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    All About Olives: Five Reasons to Eat Them


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    All About Olives: Five Reasons to Eat Them Empty All About Olives: Five Reasons to Eat Them

    Post  mudra Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:33 am

     All About Olives: Five Reasons to Eat Them

     Olives are not only rich in healthy fats but also in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, making them a powerful superfood in support of heart and metabolic health

    Olives are one of the oldest cultivated trees worldwide, with the oldest known tree thought to be at least 2,000 -- and possibly more than 3,000 -- years old.[i] The tree, known as the "olive tree of Vouves" and located on the island of Crete, still produces olives and acts as a symbol of everything olives stand for -- longevity, prosperity and peace, for starters.

    Valued for their oil for at least 6,000 to 8,000 years, humans have been embracing olives for food, medicine, cosmetics and other uses for centuries, including using their oil to light the original Olympic torch. Pliny the Elder reportedly described olives as one of the most important plants in existence, and as noted by National Geographic, "To destroy an enemy's olive trees, in Old Testament days, was the ultimate act of war."[ii]

    Olives, though, are incredibly bitter in their raw form due to oleuropein, a compound the plant uses to ward off various predators. Birds still eat them, however, swallowing them whole to avoid the unpleasant flavor and helping to disperse their seeds in the process.[iii]

    It's unclear exactly when humans discovered how to make olives palatable, but ancient Romans are often credited with figuring out that fermenting olives in brine with lye quickly got rid of the bitterness and rendered olives a tasty snack.[iv]

    Why Eat Olives? Five Top Benefits

    Olives are technically called drupes, which are fruits with a pit or stone in the middle. Other drupes include cherries, mangoes and nectarines. An estimated 90% of olives produced worldwide are used to make oil, consumption of which has tripled in the U.S. over the last two decades.[v] Whether you prefer to consume it as an oil or in whole form, there are many reasons to make olives a regular part of your diet.

    In addition to providing a healthy source of monounsaturated fat, olives are rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, including terpenes like oleuropein, flavones such as apigenin and luteolin, anthocyanidins, flavonols and hydroxybenzoic acids like gallic acid.[vi] Taken together, eating olives may play a role in reducing nearly 200 diseases and can provide a number of benefits to your health.

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