Month: March 2019

Cacao: 5 Little Known Benefits of this Amazonian Superfood

Cacao: 5 Little Known Benefits of this Amazonian Superfood

Credit to Be Good Organics 5 Benefits of Raw Organic Cacao 1.  40 Times the Antioxidants of Blueberries Raw Organic Cacao has over 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries.  Yes 40 times!  It has an amazing ORAC score of 98,000 per 100g, vs blueberries at a […]

The best foods to eat for healthy, glowing skin

The best foods to eat for healthy, glowing skin

Credit to Vegan Food & Our skin is our largest organ and the first line of defence between our bodies and the outside world, protecting us from bacteria, viruses, pollution and chemical substances that we encounter daily. There are many factors that can impact […]

8 Surprising Benefits of Olives

8 Surprising Benefits of Olives


Credit to Organic Facts by by John Staughton

Olives are nutritious and delicious fruits with a range of health benefits including their ability to protect against antioxidant damage, heart disease, reverse bone loss, prevent various cancers, reduce inflammation and arthritis and improve digestion. They help to soothe allergic reactions, improve blood circulation, boost cognitive function, defend against infections, and lower blood pressure.

What are Olives?

Olives are oval-shaped fruits, botanically known as Olea Europaea. Olives are native to the Mediterranean region, tropical and central Asia, warmer regions of South America and various parts of Africa. They have been used for their culinary value and medicinal benefits for thousands of years, way back to ancient Greece and Rome. They are a staple ingredient in the Mediterranean diet and are enjoyed in salads, sandwiches, pizzas, pesto, or tapenade. Table olives (the ones which are not grown for extracting oil) can be consumed as a salty snack or appetizer.

There are close to 2,000 varieties of olives grown across the world, and each of them has more or less of the important components that add to your health. The two main types of olives are black olives and green olives.

Nutritional Value of Olives

The health and medicinal benefits of olives mainly come from iron, calcium, fiber, copper, vitamin E, vitamin K, choline, sodium, phenolic compounds, and oleic acid present in them. Olives are a rich source of antioxidants like oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, oleanolic acid, and quercetin. They also have a low glycemic index (GI).

Nutrition Facts

Olives, ripe, canned (small-extra large)
Serving Size :
Nutrient Value
Water [g] 79.99
Energy [kcal] 116
Protein [g] 0.84
Total lipid (fat) [g] 10.9
Carbohydrate, by difference [g] 6.04
Fiber, total dietary [g] 1.6
Sugars, total [g] 0
Calcium, Ca [mg] 88
Iron, Fe [mg] 6.28
Magnesium, Mg [mg] 4
Phosphorus, P [mg] 3
Potassium, K [mg] 8
Sodium, Na [mg] 735
Zinc, Zn [mg] 0.22
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg] 0.9
Thiamin [mg] 0
Riboflavin [mg] 0
Niacin [mg] 0.04
Vitamin B-6 [mg] 0.01
Folate, DFE [µg] 0
Vitamin B-12 [µg] 0
Vitamin A, RAE [µg] 17
Vitamin A, IU [IU] 330
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg] 1.65
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg] 0
Vitamin D [IU] 0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg] 1.4
Fatty acids, total saturated [g] 2.28
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g] 7.65
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g] 0.63
Fatty acids, total trans [g] 0
Cholesterol [mg] 0
Caffeine [mg] 0
Sources include : USDA

Health Benefits of Olives

Let’s explore the health benefits in greater detail below.

Antioxidant Properties

Olives are antioxidant powerhouses, which work right from reducing inflammation to fighting bad bacteria. Studies have shown that eating olives can raise levels of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant, in the blood. These fruits also act as a defense against bacteria that cause airway and stomach infections.

Improve Heart Health

Olives possess a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which has been linked to preventing heart diseases like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, plaque build-up, and strokes. The oil of olives is where this oleic acid is located, and it is responsible for lowering the blood pressure and cholesterol, which reduces the chances of cardiovascular complications and general stress on the system.

Furthermore, olives are rich in antioxidants which are commonly linked to cancer prevention, but also protect the heart. Phenolic compounds like hydroxytyrosol are antioxidants that act as anticoagulants to thin the blood, which reduces the chances of developing blood clots that block the flow of blood. It further eases the blood vessel tension and dilates the blood vessels, which reduces the strain on the heart and increases blood flow. This ensures proper functioning and oxygenation of the various organ systems. Also, the fiber present in olives boosts heart health by eliminating excess cholesterol in the blood.

Prevent Cancer

The mystery surrounding the “cure for cancer” remains a major problem in the world today. There are many alternative ways to treat, slow down, or even prevent cancer from occurring. First of all, olives contain anthocyanins, which are positively connected to cancer prevention as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory substance. Antioxidants defend the body against free radicals, which mutate healthy cells into cancerous ones, so adding as many antioxidants as you can is the best way to protect yourself.

Secondly, olives have oleic acid as mentioned earlier, which inhibit certain growth factor receptors that trigger the development of breast cancer. Lastly, hydroxytyrosol comes into play for a third time, working to prevent DNA mutation and abnormal cell growth. In other words, it acts as a second type of antioxidant. Even the skin of the olive contains maslinic acid, which has been connected to programmed cell death (apoptosis) in colon cancer cells.

