In a Mediterranean diet, olives are essential. Not only are they colourful and tasty, they are extremely healthy— who knew?
Olives are known to be an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, to which many of olive oil’s health benefits have been ascribed, especially its ability to prevent heart disease. Both olives and olive oil have been studied because of their potential beneficial effects toward blood pressure and cholesterol levels. What else can olives so do for you?
1) Protect against colon, breast and skin cancer. Olives and olive oil contain phenolic antioxidants as well as anti-cancer compounds such as squalene and terpenoid.
2) Olives can reduce pain. They contain a compound called oleocanthal, which has been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties— mimicking the acts of ibuprofen. Adding olives to your diet can reduce the pain of arthritis.
3) Olives and olive oil protect against ulcers. The antimicrobial properties in olives help to combat the bacteria responsible for causing stomach ulcers.
4) Olives contain a substancial amount of iron! Iron also helps to build he enzymes responsible for regulating immune function and cognitive development.
The next time you’re wondering what your Spring meal is missing, use olives.
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