Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Olives – a Superb Nutrition to Mankind



Olives are one of the oldest foods known to man, dating back some thousands of years in the Mediterranean region. The olive tree was valued as a symbol of peace and happiness and is well-known as a blessed tree. While olives were used as food, olives leaves are widely used for medicinal values and, olive oil are treated as perfect oil for cooking purposes.

Olives are concentrated in monounsaturated fats and a good source of vitamin E. Because monounsaturated fats are less easily damaged than polyunsaturated fats, it’s good to have some in our cells’ outer membranes and other cell structures that contain fats, such as the membranes that surround the cell’s DNA and each of its energy-producing mitochondria. The stability of monounsaturated fats translates into a protective effect on the cell that, especially when combined with the antioxidant protection offered by vitamin E, can lower the risk of damage and inflammation. (In addition to vitamin E, olives contain a variety of beneficial active phytonutrient compounds including polyphenols and flavonoids, which also appear to have significant anti-inflammatory properties.)
It's true that olives do have some fat, but it's the incredibly healthy monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats have been found to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.
Current research shows there are around 100 naturally occurring compounds in fresh olive leaves. These all work together in ‘natural synergy’ to provide an effective year-round defense system for the olive tree. These compounds include a unique group of powerful polyphenolic antioxidants which are potent scavengers of free-radicals. In simple terms, they defend their cells against attack and damage.

The antioxidants in olive leaf scavenge free-radicals eliminating them before cell damage is done. Olive Leaf does not cure diseases, it is however a cold blooded killer of most pathogens. Once the pathogens have been stunned or killed off, the immune system can rebuild it and cure the disease or get rid of the symptoms. One compound in olive leaf is oleuropein which converts to elenolic acid in the body. The oleuropein and its related sub compounds target viruses and bad bacteria's while relaxing blood vessels.
Nutritional Value of Olives
Given below is the amount of nutrients present in three olives, combined together:
Fat - 2.5
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 110mg
Carbohydrate - 1g
Calories - 25
Protein: 0g
Iron
Vitamin E
Dietary Fiber
Copper
Fatty Acids
Amino Acids
Due to fat content olives are highly energetic especially when ripe. They should be used preferably in the winter. Moreover, Olives are easy to digest if well chewed and, black olives are better than green olives.

The health benefits of Olives, Olive leaves and Olive Oil are listed as follows:

  1. General consumption of Olives, due to their high anti-oxidant properties, help to combat against diseases such as cancer (particularly breast cancer and colon cancer).
  2. The nutrients in olives help to prevent heart disease. Olives Leaves help combat against strokes, heart-disease, High blood pressure, diabetes. The olive leaves tea helps prevent and defends against High blood pressure.
  3. The Vitamin E in Olives may even help to reduce the frequency and/or the intensity of hot flashes in women going through menopause.
  4. The anti-inflammatory actions of monounsaturated fats and, the Vitamin E contained in Olives is the body's primary fat-soluble antioxidant. Anti-oxidants help to strengthen the body's immune system; reducing the severity of asthma, cancer, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, premature ageing, as well as delaying the effects of ageing.
  5. Olives are also very light foods (i.e. it contains low calories), but at the same time very filling; being able to quickly satisfy hunger and, lead to fewer total calories ingested at mealtime.
  6. The chronic ulcers and boils, which show difficult healing condition, are healed up with the use of olive oil generally. The local application of olive oil or the water extracted from the crushed olive oil leaves is effective on boils, rashes and itching.
  7. The Olive oil can also be used on hands, hair and as a base for massage oil. When used as a balm it fortifies the hair and it keeps the hair shiny and prevents dandruff.
  8. Olive Oil when used as a balm fortifies and moisturizes the skin, combating dry skin and softening it. It also combats against acne.
  9. Massaged onto the body, Olive oil fortify the limbs, combat against inflammation, and sooth away aches and pains from tired muscles and so on.
  10. Olives aids in digestion and strengthens the bowels, as well as the stomach.
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