The Perfect Olives Nutrition Facts And Properties!
Recent research studies have also shown that the monounsaturated fat found in olives (and olive oil) can help to decrease blood pressure. The list below shows some key phytonutrients in olives, organized by their chemical category:
- Simple Phenols
- Terpenes (including secoiridoids and triterpenes)
- Oleanolic acid
- Elenoic acid
- Hydroxycinnamic acids
- Caffeic acid
- Cinnamic acid
- Ferulic acid
- Coumaric acid
- Hydroxybenzoic acids
- Gallic acid
- Protocatechuic acid
- Vanillic acid
- Syringic acid
- Hydroxyphenylacetic acids
- Homovanillic acid
- Homveratric acid
The olives, also the olive oil is popular because of their:
Olives are a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E, and they also contain small amounts of antioxidant minerals like selenium and zinc.
Perhaps the best-studied antioxidant phytonutrient found in olives is oleuropein. Oleuropein is found exclusively in olives, and it’s been shown to function as an antioxidant nutrient in a variety of ways. Intake of oleuropein has been shown to decrease oxidation of LDL cholesterol; to scavenge nitric oxide (a reactive oxygen-containing molecule); to lower several markers of oxidative stress; and to help protect nerve cells from oxygen-related damage.
Many of the phytonutrients 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.The anti-inflammatory benefits of olives have been given special attention in the area of cardiovascular health. In heart patients, olive polyphenols have been determined to lower blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is a widely used blood measurement for assessing the likelihood of unwanted inflammation. Olive polyphenols have also been found to reduce activity in a metabolic pathway called the arachidonic acid pathway, which is central for mobilizing inflammatory processes.
Anti Cancer Properties
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of olives make them a natural for protection against cancer because chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can be key factors in the development of cancer. Olives can help us avoid this dangerous combination of chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
Research on whole olives and cancer has often focused on two cancer types: breast cancer and stomach (gastric) cancer. In the case of breast cancer, special attention has been paid to the triterpene phytonutrients in olives, including erythrodiol, uvaol and oleanolic acid. These olive phytonutrients have been shown to help interrupt the life cycle of breast cancer cells. Interruption of cell cycles has also been shown in the case of gastric cancer, but with this second type of cancer, the exact olive phytonutrients involved are less clear.
Tips: How to prepare them:
- Olive tapenade is a delicious and easy-to-make spread that you can use as a dip, sandwich spread, or topping for fish and poultry. To make it, put pitted olives in a food processor with olive oil, garlic, and your favorite seasonings.
- Toss pasta with chopped olives, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs of your choice.
- Marinate olives in olive oil, lemon zest, coriander seeds and cumin seeds.
- Add chopped olives to your favorite tuna or chicken salad recipe.
- Set out a small plate of olives on the dinner table along with some vegetable crudités for your family to enjoy with the meal.