Olives

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olivesOlives – While a lot more attention is given to the delicious oils they produce, olives are one     of the world’s most widely enjoyed foods. Harvested in September, these fruits are available all year to help us bump up the flavor of salads, meat and chicken dishes, and pizza!

Spanish-style, Greek-style, Kalamata-style; all of these preparations of olives and more offer a number of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Thanks to the popularity of the Mediterranean diet, olives are back on the okay-to-eat list. Along with many nutrients, they also have Good Fat. As our brains are 60% fat, we need to eat good fats to keep our brains sharp.

For the Allergy-plagued: new research shows that olives provide anti-inflammatory benefits, especially during circumstances involving allergy. Olive extracts have shown to function as anti-histamines at a cellular level. Unique components in olive extracts may help to lessen a cell’s histamine response. It is also possible that olives may have a special role to play as part of an overall anti-allergenic diet. Your circulation will improve and you will be able to breath easier with olive consumption. They can increase blood flow and help lessen the effects of illnesses such as asthma through its anti-inflammatory properties.

Olives, especially black olives are high in iron. They are also high in Vitamin A, which provides eye health, by converting to the retinal form. Olives are high in monounsaturated fat which is good for cardiovascular health, and when replacing saturated fats, they help with satiety.

Be beautiful on the outside too! As well as all of the good things olives can do for your insides, they are also good for your skin and hair. They are full with nutrients that hydrate and protect. Chief among those nutrients is Vitamin E. Whether applied topically or ingested, vitamin E protects skin from ultraviolet radiation, guarding against skin cancer and premature again. Try applying a few drops of good olive oil to your face after washing with warm water, leave it on for 15 minute before rinsing, and see how it works. You may also moisturize with olive oil before a bath, or condition your hair by mixing the oil with an egg yoke and leaving it on your hair before washing (rinse out completely first before adding shampoo).

Selecting Olives –

Since the popularity of Olives has risen, they are easy to find, and offer a wider variety to choose from. You can even find Olive Bars! Purchasing this way will allow you to try different kinds, while purchasing only what you need.

While whole olives are common, you may also find pitted ones, or ones that have been stuffed with either peppers, garlic or almonds. Olives need to be preserved in brine to stay fresh and moist.

You should avoid buying olives in cans as the FDA has shown levels of acrylamide in high levels in cans of black olives.

Don’t eat olives right off the tree! They are very bitter. They must be cured to reduce their bitterness.

While olives are packed with vitamins, minerals, and good fats, they can be fattening if you eat too many. Check the label on the jar or at the Olive bar and consider that when popping them in your mouth. Buy good quality olives and savor each one.

If you are not a fan of olives, you can reap some of the same benefits from olive oil.

 

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