Types of olives and health benefits to the human body. Olives what types are there and why they are so useful. Small, varied in shape and color, interesting flavors and with incredible health benefits – these are olives. The olive, known by the botanical name Olea europaea, meaning ‘European olive’, is a species of small tree of the Oleaceae family, found in the Mediterranean basin from Portugal to the Levant, Arabian Peninsula and South Asia to the far East and China.

Known primarily for the preparation of versatile, pure olive oil, properties of olives are rich in phytonutrients, high in vitamin E and antioxidants, with great benefits for the cardiovascular system and the body as a whole.

Interesting facts about olives

Olives are of great agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as a source of olive oil – one of the main ingredients in Mediterranean cuisine;
The first olive seedlings from Spain were planted in Lima by Antonio de Rivera in 1560;

Olive oil is a source of Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant that can help improve skin health, as well as Vitamin K, which is important for normal blood clotting;

Types of olives and health benefits
Types of olives and health benefits

Olive trees can live between 300 and 600 years. Some trees have even reached over 1000 years old and still produce olives;

The color of the fruit depends on its ripeness. The unripe olives are green and the ripe ones are dark purple to black;

They cannot be eaten directly from the tree. Harvested olives should be treated with brine before they are tasty and ready for consumption.
100 grams of green olives, preserved or marinated, contain (at recommended daily values):

  • 145 calories;
  • 3.8 grams of carbohydrates;
  • 1 gram of protein;
  • 15.3 grams of fat;
  • 3.3 grams of fiber;
  • 1,556 milligrams of sodium (65%);
  • 3.8 milligrams of vitamin E (19%);
  • 0.1 mg of honey (6%);
  • 52 milligrams of calcium (5%);
  • 0.5 milligrams of iron (3%);
  • 11 milligrams of magnesium (3%).

Here are some of the greatest health benefits of olives

Provide Large Quantity of Antioxidants – Olives are a high antioxidant food that provides mainly polyphenols – antioxidants that have proven anti-diabetic, anti-aging and neuroprotective effects;

They lower cholesterol and high blood pressure – Because olives are a source of “good fats”, they do not damage the arteries like other fats do. Studies have proven the ability of olives to lower blood pressure and help control and reduce cholesterol. The hypotensive (lowering blood pressure) effects of olives are due to the oleic acid they contain;

Strengthen heart health – Olives contain all the substances necessary for a healthy heart and cardiovascular system: antioxidants, anti-inflammatory abilities, healthy fats, as well as a large amount of honey and vitamin E – important for optimal heart health;

Act as a natural probiotic – Studies published in the European Journal of Nutrition show that phenolic compounds in olives can increase the number of good bifidobacteria that produce vitamins and antibacterial chemicals in the body. In this way, olives improve gut health and enhance microbiome function;

Lower risk of diabetes and obesity – Because olives are high in monounsaturated fat, they significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity when replacing foods containing other, more harmful fats. Antioxidants in olives also help to inhibit the damage caused by diabetes-related oxidative stress, making olives an effective treatment for hyperglycemia and diabetic complications;

 Osteoporosis Prevention – Olive polyphenols are useful for preventing bone loss. Many studies have shown the effectiveness of these compounds in bone formation and maintenance. Thanks to the phytonutrients that olive consumption provides, they must be added to the diet to treat the disease.

What kinds of olives are there on Earth

There is a wide variety of olive varieties that can be classified as follows: Green olives: harvested in October in the earliest stages of maturity;
‘Pink’ olives: slightly ripe, they are pink or brown in color and are harvested in November before reaching full maturity;

Black olives: Harvested in December at full maturity, they are smooth with black skin and a deep reddish-black hue;

Wrinkled black olives: should not be confused with dried hardened olives, these are fully ripe fruits, harvested in January. Olives can be eaten alone or combined with meats and cheeses for great entrees, added to various salads and sandwiches.

They can be ground into paste or used as a spice. The best part is that the olives are very easy to combine with different products as they combine well with many flavors and textures.

Fortunately, there are a wide variety of types on the European market – different sizes and colors, more salty, more acidic, suitable for every taste. You can easily add them to your daily menu, in addition to diversifying your dishes, you can also reap many of their health benefits.