Originating from Mediterranean Europe, olives were brought to the Northern American region by the Spanish colonists, with missionaries planting the first tree in California in the eighteenth century. Since then, the United States has cultivated the crop, and to this day, remain as one of the top twenty olive producing countries in the world. Olives have long been hailed as a health food as it provides wholesome benefits to the body.
As you probably already know, there are two kinds of olives sold in the market, namely green and black olives. Green olives have been harvested while still unripe hence the color. Black olives, meanwhile, have been allowed to fully ripen prior to harvesting. This, along with the processing methods used, are the reasons for the dark hue of the latter type of olives.
Green olives and black olives are almost nutritionally identical except for its sodium content. As it turns out, green olives have more than twice the sodium content as compared to that of black olives. 15 grams or five medium pieces of green olives contain roughly around 215 to 360 milligrams of sodium. 15 grams or five medium black olives, on the other hand, have about 115 to 125 milligrams of sodium.
Read further and learn more about the benefits of olives and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends this vegetable.
Olives are primarily cultivated for its oil. The great thing about olives is that the majority of fats that the fruits contain is of the monounsaturated type, with 15 grams of olives having roughly 2 grams of fats, 1.5 grams of which is the monounsaturated type, and 0.5 grams of which is the polyunsaturated kind. Monounsaturated fat has long been found as beneficial to boosting brain function. And according to the American Heart Association, monounsaturated fat is responsible for lowering triglyceride, a type of lipid which contributes to arterial blockage. To optimal heart health and avoid cardiovascular disease, opt to eat food items like olives and avocados which are high in monounsaturated fats.
Olives are a good source of vitamin E as well. Hailed as an antioxidant, vitamin E helps in preventing inflammation and blood clots and so is an immune booster overall. For instances, it’s been found that a diet high in vitamin E alleviates the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in rats. In yet another study, this antioxidant showed potential in treating inflammatory bowel disease as well. Green olives contain twice as much vitamin E as compared to black olives and five pieces of the former have nearly 1 gram of this antioxidant vitamin.
Olives are an ideal snack for individuals looking to lose or manage their weight as well. 15 grams of green olives contain about 20 calories while black olives of the same serving have roughly 25 calories. Most of the calories come from the fat content which is 1.5 grams heart-healthy monounsaturated and 0.5 grams polyunsaturated fats. Olives are a great source of dietary fiber, too, so including it in your diet may further help in your weight loss goals.
Olives’ Practical Uses
Olives can be added to your favorite dips. Finely chop ten black olives and blend in half a cup of organic full-fat yogurt along with one tablespoon of finely chopped onion and one teaspoon of lemon juice and blend thoroughly. Keep in a glass food container and refrigerate to ensure freshness.
For a quick and healthy lunch, make a sandwich utilizing bread from soaked and sprouted wheat, fill with a piece of sardines in water or olive oil, garnish with green or black olive slices and your choice of fresh greens like sprouts.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the benefits of asparagus that will help you in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the vegetables on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
• Bok Choy
Also avoid if autoimmune disease or nightshade sensitivity:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the benefits of olives, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the benefits of olives.