An Olive a Day: 7 Ways to Liven Your Week

Olives are not only a delicious fruit they are also packed with healthful benefits. There are hundreds of varieties and just as many ways to incorporate them into your diet.

Nov. 26, 2016
By Corinna Underwood

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Everyone’s heard the old say­ing an apple a day keeps the doc­tor away,” well it works just as well with olives. Even if it’s only a snack, includ­ing olives can help improve your over­all health. Check out these unique ways to perk up your diet with olives, what types to use, and the health ben­e­fits you’ll get from them.


Olives make a great addi­tion to a fresh green salad. Kalamata is a Greek olive that’s unlike most olives due to its deep pur­ple color. Usually brined and pick­led, they have a rich, sweet fla­vor. Like all olives, Kalamata is a great source of monoun­sat­u­rated fat, which can help lower your cho­les­terol and reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack.


If you’re get­ting the munchies dur­ing the mid­dle of the day, snack on some Manzanilla olives. This small to medium green olive is grown in Spain and California. It is usu­ally stuffed with pimen­tos or gar­lic. Just five Manzanilla olives hold one gram of vit­a­min E, so a healthy snack can put you well on your way to an RDA of 15 grams, help­ing you fight bac­te­ria and viruses and boost­ing your level of antiox­i­dants.


Make a tasty dip by adding finely chopped olives to your gua­camole. Lugano olives are a good choice. They orig­i­nate from Switzerland but are grown in Italy. They are black with a bit­ter, salty fla­vor. Like many olives, these are rich in hydrox­y­ty­rosol, which has been linked to the pre­ven­tion of breast can­cer.


Give your favorite Italian meal an extra punch with some sliced Ponentine olives. This is a black Italian olive that is brine cured. It has a del­i­cate taste that lends itself to pasta. They con­tain vit­a­mins A, E and K as well as cal­cium and iron and con­tribute to a healthy immune sys­tem as well as teeth and bone health.


Add a light, nutty fla­vor to your home­made bread by adding Nicoise olives. It’s a French, black olive that is small in size and adds the per­fect tex­ture and fla­vor to soft bread. Not only do these olives have the afore­men­tioned ben­e­fits, they also help to stim­u­late diges­tive processes and break down car­bo­hy­drates.


Picholine is another French favorite. This green olive is brine-cured then pick­led. It has a mild, salty taste which makes it a great addi­tion to a salad Nicoise. Like other olive vari­eties, Picholines may be able to reduce the risk of demen­tia and Alzheimer’s.


Go all out with an olive tape­nade, made by puls­ing olives in a blender along with lemons juice, fresh pars­ley, capers and olive oil. Serve this smooth del­i­cacy with toasted bread or crack­ers. You can exper­i­ment with a com­bi­na­tion of olives for this one and reap the ben­e­fits of an entrée loaded with vit­a­mins and min­er­als that will boost your heart health, aid diges­tion and reduce your risk of inflam­ma­tory dis­eases.

Don’t for­get you can enjoy all the health ben­e­fits of olives by using olive oil in your cook­ing.


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