Olives for health and diseases and for other uses

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Olive is a tree. People use the oil from the fruit and seeds, water extracts of the fruit, and the leaves to make medicine.

Is olive a fruit or vegetable?

Olives are technically fruits. The stones inside act as the seeds for the Olea europaea tree. In any botanist’s book that means they’re technically classified as fruits — specifically a kind called drupes, a.k.a. stone fruits. This category also includes sweeter produce like mango, dates, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, and plums, but botany doesn’t rely on taste to make distinction

Olives

Typers of olives

Niçoise

These purplish brown French beauties are pinkie size, with a slightly sour flavor and great for dressing up raw vegetables.

Picholine

this type of olives originally from France, these torpedo-shaped olives are often seen in martinis. They’re an irresistible snacking olive.

Kalamata

These widely available olives come from Greece. Typically preserved in vinegar or oil, kalamatas add salty depth to dips and couscous dishes.

Moroccan Salt-Cured

these olives are wrinkly and black, with an intense bitter flavor, they are cured in salt, then preserved in oil. Add to a braised chicken dinner or a tagine.

Cerignola

These olivesare large, meaty Italian have a sweet bite and can be green or black. Perfect on a cheese board.

olive nutrition

The nutritional content of 100 grams (g) of ripe, canned black olives is as follows:

Macronutrients:

energy: 116 calories
protein: 0.84 g
total fat: 10.90 g
carbohydrate: 6.04 g
fiber: 1.60 g


Minerals:

calcium: 88 milligrams (mg)
iron: 6.28 mg
magnesium: 4 mg
potassium: 8 mg
sodium: 735 mg
zinc: 0.22 mg
copper: 0.25 mg


Vitamins:

vitamin C: 0.90 mg
niacin: 0.04 mg
vitamin B-6: 0.01 mg
vitamin A: 17 micrograms (µg)
vitamin E: 1.65 mg
vitamin K: 1.4 µg


The nutritional content of 100 g of canned or bottled green olives is as follows:

Macronutrients:

energy: 145 calories
protein: 1.03 g
total fat: 15.32 g
carbohydrate: 3.84 g
fiber: 3.30 g


Minerals:

calcium: 52 mg
iron: 0.49 mg
magnesium: 11 mg
potassium: 42 mg
sodium: 1,556 mg
zinc: 0.04 mg
copper: 0.12 mg


Vitamins:

niacin: 0.24 mg
vitamin B-6: 0.03 mg
folate: 3 µg
vitamin A: 20 µg
vitamin E: 3.81 mg
vitamin K: 1.4 µg


A tablespoon of standard olive oil contains the following nutrients, among others:

energy: 119 calories
total fat: 13.5 g (including 9.85 g monounsaturated fatty acids, 1.42 g polyunsaturated fatty acids, and 1.86 g saturated fatty acids)
iron: 0.08 mg
vitamin E: 1.94 mg
vitamin K: 8.13 µg

Olives preservation

To preserve its characteristic fruity and slightly bitter taste, olives can be pickled or dried. Key to the process is salt, which draws out some of the fruit’s pungent bitterness and unlocks its best flavour qualities.

Important to remember: All olive varieties start off green and turn black as they ripen. Green olives are harvested when the fruits have reached full size, but before it darkens in colour. These will have a more zesty taste whereas ripened black olives are softer on the palate with a full-bodied tTo preserve its characteristic fruity and slightly bitter taste, olives can be pickled or dried. Key to the process is salt, which draws out some of the fruit’s pungent bitterness and unlocks its best flavour qualities. Here’s how we preserve our olives in brine.aste.

Different ways to use olives

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
Aglio and Olio (Garlic and Oil) is one of the simplest but most delicious ways to eat pasta. The basic method involves gently frying sliced garlic in olive oil and then tossing the sauce over spaghetti cooked al dente in salted water. But we like to add sliced black or Kalamata olives to our Aglio e Olio. The juicy olives add flavour to the dish and make it a luxurious treat.

Tapenade Dip
While we’re talking about olives and garlic, you can make a tasty tapenade by blending finely chopped olives and garlic with a drizzle of virgin olive oil and a squirt of lemon juice. It’s perfect as a dip for breadsticks and crudités.

Greek Salad
A simple yet stunning Greek salad can be made with crisp lettuce, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese and whole black olives. Tasty and healthy!

Marinated Margie Olives
Here’s an interesting little recipe. If you’re not keen on the flavour of olives, why not change it by marinating them in balsamic vinegar, garlic, lemon juice and whisky! Granted, it’s an odd combination … but we’re going to try it out! The recipe is here.

Pissaladiere
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has a fabulous recipe for pizza topped with olives, capers, anchovies and onions. It might sound a little salty but we think it’s a winning combination! You can find the recipe here. In fact, olives go well on almost any pizza.

Easy Peasy Pasta Sauce
Olives are a great addition to any pasta sauce – our favourite is bacon, mushroom, tomato and olive, but we also love combining olives with Mediterranean vegetables like aubergine, courgette and red pepper.

Olive Pesto
Olives can be used in a pesto-like sauce that you can mix with pasta, add to soups and stews or even spread on crackers and bread. Try blending olives with garlic, basil, pine nuts and a little olive oil, or add freshly chopped chilli or dried chilli flakes for something a little spicier.