Lower Bone Loss

People eating a traditional “Mediterranean diet” have been found to have lower instances of bone loss and osteoporosis, but the definite explanation behind this phenomenon was only discovered recently. The compound mentioned earlier, hydroxytyrosol, as well as oleuropein, have been positively linked in research studies to increased calcium deposition and bone growth, leading to a distinct drop in osteoporosis. Add a healthy amount of olives or olive oil to your diet if you are already at a risk for bone degeneration, or if you have some family history of it.

Reduce Inflammation

Various compounds in olives function not only as antioxidant compounds but also as anti-inflammatory ones. These reduce the inflammation from the body, which includes a reduction in pain and irritation in the joints, muscles, injuries, tendons, and other extremities. Particularly in terms of arthritis, gout, and other rheumatic conditions, olives can be a major benefit and it alleviates the associated pain.

Aid Digestion

Olives are a healthy source of fiber, supplying almost 20% of the daily requirements for fiber in a single cup. High fiber content ensures proper functioning of your digestive system. It stimulates peristaltic motion in the intestines, ensuring smooth bowel movements. Fiber also makes you feel full, so ghrelin, the hunger hormone, doesn’t get released, and therefore, overeating can be controlled. Not only can fiber increase your digestive and gastrointestinal health, but it can also help you lose weight. Fiber also boosts heart health by working to eliminate excess cholesterol in the blood.

Health benefits of olive - infographic

Treat Allergies

In relation to their anti-inflammatory activities, olives can also help to reduce the intensity or frequency of allergic reactions. Certain components of olives function as anti-histamines by blocking the receptor sites for histamines, which induce allergic reactions. By adding olives to your diet, you may reduce the signs of seasonal allergies, as well as specific allergic reactions. This is a powerful and beneficial aspect of olives that is often overlooked.

Improve Circulation

Olives are a rich source of both iron and copper, two essential components for the creation of red blood cells. Without these two minerals, red blood cell count in the body will diminish, resulting in anemia. It is characterized by fatigue, upset stomachs, headaches, cognitive malfunction, and a general decline of organ health and functionality.

Antibacterial Qualities

Oleuropein, a valuable chemical component of olives, also functions as an antimicrobial and antibacterial agent for the body. Eating plenty of olives increases the presence of this chemical, which defends against bacterial infections throughout the body, both internally and externally.

Skin Care

Intake of olives helps reduce signs of aging such as wrinkles and other skin-related diseases. Olives can be used as an effective skin cleanser. The presence of copper, iron, fiber, and vitamin E along with other nutrients in them aid in keeping skin soft and healthy.

Side Effects of Olives

Olives are generally extremely healthy food. However, there are some seasonal allergies associated with olive tree pollen, which can sometimes get into the olives so allergic reactions are not unheard of.

Also, consider the potent acids and organic compounds in olives and olive oil. It is not recommended to eat too many olives while pregnant or breastfeeding, as insufficient studies have been done on the transference of material from the mother to the child.

Blossom Restaurants/ Best place to be

Blossom Restaurants/ Best place to be

Blossom is a vegan restaurant group in New York City that was established to creatively bring vegan dining to a fresh, new and delicious level. Starting in 2005 with our historic flagship location in Chelsea, to today in two Manhattan neighborhoods, we bring animal-caring, health […]

Here’s the Vegan ‘Game of Thrones’ Survival Kit You’ll Need for the Final Season

Here’s the Vegan ‘Game of Thrones’ Survival Kit You’ll Need for the Final Season

According to Livekindly the eighth season of “Game of Thrones” starts next month and whether or not you’re ready for it, this is the final season. So get your vegan survival kit ready. Does this mean we’ll finally know who will sit on the Iron […]

IKEA Debuts Vegan Soft-Serve at All European Locations

IKEA Debuts Vegan Soft-Serve at All European Locations

VegNews find out that Furniture giant IKEA will add strawberry vegan soft-serve to the menu of its in-store bistros across European locations in April. Last year, the company teased the arrival of vegan soft serve—which it created with a strawberry purée base—as part of its mission to become more sustainable. “In the past month, we have been working closely with our supplier to find both the right taste and the perfect texture for this new soft ice. Our ambition was to create a plant-based treat that is as soft, airy, and delicious as our popular dairy-based soft ice,” Sandra Lindh, Commercial Manager of IKEA Food Services, said. “It’s an easy, affordable, and delicious treat for customers that either need or want to skip dairy products and prefer plant-based food options.” IKEA is currently working on new soft-serve formulations using oats and soy and plans to expand the strawberry vegan treat globally. Last year, IKEA debuted a vegan hot dog on the bistro menu, and, after selling 5 million units, introduced KORVMOJ—a take-home 10-pack that is currently available in European locations with plans to expand to North America.

Scientists Grow Slaughter-Free Bacon on Blades of Grass

Scientists Grow Slaughter-Free Bacon on Blades of Grass

VegNews revealed that researchers at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom are growing meat cells on blades of grass. The process builds upon what clean-meat (also known as “cultured” or “lab-grown” meat) companies have already established but uses grass as structural support (known […]