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Green and Black Olives Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

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Olives straight off the trees are hardly edible. They have a sharp bitter taste that turns most people off. So, how come these oval-shaped fruits found their way to favorite dishes? Thanks to food processing, now we can enjoy the tangy and pleasantly bitter taste of olives. You can even pop one straight into your mouth but this time, from a jar. The unique and zesty taste of olives makes them a flexible ingredient in cooking. Both green and black olives can complement practically anything – salads, pasta, chicken, dips, appetizers, and even drinks.

Green Olives and Black Olives Nutrition Facts

There seems to be a debate when it comes to green and black olives. Which one tastes better? Some people prefer the sour and salty taste of green olives while others love the soft texture and slightly sweet taste of black olives.

Below is the nutritional chart for both green and black olives. Take a look at the amount of calories and sodium present in a 4 medium-sized green or black olives.

Nutrients (4 medium Olives) Green Olives Black Olives
Calories 60 25
Calories from fat 60 20
Sodium 460mg 230mg

Green and black olives are high in monounsaturated fat and Vitamin E. They also contain polyphenols and flavonoids which have anti-inflammatory properties. The combination of these health boosting elements allows olives to:

  • Protect the heart against diseases.

    Antioxidants and the “good fat” eradicate the free radicals that are responsible in oxidizing cholesterol.

  • Protect cells from free radicals.

    Vitamin E together with the monounsaturated fat protects cells and fights off free radicals produced during cellular energy production.

  • Reduce inflammation due to arthritis.

    Both green and black olives contain polyphenols and flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory properties. These can help in lowering the inflammation caused by arthritis.

  • Prevent colon cancer.

    Again, the combination of monounsaturated fat and Vitamin E is make it a great health benefit. High intake of these nutrients lowers the risk for colon cancer.

  • Helps women going through menopause

    Olives can help reduce the intensity and frequency of hot flashes menopausal women experience.

  • “Good things come in small packages.” This definitely holds true for olives. Who would have thought that these little bulbous green and black colored fruits hold so much goodness within? Green and black olives are not only loved for their unique flavor but they are also hailed as one of today’s most celebrated health foods.

    However, I find that clients often eat olives and think that they are very healthy and can eat as many as they want. They need to remember that olive oil comes from pressed olives.Therefore, olives are pure fat. Sure, a few a day is great but do not sit down with a bowl of olives for a snack.

    Also, I tell clients that olives are extremely high in sodium. Those people with hypertension should enjoy them as a condiment not as a snack.