When you’re looking for a healthy way of eating, there’s one diet that regularly comes top of the (olive) tree. The Mediterranean diet. Dr Michael Moseley said it’s seen as the healthiest, most nutrient rich diet on the planet. The health experts and nutritionists working for the U.S. News & World Report (who decide on the world’s best diet every January) have once again given the Mediterranean diet first place – for the fifth year in a row!
Olives, of course, are an important part of the Mediterranean diet. Olive production started in the Mediterranean. Crete is reportedly home to the world’s oldest olive tree. And Spain, Italy and Greece are the world’s biggest olive producers (by a long way). So what nutritious goodness and health benefits does the humble olive deliver? Well, quite a lot as it goes.
It just so happens that olives are a brilliant source of Vitamin E, and include other vitamins and minerals. Vitamin E’s known for taking care of your hair, skin and eyes (as well as building your immune system up like a boss). Which surely means snacking on a handful of olives can be part of your skin or hair care routine too.
We’re all getting familiar with the idea of ‘healthy fats’. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs for short) are the healthy type of fat you want to enjoy on your plate. Reducing, or cutting out, saturated fats and trans fats is the aim. Those baddies are naturally found in red meat and dairy, as well as baked and fried foods.
Olives on the other hand contain oleic acid – a monounsaturated fatty acid. A mouthful to say, but a delight to eat, and great news for your body. Studies suggest oleic acid may lower cholesterol and fight inflammation. Which is just the kind of healthy goodness you want on your (in)side.
The phenolic compounds found in olives have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties too. That means they can help to protect the cells in your body, giving you an extra layer of defence. All thanks to the tasty little olives you’ve enjoyed munching on.
There have been a lot of studies into (and therefore a wider awareness of) the health benefits of olive oil rather than olives themselves. But they share a lot of nutritious attributes. And of course, you can easily enjoy the benefits of both. Marinating olives is a no-brainer in the Mediterranean kitchen. A bowl of your favourite olives, with your choice of garlic, chilli, herbs, citrus fruits and more, with a healthy drizzle of olive oil is all you need. Stir it well, pop it in a jar, and there’s a healthy snack in the fridge whenever you’re ready. You’ll find a few ideas to get you started on our website.
The good news if you only like green olives and not black olives (or vice versa) is that there’s little nutritional difference between the two. So you can feel just as good tucking into our Stoneless Hojiblanca Green Olives as you can our Stoneless Hojiblanca Black Olives. And if you enjoy our filled olives, you may be enjoying extra health benefits too. Jalapenos (found in our Stoneless Manzanilla Olives filled with Jalapeno) are rich in vitamins, whilst the medicinal properties of garlic are well-reported too. That’s another good reason to tuck into our Stoneless Manzanilla Olives filled with Garlic!
Whatever your favourite olives, and however you enjoy them, adding a healthy handful to your diet everyday is a great way to get a nutritious boost of vitamins, minerals and more. What a bonus that they taste so good too!