Olives are great sources of a number of essential nutrients required by the human body. They have been traditionally lauded by Mediterranean cuisine since time immemorial. The commonest varieties of olives are green, which turn black on ripening. Certain types of olives are also either black or green in both the ripe and the unripe stage. Olives are usually cured before they are consumed to get rid of the bitter taste. Their benefits have made them a staple ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, and they have since made a leeway into cuisines in different parts of the world. In this article, let us find out when and how to eat olives to get the maximum benefits.
During the major meals
You can eat olives any time of the year, and with any meal of the day. You can include some in your lunch or dinner pasta, and chop some up in your on the go salads. You can also soak in the goodness while relaxing with a drink during the weekend, or after a long day’s work. There is no time during the day that is wrong for eating a couple of olives. However, since the recommended dose is about 25 grams or seven olives, it is best not to eat them all together at one go. Split your dosage among the different times of the day. Have a couple before going to bed in order to improve digestion, which anyway slows down at night.
After an illness
It is right after an illness that we are at our most vulnerable. As such, this is the time when we need to boost out immunity, and olives can do just that. The lack of Vitamin A can lead to various health problems and also lower you immunity, so taking olives, which are rich in Vitamin A, is a good idea when you are recuperating from an illness. A daily dose of 5 or six olives a day will get you back on your feet must faster.
When appetite is low
If you have been facing the problem of having low to no appetite for a few days, this usually means something is wrong with your system. Olives are known as great appetizers, so eating a couple of olives before you have to sit down for a meal will increase your appetite considerably. Add some olives to your salad, or take a drink with a couple of olives in it and you will good to go to enjoy the lunch or dinner. You should still see a doctor about your appetite, but olives will do the trick for the time being.
If you have cancer
If you have been diagnosed with cancer and are undergoing chemo, or suspect that you might be suffering from the emperor of maladies, include a few olives in your everyday diet. Black olives contain ample amounts of Vitamin E, which is known to fight free radicals in the body that cause cancer. Vitamin E is an even more potent fighter of free radicals when working in combination with monounsaturated fats, and both these elements are present in abundance in olives. According to some research, regular intake of olive oil considerably reduces the risk of cancers of the colon and the skin.
In case of inflammation
If you are suffering from any kind of inflammations, especially asthma and osteoarthritis, it is a great idea to include some olives in your diet. This is because olives are great sources of Vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and polyphenols, and all these together help in alleviating the symptoms of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. Besides, the painkilling agent in olive oil, called oleocanthal, acts as a great reliever in any kind of pain. So, if you have a headache, you can take a couple of olives instead of an aspirin for a healthy, side effect free alleviation of pain.
Olives have multiple uses, most commonly as an accompaniment with wines and alcohol, and it is also used in pastas and pizzas, and as a paste for dip. These high calorie snacks are chock-full of multiple nutrients, such as monounsaturated fats that are good for the heart, iron, copper, sodium, many different kinds of phytonutrients, and a huge amount of dietary fiber. Most of the olives that we eat today are in pickled form; they are sold in cans within which they are steeped in salt water. As a result eating too much in a single day will drastically increase the sodium level in the body, which will lead to a higher blood pressure and heart palpitations. It is best to limit the consumption to about 25 grams, or around 7 olives a day.