Olive Bread
Olives add a slightly sour, salty flavour to bread, making it the perfect accompaniment to sweet Moroccan tagines. Simply chop your olives and add them to any basic bread .

Olive Mayonnaise
Turn mayonnaise into something sublime by creaming it with finely chopped pitted olives and a splash of lemon juice. Delicious with salads or cold meats, or simply spread it on sourdough crispbread for a delicious snack.

Bread, cheese, olives and wine
Taking it right back to basics, a selection of cheeses with freshly baked bread, mixed antipasti olives and a glass of fine wine is perhaps one of the best ways to end the day!

Olives benefits

Antioxidant Food:

Free radicals cause plastic to deteriorate, paint to fade, works of art to degrade. They can also cause age related illnesses and contribute to strokes, cancer and heart attacks. Yikes! Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons, on a quest to find another electron and are very reactive and damaging to surrounding molecules. The enemy of the free radical? Antioxidants! Antioxidants are molecules which can safely interact with free radicals, giving up some of their electrons and neutralizing the free radical. (It’s like the antioxidant gives the free radical a hug and helps it feel better.) Olives are antioxidant rich food, which means every time you eat them you send an army of good guys into your system to help those bad-guy free radicals chill out.

Low Calorie :

One olive only has about 7 calories. They have a ‘negative calorie load’, which means you burn more calories digesting an olive that you gain eating one.
Good Fat :

Despite the common misperception, olives are not fattening. They contain mono-unsaturated fat, the same good fat you find in nuts and avocados. Mono-unsaturated fat in the diet increases good cholesterol. In research studies, when diets increase mono-unsaturated fat (without becoming too high in total fat), participants experienced a decrease in their blood cholesterol.
Memory :

Olives contain polyphenols, a natural chemical that reduce oxidative stress in the brain. By eating a daily serving of healthy olives you can help improve your memory.
Beauty :

Eating healthy olives helps skin stay soft and healthy since they contain oleic acid. Eat olives and stay good-looking.

Appetite control :

By eating a few olives before a meal, you can take the edge off your appetite. This is because the monounsaturated fatty acids contained in healthy olives slow down the digestion process and stimulate the hormone cholecystokinin, which sends messages of fullness and satisfaction to the brain.
Pain reduction :

Olives oil contain oleocanthal, a substance with anti-inflammatory agents that can act as a natural Ibuprofen.
Anti Cancer :

The fact that olives are an antioxidant-rich food and have anti-inflammatory properties make them a natural protection against cancer because chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can be key factors in the development of cancer. If our cells get overwhelmed by oxidative stress and chronic excessive inflammation, our risk of cell cancer is increased. By providing us with rich supplies of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, olives can help us avoid this dangerous combination of chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
Vitamin E :

Olives are a great source of vitamin E, which has the ability to neutralize free radicals in body fat. Especially when working with the stable monounsaturated fats found in olives, vitamin E can make cellular processes safer. If the DNA of a cell is damaged, it can mutate and become cancerous. Studies have shown that a diet supplemented with olives and olive oil leads to a lower risk of colon cancer, almost as low a risk as a diet rich in fish oil.
Fiber :

Olives are full of dietary fiber. Olives are salty, containing about 60 mg of sodium per olive. Through osmosis, you can reduce the saltiness of your olives by replacing a portion of brine with plain water. If you have high blood pressure or have been advised to reduce sodium intake, consume all salty food responsibly.

Extraordinary Benefits of Using Olive Oil

Take your bottle of olive oil and find out other surprising uses for it around the house: for your skin, your furniture, and more.

Use as hair conditioner

If your hairs are dry and brittle as sagebrush in the desert , Put the moisture back into it by heating 1/2 cup olive oil (don’t boil it), and then liberally applying it to your hair. Cover your hair with a plastic grocery bag, then wrap it in a towel. Let it set for 45 minutes, then shampoo and thoroughly rinse.

Olive oil for acne

Applying oil to your face and massage for 5 minutes in circular movement to treat acne.Make a paste by mixing 4 tablespoons salt with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Pour the mixture onto your hands and fingers and work it around your face. Leave it on for a minute or two, then rinse it off with warm, soapy water. Apply daily for one week, then cut back to two or three times weekly. You should see a noticeable improvement in your condition. (The principle is that the salt cleanses the pores by exfoliation, while the olive oil restores the skin’s natural moisture.)

Olive oil for clean up greacy hands

To remove car grease or paint from your hands, pour 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt or sugar into your palms. Vigorously rub the mixture into your hands and between your fingers for several minutes; then wash it off with soap and water. Not only will your hands be cleaner, they’ll be softer as well.

Olive oil use as furniture polish

Another thing to add to your list of olive oil benefits includes shining up furniture. Restore the lost luster of your wooden furniture by whipping up some serious homemade furniture polish that’s just as good as any of the commercial stuff. Combine 2 parts olive oil and 1 part lemon juice or white vinegar in a clean recycled spray bottle, shake it up, and spritz on. Leave on the mixture for a minute or two, then wipe off with a clean terry-cloth or paper towel.