in 2017, a group of people with high blood pressure in the initial stage (English: Stage 1 Hypertension) participated in, that the consumption of a group of olive leaf extract consisting of 136 mg of oleuropein daily, while the other group took the drug. A placebo (English: Placebo) for a period of six weeks, and the results showed a lower blood pressure in the first group compared to the group that took the placebo. Captopril (English: Captopril), where the extracts showed a similar effect of the drug in lowering blood pressure in the participating patients.
- A rich source of proteins: most of them are found in the olive fruit and are mainly concentrated in the seeds, where various types of proteins are stored, including; The enzymes that give olives distinctive properties, and it is worth noting that olive oil acquires part of these proteins during its manufacture, but the olive pulp (in English: Olive pulp) contains a small amount of them, such as; Polypeptide (English: Polypeptide), and a protein similar to what is called Thaumain, and more studies are still needed to determine the types and properties of these proteins.
The nutritional value of olives
The following table shows the nutritional value of 100 grams of ripe and canned olives:
Contraindications to eating olives
The consumption of olives is considered safe for most people, but in some cases, caution should be taken in some cases, including the following:
- allergic reactions; Which affects some when they are exposed to pollen grains in olives, and may show an allergic reaction in the throat and mouth, as for the fruit itself, it is rare to cause an allergy.
- The possibility of containing high amounts of the compound acrylamide (English: acrylamide) of ripe black olives of California origin. It is believed that this compound increases the risk of cancer and therefore it is recommended to limit it.
- The possibility of olives containing heavy metals, such as sulfur, lithium, tin, and boron, but they remain within the permissible legal limit.
- ^ APT Adda Bjarnadottir(17-7-2015), “Olives 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits”, www.healthline.com, Retrieved 1-5-2019. Edited.
- ↑ Laura Dolson(10-3-2019), “How Do Olives Fit in a Low-Carb Diet?”, www.verywellfit.com, Retrieved 1-5-2019. Edited.
- ↑ “OLIVE”, www.webmd.com, Retrieved 1-5-2019. Edited.
- ↑ Mandy Freeman(27-2-2018), “9 reasons you should eat olives”, www.health24.com, Retrieved 1-5-2019. Edited.
- ↑ Katherine Zeratsky (20-7-2016), “If olive oil is high in fat, why is it considered healthy?”, www.mayoclinic.org, Retrieved 1-5-2019. Edited.
- ↑ Aaron Kandola (3-4-2019), “Health benefits of olive leaf extract”, www.medicalnewstoday.com, Retrieved 1-5-2019. Edited.
- ↑ Montealegre C1, Esteve C, García MC and Others (2014), “Proteins in olive fruit and oil.”, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Issue 5, Folder 54, Page 611-624. Edited.
- ↑ “Basic Report: 09193, Olives, ripe, canned (small-extra large)”, www.ndb.nal.usda.gov, Retrieved 1-5-2019. Edited.