Move Over, Olive Oil! Whole Olives are Just as Nutritious!

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

We all know that olive oil is touted as being the healthiest oil option out there, and it’s true! But, whole olives are just as healthy!

What’s not to love about whole olives? They’re salty and savory, and go great with a wide variety of foods. When I was a kid, I loved just rating black olives by themselves. And, as many olive-loving kids know, the best way to eat them is by sticking your fingers into the little holes and biting them off from there! Besides being fun and delicious to eat, olives pack a huge nutritional punch and are a great way to add some extra nutrition to your meals.

Small as they might be, olives have a lot of nutritional value to them. According to registered dietician Adda Bjarnadottir, olives are a great source of the following:

  • Monounsaturated fat (a healthy fat, don’t worry!)
  • Oleic acid
  • Fiber
  • Vitamin E
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Antioxidants including oleuropien, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, oleanolic acid, and quercetin

Thanks to all of these vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that olives provide, eating them in our meals can actually provide us with many different health benefits. Registered dietician Devon Peart notes that there are lots of ways that eating olives can benefit our health. Whether it be reducing inflammation and swelling, keeping our hearts healthy, managing blood sugar levels, or simply just adding some extra vitamins and minerals to our diets, you can’t go wrong with olives!

So, grab a can of olives, make some tapenade to spread on some bread or crackers, slice some on top of a salad, or just eat them plain and enjoy their delicious taste and all of the nutrition that they have to offer!

For more health-related articles, check out the Fill Your Plate blog!

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