Olives: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Olives: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits


In fact, olives have scientifical name as Olea europaea.

They are small fruits which come from olive trees.

Belonging to groups of stone fruits, olives share some similarity with mangoes, cherries, almonds, etc.

In fact, olives are excellent source of vitamin E and antioxidant elements.

Therefore, benefits of olives include working against cancer, osteoporosis, improving heart health, etc.

Commonly, people extract healthy fats in olives for extra virgin olive oil production (And do not miss Health Benefits of Olive Oil).

This kind of oil is a main part of many Mediterranean diets.

This article will shed light on nutrition facts and benefits of olives oil which you may not know.

Nutrition Facts

Olives: Nutrition Facts

In average, a serving of olives consist of 115-145 calories.

Also, olives are merely water as it accounts for nearly 80% of their content.

Fat, carbohydrates and trace amount of protein are also found in olives (1).

In terms of fat, it makes up for approximately 15% of olives’ content.

According to scientists, 74% of fat in olive oil is oleic acid.

Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid which can bring about many beneficial health effects.

To specify, oleic acid can lower inflammation, reduce danger of cardiovascular and neutralize cancerous cells (2, 3, 4, 5).

In terms of carbs and fiber, olives are low in carb and high in fiber.

While carbs occupy only 4-6% of olive content, fiber is responsible for 52-86%.

In terms of vitamins and minerals, olives are good source.

Vitamin E in olives contain powerful antioxidant effects.

On the other hand, iron which is in black olives plays a part in oxygen transportation in red blood cells (6).

What’s more, copper is essential mineral for healthy heart (7, 8).

Calcium and sodium in olives oil can also good for bone health improvement (9).

In terms of other plant compounds, olives are also considered as a great source.

Particularly, olives have high content of antioxidants (10).

Oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol are telling examples of antioxidant agents in olives.

While oleuropein contains many beneficial health effects, hydroxytyrosol is well-known as a powerful antioxidant (11, 12, 13).

Moreover, tyrosol is good for cardiac problems (14).

Bottom line: Olives are powerful house of many essential nutrients, which is a good explaination for its good effects on people’s health.

Health Benefits of Olives

As mentioned before, olives are popular part of Mediterranean diet.

There must be reasons for this popularity.

Following are top common benefits of olives which you may not know.

1. Antioxidant Qualities

In reality, antioxidant properties contribute greatly to benefits of olives.

According to scientific evidence, dietary antioxidants may lower the risk of heart diseases and cancer.

Also, these substances can work against inflammationa and lower the development of harmful microorganisms (15).

In a study, olive consumption may lead to increase in blood levels of glutathione.

In fact, glutathione is one of the strongest antioxidants in body system (16).

Additionally, olive intake can prevent bacterial infections in both airway and stomach (17).

Bottom line: Thanks to the richness in antioxidants, olives may neutralize oxidative damage and fight against bacterial infection.

2. Heart Health

The massive benefits of olives make it good for improving heart health.

In fact, high levels of blood cholesterol and blood pressure are 2 leading factors which trigger heart issues.

Loading with oleic acid, olives may strengthen heart health.

Also, this fatty acid in olives is beneficial for cholesterol regulation and LDL-cholesterol protection (18, 19).

Bottom line: Olives are effective at regulating cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and saving LDl  cholesterol.

3. Bone Health

One mechanism behind benefits of olives is its ability to improve bone health.

Among many bone-related problems which annoy people nowadays, osteoporosis is popular.

In fact, osteoporosis happens due to degration in bone density and bone quality.

In comparison to other European countries, Mediterranean ones have smaller number of osteoporosis patients.

According to professors, this happening is attributed to olive consumption (20).

In some animal research, olive showed its ability to prevent bone loss (21, 22).

However, it is necessary to do more research on human for further confirmation (23).

Bottom line: Olive may help with osteoporosis, however, more studies in human are needed.

4. Cancer

Olives: Cancer Prevention

When it come to benefits of olives, many people mention its ability to neutralize cancer.

In fact, cancer is one of the biggest killers all over the world.

Olives and olive-related products are popularly used in Mediterranean countries.

Interestingly, people in these regions less suffer from cancer than ones in America (24).

It is likely that eating olives protect them from the risk of cancer.

High concentration of antioxidants and oleic acid in olives may lead to this effect.

In some studies, these components had good impact on breast, colon and stomach cancer cells (25, 26, 27).

5. Digestion

Another field which benefits of olive shine is in digestive system.

In fact, olives contain a healthy source of fiber (28).

Undeniably, fiber can guarantee good function of digestion as it can smoot peristaltic motion in intestinal line.

Also, fiber may prevent overeating as it can make you feel fuller.

Therefore, it is easy to understand that fiber can both help improve digestive health and lose weight naturally.

Bottom line: Packing with valuable source of fiber, olives may ensure a good digestive health.

Take Home Message

In addition to above benefits of olives, it can also help people in many other health problems.

In fact, there are various types of olive in our daily life.

They are Spanish green olives, Greek black olives and California olives.

Due to bitter taste, olives are rarely eaten fresh.

Instead, people usually ferment olives before using.

Also, black olives are ones with the lowest bitter levels (29).

Generally, olives are quite safe for consuming.

However, there are certain situations which people should be careful with olive intake.

For example, excessive olive consumption may lead to allergic reactions in mouth or throat (30).

Furthermore, olives may have heavy metals and minerals.

By absorbing great amount of heavy metals, people may be more prone to cancer (31).

Luckily, the amount of heavy metals in olive is acceptable (32).

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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