This couplet from Surah Nur in the Quran explains that the tree of the olive fruit gets sun all day long and hence, a lamp lit with olive oil glows with a brilliance that seems to come from within itself. The Greeks and the Arabs are known to be particularly fond of this fruit. At least fonder than the rest of the world. This, though, may not hold true for the Greeks now, since quite a few research papers by reputed European healthcare organisations have pointed out that the Mediterraneans have given up on their traditional nutritional systems and routines and obesity is on the rise. This, however does not undermine the power of the ancient and beloved, olives. In fact, it only bespeaks the dangers of abandoning such a salubrious element of the diet.
Here are some of the benefits of having olives and olive oil as an integral part of our daily lives:
Health Benefits Olives-
- Olives cut down the bad cholesterol and are hence, extremely good for the heart and for smooth cardiovascular functioning of the same.
- Olives are very good for the skin and hair as they are rich sources of Vitamin E. Olives are known to slow down the ageing process and applying olive oil on the skin and hair helps in reducing wrinkles and slowing down greying of hair. It acts as a great moisturizer for both, skin and hair. Applying a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice helps in lightening of skin. Not just that, it also helps in lightening of stretch marks with regular use. You can also use Aloe Vera for skin benefits.
- Olives help in preventing diseases like cancer, especially breast and lymph cancer as it protects the cell membrane.
- Olives are a great source of iron. So just a cup of the fruit can provide 4.4 mg of iron. It helps to keep the haemoglobin levels in check. It also protects from anaemia.
- They improve the reproductive system and the fertility as well. They also act as effective aphrodisiac.
- Olives contain a natural chemical, polyphenol, which keeps in check the stress hormone of the brain. Thus, it helps in calming the system and enhances memory by upto 25%.
- Following a Mediterranean diet has known benefits of nil or very low risk of osteoporosis. This is because olives are helpful as bone mass fillers.
- Olive oil, used in ancient medicinal systems, helped against poisons, rid the body of worms and worked as a laxative as well.
- Olive oil blended with salt water helped prevent burnt skin from blistering.
- Olive oil strengthens gums while olive leaves help against skin infections, sores, septic ulcers and hives.
- Olives provide a healthy dose of Vitamin A as well, helping to prevent diseases like glaucoma, cataract and other age-related diseases. It helps in improving the night vision as well.
- Olives possess anti-inflammatory properties and are also great in alleviating pains and allergies. They also aid in weight loss as they make one feel full and satiated.
With such illustrious benefits and more to be offered by such a small but luscious fruit, it would be foolish for us to overlook these. Especially now that we can use the zesty fruit as toppings in pizzas and as fillings in sandwiches. It can also be just popped in as a snack or its oil can be used as a healthy substitute for our regular oils. Any way we want to use it, we are sure to reap and experience its goodness. So why wait until it gets too late?