Importance of Mediterranean Diet Olives
Olives are small fruits that grow on olive trees. They belong to a group of fruit called droops or stone fruits. And are related to mangoes, cherries, peaches, almonds and pistachios. Olives are extracted to produce olive oil. Which is one of the key components of the incredibly healthy Mediterranean diet. You can enjoy Mediterranean diet olives in salads, sandwiches. The average olive weighs about 3 to 5 grams. Some immature olives are green and turn black when they ripen. Others remain green even when fully ripe. 90% of olives are used to make olive oil in the Mediterranean region. This article tells you everything you need to know about olives.
Properties of Mediterranean Diet Olives
Olives are very high in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants. Studies show that they are good for the heart. And may protect against osteoporosis and cancer. Dietary antioxidants reduce your risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer.
Olives are rich in antioxidants. With health benefits ranging from fighting inflammation to reducing microorganism growth. One study showed that eating a pulpy residue from olives significantly increases blood levels of glutathione. Which is one of the most powerful antioxidants in our body.
Protection against Heart Disease
High blood cholesterol and blood pressure are both risk factors for heart disease. Oleic acid the main fatty acid in olives improves heart health. It may regulate cholesterol levels. And protect LDL, bad cholesterol from oxidation. Furthermore, some studies note that olives and olive oil may reduce blood pressure.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which bone mass and bone density decrease. It can increase your risk of fractures. The rates of osteoporosis are lower in Mediterranean countries than in the rest of Europe. Leading to speculation that Mediterranean diet olives might protect against this condition. Some of the plant compounds found in olives and olive oil help to prevent bone loss. In research studies, data linking the Mediterranean diet to decreased fracture rates is promising.
Reduce Risk of Cancer
Olives and olive oil are kinds of staple foods in the Mediterranean region. Where rates of cancer and other chronic diseases are lower than in other Western countries. Thus it’s possible that olives may help reduce your risk of cancer. This may be partly due to their high antioxidant and oleic acid contents. Studies reveal that these compounds disrupt the life cycle of cancer cells in the breast, colon and stomach.
Properties of Olive Leaf Extract
Olive leaf extract comes from the leaves of an olive plant. It contains an active ingredient called oleuropein. This nutrient contributes to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of olive leaf extract. You may already know that the Mediterranean diet is linked to a decrease in chronic diseases. Especially cardiovascular disease. This is due to the focus on olive oil leaves and fruit in the diet. It was used as traditional medicine for centuries in countries like Greece, Morocco and Tunisia. Here’s what research says about the biggest reported benefits of olive leaf extract.
You can treat herpes with Mediterranean diet olive leaf extract. Just drop one to two droplets on a cotton ball and place them on the sore. One study found that olive leaf extracts have antiviral and antimicrobial factors. That reduces the ability of the herpes virus to invade surrounding cells.
Protection Against Neurological Disorders
Oleuropein is also protecting against Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, the antioxidant effects of olive leaf extract may also help with preventing damage. Or loss of dopamine neurons. That correlates with Parkinson’s disease as well.
Protection Against Atherosclerosis
Researchers believe olive leaf extract can have positive effects on atherosclerosis or narrowing of the arteries. Which is the highest risk factor for heart disease. High levels of LDL or bad cholesterol and total cholesterol are risk factors for developing this disease. One animal study from 2015 assessed the effects of olive leaf extract on cholesterol levels. Rats who took the extract for eight weeks had significantly decreased cholesterol levels.
Help Lower Blood Pressure
Olive leaf extract may help lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. A study found that olive leaf extracts successfully lowered blood pressure. And a lower blood pressure can reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack.
Weight loss benefits
Along with heart-healthy benefits and type 2 diabetes protection. It makes sense that Mediterranean diet olive leaf extract could also help with weight loss. An animal study from 2014 researched the effect of olive leaf extract in preventing high-fat diet-induced obesity. It’s thought that olive leaf extract prevents obesity by regulating the expression of genes that affect weight gain. It can also aid in reducing food intake.
Properties of Mediterranean Diet Olive Oil
Olive oil is the natural oil extracted from olives, the fruit of the olive tree. About 14% of the oil has saturated fat. Whereas 11% is polyunsaturated fat such as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. But the predominant fatty acid in olive oil is a monounsaturated fatty acid called oleic acid. Making up 73% of the total oil content. Studies suggest that oleic acid reduces inflammation. And may even have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer. Monounsaturated fats are also quite resistant to high heat. Making extra-virgin olive oil a healthy choice for cooking.
Reduces the Risk of Stroke
Stroke is caused by a disturbance of blood flow to your brain. Either due to a blood clot or bleeding. In developed nations stroke is the second most common cause of death right behind heart disease. The relationship between olive oil and stroke risk has been studied extensively. A large review of studies in 841 thousand people found that olive oil was the only source of monounsaturated fat associated with a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease.
Protection against Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease characterized by deformed and painful joints. Though the exact cause is not well understood it involves your immune system. Which starts attacking normal cells by mistake. Olive oil supplements appear to improve inflammatory markers. And reduce oxidative stress in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. Olive oil seems particularly beneficial when combined with fish oil, a source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. In one study olive and fish oil significantly improved handgrip strength. Joint pain and morning stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Mediterranean diet olives are a savoury and delicious addition to meals or appetizers. They’re low in carbs but high in healthy fats. They also provide several health benefits including improved heart health. This stone fruit is very easy to incorporate into your routine. and makes a great addition to a healthy Whole Foods based diet. At the end of the day quality, extra virgin olive oil is incredibly healthy. And in fact, it may be the healthiest fat on the planet.