Olives Nutrition Facts

Olives Nutrition Facts
Olives are technically classified as a fruit, coming from the Olea europea tree. They are a stone fruit, which means they have small stone in the middle, similar to cherries, peaches, and mangoes. They originate in the Mediterranean region of the world, and have been consumed since at least the time of the Ancient Greek culture, if not earlier. Olives are too bitter to eat when they are first picked, and in order to make them edible they must be cured. Some olives may be picked ripe while others are left to ripen on the tree. Olives are important in the Mediterranean diet, and they have been found to provide many health benefits when consumed as olives and as olive oil.
Interesting Olives Nutrition Facts:
The Ancient Greek civilization believed that olive trees could bring prosperity and peace, so they were often grown by this population.
The olive tree is an evergreen that can reach 50 feet in height, and may live as long as 500 years. The tree begins to produce olives between 3 to 4 years of age, and the olives usually range from 3 to 4 grams.
Olives are believed to be high in antioxidants, which not only help to protect the body from cancer and bone loss (osteoporosis), but also to protect against heart disease.
The oil from olives can be extracted with cold-pressed methods to produce extra virgin olive oil. This is a common ingredient in many of the dishes in the Mediterranean diet - considered to be one of the healthiest in the world.
90% of the olives grown in the Mediterranean region are used for making olive oil, which has become popular around the world.
There are approximately 59 calories in 10 olives weighing 4 grams each.
Olives are approximately 80% water, and 10 to 11% fat.
The main fat in olives is oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid. This fatty acid has been linked to health benefits such as reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, and decreasing inflammation in the body.
The carbohydrates in olives are mostly fiber, making up as much as 86% of the total fiber in this tiny fruit.
Olives contain vitamin E, iron, copper, and calcium.
Many olives are packaged in salty brine or even saltwater. This results in high sodium content in most olives.
Olives contain many antioxidants including oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, oleonalic acid, and quercetin. These antioxidants have a variety of health benefits including preventing heart disease and liver damage, lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and helping to regulate blood fats and cholesterol in the body.
Studies are being done to determine whether olives have probiotic benefits. Because of their high fiber content, it is likely that they do contribute to healthy gut bacteria.
The processing of olives can take only a few days or it can take several months.
Olives and olive oil are believed to prevent bone loss. Rates of osteoporosis are lower in the Mediterranean region, which may be attributed to the olive and olive oil consumption by the people living there.

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