Even though more attention is usually given to their delicious oil than the whole food itself, olives are one of the world’s most widely enjoyed fruits.
Yes, they are fruits even though most of us think of them as zesty vegetables. Here are 10 reasons why you should be eating these little delicacies every single day!
by John Summerly | Prevent Disease
1. Cardiovascular Benefits of Olives
When free radicals oxidize cholesterol, blood vessels are damaged and fat builds up in arteries, possibly leading to a heart attack. The antioxidant nutrients in black olives impede this oxidation of cholesterol, thereby helping to prevent heart disease. Olives do contain fat, but it’s the healthy monounsaturated kind, which has been found to shrink the risk of atherosclerosis and increase good cholesterol.
When diets low in monounsaturated fat are altered to increase the monounsaturated fat content (without becoming too high in total fat), research study participants typically experience a decrease in their blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and LDL:HDL ratio. All of these changes lower our risk of heart disease.
Recent research studies have also shown that the monounsaturated fat found in olives (and olive oil) can help to decrease blood pressure. The oleic acid found in olives–once absorbed up into the body and transported to our cells–can change signaling patterns at a cell membrane level (specifically, altering G-protein associated cascades). These changes at a cell membrane level result in decreased blood pressure.