Good things come in small packages!
Greeks know that olives can complement any dish, thus making it one of the most widely consumed foods in their dietary daily habits. When trying to decide whether to choose green or black olives let your palate make that choice, but here are some facts about their nutritional value, in case you were wondering:
Four medium Green olives contain 60 calories (all 60 from fat), whereas in four medium Black olives you will find 25 calories (20 from fat). In terms of sodium content there are 460mg and 230mg respectively.
Don’t let the high percentage of fat in the calorie content scare you away, because this fat is all monousaturated fat and Vitamin E. These two together conspire so they can:
- Protect the heart against diseases. Antioxidants and the “good fat” eradicate the free radicals that are responsible in oxidizing cholesterol. Remember that Oleuropein is an Antioxindant that is found exclusively in olives.
- Protect cells from free radicals. Vitamin E together with the monounsaturated fat protects cells and fights off free radicals produced during cellular energy production.
- Reduce inflammation due to arthritis. Both green and black olives contain polyphenols and flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory properties. These can help in lowering the inflammation caused by arthritis.
- Prevent colon cancer. Again, the combination of monounsaturated fat and Vitamin E make it a great health benefit. High intake of these nutrients lowers the risk for colon cancer.
- Helps women going through menopause Olives can help reduce the intensity and frequency of hot flashes menopausal women experience.
Are you on a low carb dietary plan?
A cup of black olives contains 8 g carbohydrate, which is a half of a serving for someone counting carbs for diabetic exchanges. A serving also contains 4 g fiber, which is about the same as any high-fiber bread or cereal.
Do you want to look prettier?
Besides the internal wellbeing that olives offer did you know that eating olives improves the appearance of wrinkles by 20%? The oleic acid, which keeps skin soft and healthy is abundant in olives, and vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant for skin health.
So, next time you are at home watching TV and you want to grab a quick snack to munch on, think of olives first! Sprinkle them over whole grain nachos for a truly filling and health conscious snack or pop them in your mouth as they are. They will give you all the benefits and good calories you need to feel and look better!