Olives – Fantastically Diverse Fruit

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Apurva Sethi
Apurva is a fashion and food enthusiast. She chose fashion as her career and food as her passion. She is greatly fond of trying out new cuisines at different places and making them at home, in her own style. She also loves to seek and learn new things about the food industry constantly. So, here she is, to share her easy-peasy ways of cooking.

Olives have been part of the healthy human diet for the last many centuries, and this small fruit grows on the olive tree. These belong to the fruit group called drupes and are related to almonds, peaches, cherries, and mangoes. Dark green olives and all other olives are rich in Vitamin E and have other powerful antioxidants. The healthy fats of olives are extracted for producing olive oils which also have many incredible health benefits. 

Nutrition Facts About Olives

You can enjoy olives in your sandwiches, salads and other Italian cuisines. Olives are green in color, and when they ripe, they turn black. The weights of olive are usually between 3-5 grams. If we talk about the nutrition facts about this small fruit, then 3.5 ounces of canned black olives will have 115-145 calories. These have sugar, fiber, carbs, protein, water, and fats be it saturated, monosaturated or polyunsaturated. Olives have 11-15% fat and out of which 74% is oleic acid, a monosaturated fatty acid that is an important component for the olive oil. This fruit comprises 4-6% carbs, and that is why it is called low-carb fruit. You can say that olive is an unusual fruit with high-fat content.

Olive is a good source of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin E, iron, copper, calcium and sodium. Black and green olives contain a high amount of Vitamin E, sodium when packaged in saltwater, whereas black olives are a good source of iron. This fruit is also rich in antioxidants like Oleuropein, Hydroxytyrosol, Tyrosol, Quercetin and Oleanolic acid. The fresh and unripe olives are abundant in Oleuropein, and during the ripening, this antioxidant is broken into a powerful antioxidant hydroxytyrosol.

Processing of Olives

You must know that olives are very bitter, that is why they are not eaten fresh. The bitterness of unripe olives that is due to oleuropein is removed during fermentation. Ripe and black olives have a lower amount of bitter compound. Some varieties of olives can be consumed even without processing once they are fully ripe. Processing of the olives can take a few days to a few months, and this can have a different effect on the color, texture and taste of the fruit. During the fermentation of the dark green olives lactic acid, the natural preservative protects it from harmful bacteria. Cured and fermented olive can be eaten, not the fresh olives as they are bitter in taste.

Benefits of olives

Olives and Their Health Benefits

Stuffed green olives or any other variety of olives have many health benefits which are related to cancer prevention and heart.

  • Olives are rich in various antioxidants which help in fighting inflammation, reducing the growth of microorganisms. Studies have also shown that by eating the pulpy residue of this fruit will increase the blood level of the powerful antioxidant glutathione in your body.
  • Fatty acid, the oleic acid in olives is good for improving the health of your heart by regulating the cholesterol level and protecting the bad cholesterol from oxidation. Olives and olive oil are believed to reduce blood pressure and thereby improve heart health.
  • There is speculation that olives protect people from osteoporosis the disease, which is considered for decreasing the bone quality and bone mass.
  • Dark green olives and olive oils can help in reducing the risk of cancer as well as other chronic diseases. This is due to the presence of higher content of oleic acid and antioxidant. 

Adding high-quality olive oil to the meals and appetizers can be a delicious experience for you as they are low in carbs (discover recommended olive oil here) These small fruits are high in healthy fats and have many health benefits which, when incorporated into your daily diet, can help make you healthy. If you want to add this healthy olive to your diet, then you can try adding black, ripe or stuffed and canned olives and make your cuisine healthier. You can toss these black and green olives in the salads or pasta, simmered in the sauce or plopped in a martini or ground them into spreads.

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