Olives constitute one of the world’s largest fruit crops, with more than 25 million acres of olive trees planted worldwide. Even though more attention has been sometimes been given to their delicious oil than their whole food delights, olives are one of the world’s most widely enjoyed foods. Dozens of health-protective nutrients have been identified in olives and recent studies have taken a very close look at olive varieties, olive processing and changes that take place in olive nutrients.
While commonly recognized as a high-fat food (about 80-85% of the calories in olives come from fat), olives are not always appreciated for the type of fat they contain. Olives are unusual in their fat quality, because they provide almost three-quarters of their fat as oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid. (In addition they provide a small amount of the essential fatty acid called linoleic acid, and a very small amount of alphalinolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid).
In addition to their function as s found in olives have well-documented anti-inflammatory properties. Extracts from whole olives have been shown to function as anti-histamines at a cellular level. By blocking special histamine receptors (called H1 receptors), unique components in whole olive extracts help to provide us with anti-inflammatory benefits. Nutrition – Benefits of eating olives Olives are a remarkable source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.
Most prominent are two simple phenols (tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol) and several terpenes (especially oleuropein, erythrodiol, uvaol, oleanolic acid, elenoic acid and ligstroside). Flavonoids—including apigenin, luteolin, cyanidins, and peonidins)—are typically provided…