The olive fruit is typically consumed as a starter or added to dishes to enhance their taste and flavour, unlike other fruits which can also be consumed raw, without any additions. Olive fruits are also pressed to produce olive oil, which is getting increasingly popular day-by-day. The olive fruit offers myriad health benefits and is especially known for its medicinal properties and its usefulness in treating skin and hair ailments. Read on to discover the numerous nutritional and health benefits of Olive fruit.
Unlike other fruits, the olive fruit is not consumed as is. Olives are very bitter in taste and have to be treated by bacterial fermentation. Even then, the salty-flavoured fruit is used as a topping or a starter and not as it is. The olive fruit is a drupe which means that it contains a stone or a seed surrounded by edible pulp. The fruit can be either used as table fruit or pressed into oil. With the rising popularity of Italian and Mediterranean cuisines, the fruit has also become extremely popular and is now being consumed by people all over the world on a regular basis. The fruit is typically added to dishes to enhance the taste and flavour of the preparation. Let us look at some ways in which olive fruits can be consumed:
- Eat olives as a snack along with the main meal.
- Serve them as appetizers or starters along with bread and cheese.
- Add them to salads, pastas and pizzas.
- Make delicious dips and sauces using olives.
One of the most recent discoveries is the health benefits of olive oil. It is considered a much healthier alternative to other forms of cooking oil such a vegetable oil, sunflower oil, mustard oil and others. One of the key health benefits of olive oil is achieved by using extra virgin olive oil in salads and dressings. The pomace olive oil is a less expensive grade of olive oil. It is made by secondary pressing of the pulp left over from the first pressing of olive, which is used to get the extra virgin olive oil. The pomace olive oil has a much higher smoke point as a result of which it can be used for deep frying and other types of high temperature cooking methods.
The olive fruit offers myriad health benefits to its consumers. From improving vision to preventing several diseases, the fruit is especially known for its medicinal properties and its usefulness in treating skin and hair ailments.
Read on to discover the numerous nutritional and health benefits of Olive, as well as some storage tips and our favorite recipes.
Olives can be readily available in stores all around the season.
Storage: Packed/canned olives may be kept at a dark cool place until the “use by” date from the manufacturer. However, once opened, the fruits should be placed inside the refrigerator, preferably transferred onto a glass or plastic bowl and immersed in brine. Use them within 1-2 months of purchase.
Cleaning & Cutting: Cured and ready to eat olives are available in the stores and all you have to do once open the jar is to give them a wash in clean water to bring down sodium content.
How to Buy: While purchasing whole olives, make sure that the fruit is not too raw. When purchasing canned/packed olives, make sure to check the “use by” date from the manufacturer.
Olives are a very healthy food. Besides providing energy, they compose of significant amounts of plant-derived anti-oxidants, minerals, phyto-sterols, and vitamins.
Mineral Content: Olives are a good source of many minerals like calcium, copper, iron, manganese, and zinc.
Vitamin & Compounds: Olive contains a good amount of vitamin E. Olive fruit contains tyrosol phenolic compounds such as oleuropein and oleocanthal.
Water Content: Olives are 75 percent water by weight.
Carbohydrate Content: Olives provide 115 calories per 100 g.
Beneficial for breastfeeding mothers: Olive fruits contain linolenic acid that is beneficial for breastfeeding mothers. Deficiency of the acid leads to decreased growth of the baby and increased skin diseases.
Improves functioning of Liver: The presence of chlorine in olives helps in improving functions of the liver and getting rid of waste materials from the body.
Beneficial for hair: Topical application of olive oil on the scalp and hair enhances the cuticles and offer more moisture to the hair, thus, making it healthier, shinier and softer.
Prevents several diseases: Consuming olives and olive oil help in preventing and lowering the risk of diseases such as asthma, diabetes, atherosclerosis, arthritis and colon cancer.
Beneficial for Postmenopausal women: Olives are known to reduce instances of hot flashes in postmenopausal women, besides working wonders in cooling the body down, detoxifying organs and treating respiratory ailments.
Healthy Oil: Oil expressed from these fruits is recognized as one of the healthiest edible oils since it contains less saturated fats than other varieties of edible oils.
Purifying effect: Olives improve both the liver’s and the intestinal functions and, thanks to their high content in fiber, help cleanse the colon, as well as prevent or fight constipation. All these effects result in improved detoxification and excretion of toxins from the body, with consequent improved function and health of the whole body.
Vision: Not only vitamin A is beneficial for skin health, but is also essential for normal vision, especially in low light, as well as for eye health and integrity.
Allergies: Olive trees produce pollen that causes seasonal respiratory allergy in some people.
Digestion-related illnesses: If large amounts of olive are ingested it causes diarrhea to the people allergic to its use. Too much intake of olive oil cause unpleasant symptoms of gas. This even might be an indication that your body is consuming more fat and is unable to digest it.
Blood Pressure: Olives can lead to high levels of sodium in the system and contribute to increasing blood pressure. Those with high blood pressure should take care to eat olives in moderation.
Here are some simple and delicious Olive recipes.
- Arabic Salad
- Herbed Farfalle in Olive Salsa
- Mexican Pizza
- Toasted Bread Canapes