It's no secret that olives pack a powerful health punch. Pressed into cooking oil or eaten cured and whole, these little fruits are building a rep as excellent heart helpers, but the benefits go beyond just a cardiovascular boost. Know these major perks, and you'll want to start living the Mediterranean way. Olives are chock-full of monounsaturated fatty acids, a type of fat linked with lowering LDL "bad" cholesterol while maintaining HDL "good" cholesterol". The powerful antioxidant properties of olive polyphenols can also protect against oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, a key initiating factor of heart disease.
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In addition to all that healthy fat, olives are packed with antioxidants, says Parthena Kotzekidou , PhD, professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. Ricardo Malheiro , PhD, a researcher in the school of agriculture at the same institute. The pair previously looked at table olives in Portugal and found that their extracts can inhibit certain disease-causing pathogens. Antonio Bevilacqua , PhD, a microbiologist at the University of Foggia in Italy, says he has isolated some probiotic strains from the fruits and used them in olives and other foods.
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Olives are delicious and salty small fruits that grow on the olive tree. Their extracted oil, olive oil , is commonly used in weight-loss protocols, but eating whole olives for weight loss can also be effective. The key to consuming olives for weight loss is to eat them in moderation. Unlike green leafy vegetables , the calories in olives add up quickly, even in smaller portion sizes. They are also known to be high in sodium.
The olive is a fruit that when ripened turns black. It varies in origin, color, shape, size, and flavor. You cannot eat it right off of the tree because it requires special processing to reduce its bitter flavor. Black olives as one type of olives are quite popular and taste great.