It’s true that olives do have some fat, but it’s the incredibly healthy monounsaturated variety. Monounsaturated fats have been found to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.
However, olives contain a triple whammy for your health that works in synergy to provide extreme benefits. Along with monounsaturated fats, olives are rich in vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that neutralizes damaging free radicals, along with polyphenols and flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Here are some interesting olive health facts:
– Help prevent the frequency and intensity of hot flashes in women going though menopause.
– Eliminate excess cholesterol in the blood.
– Control blood pressure.
– A source of dietary fibre as an alternative to fruits and vegetables.
– A great source of Vitamin E
– Act as an antioxidant, protecting cells
– Reduce the effects of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, benign and malignant tumours, including less serious varicose veins and cavities
– Help prevent blood clots that could lead to a myocardial infarction or deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
– A great protection against anaemia
– Enhances fertility and reproductive system
– Play an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system, especially during oxidative stress and chronic viral diseases
– And just in case these benefits weren’t enough, they are also a great aphrodisiac.
– Nutritious and rich in mineral content as sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and iodine
– Provide essential vitamins and amino acids.
– Contain oleic acid, which has beneficial properties to protect the hear.
– Contain polyphenols, a natural chemical that reduce oxidative stress in the brain. So by eating a daily serving of olives helps improve your memory by up to 25%.
– Just one cup of olives is a great source of iron – 4.4mg.
– Eating olives can improve the appearance of wrinkles by 20% since they contain oleic acid, which keeps skin soft and healthy.
– By eating just 10 olives before a meal, you can reduce your appetite by up to 20%. This is because the monounsaturated fatty acids contained in olives slow down the digestion process and stimulate the hormone cholecystokinin, a hormone that sends messages of fullness to the brain.
– Not only does it do that, but it also helps your body to stimulate the production of adiponectin, a chemical that burns fat for up to five hours after ingestion.
Green Olive Soup
Ingredients -2 cups cracked green olives, Mideastern or Greek, soaked in water for an hour, drained, and chopped; 2 Tablespoons olive oil; 1 onion, chopped; 2 cloves garlic, chopped; 3 Tablespoons olive oil; 4 Tablespoons flour; 1/8 teaspoon cayenne; 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock; 1/2 cup heavy cream; 1/4 cup dry sherry,
Garnish: minced parsley
Method: In a large saucepan, sauté the onions, garlic, and two-thirds of the olives in the olive oil until the onions are transparent. Puree with 1 cup of stock. Heat oil in the saucepan and stir in flour and cayenne, cooking into a roux. Whisk in remaining stock, then pour in the puree. Bring to a slow boil, let thicken, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in cream, pepper, and remaining chopped olives, bring back to a boil, then simmer 5 more minutes. When ready to serve, heat to serving temperature, stir in sherry and cook for a minute, then ladle into bowls. Garnish with generous pinches of minced parsley.