5 reasons why eating olives is a must

Almost everyone loves olives be it on your favourite pizza, sandwich or salad. Not only do they taste good but are loaded with a number of health benefits.

Here are a few reasons as to why olives are a must in your diet regularly:

  • olive-smallOlives are a rich source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids, which help reduce risk of heart disease by lowering blood press and LDL cholesterol.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties and hence helps in easing pain.
  • Loaded with fatty acids and antioxidants, olives are an excellent food for your hair and skin.
  • Eating olives help boost haemoglobin level in the body as it is a rich source of iron.
  • Eating a cup of olives can help regulate blood pressure.

(Source: http://zeenews.india.com)

Roast string beans for an unexpected burst of flavour

We’re used to seeing green string beans as a side dish, but the white variety is often forgotten. Similar in taste and texture, I like changing it up with this uncommon pick.

These beans are filled with antioxidants and can be stored for at least a week if unwashed and placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper. Roasting the beans along with the garlic, tomatoes and black olives gives you a true Mediterranean feel. Great as a side dish or salad on its own.beans

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line two baking sheets with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
Place the garlic cloves and tomatoes on one of the foil-covered baking sheets. Place the string beans on the other sheet. Spray both sheets of vegetables with vegetable oil.
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the tomatoes. Continue baking for another 10 minutes until the beans are slightly browned and the garlic is soft. Carefully squeeze out the garlic cloves. Continue reading

Breakfast with High-Phenol EVOO Reduces Inflammation Linked to Diabetes, Heart Disease

A new study published in Food Chemistry shows that adding phenol-rich olive oil to breakfast successfully lowers the inflammation linked to metabolic syndrome.


Inflammation is associated with metabolic syndrome, an increasingly common condition characterized by the presence of three of the following pathologies in an individual: obesity (particularly abdominal fat), high blood pressure, a low level of “good” HDL cholesterol, high fasting blood sugar and a high level of triglycerides. Left untreated, metabolic syndrome can trigger diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

Forty-nine patients with metabolic syndrome added 40 ml of high-, medium- or low-phenol virgin olive oil to their breakfast. The high-phenol olive oil (398 parts per million) breakfast neutralized pro-inflammatory gene expression in patients while reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines in blood plasma. The result was an overall lower level of post-meal inflammation.

Phenols — phytochemicals found in plant-based foods such as olives, coffee, tea, and chocolate — have been enjoying the nutritional limelight as an increasing number of health-related benefits are revealed. While the lion’s share of studies to date focus on their anti-oxidant benefits, growing evidence shows that phenols also reduce inflammation.

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How The Olive Compound Hydroxytyrosol Helps Stop Infections

A compound found naturally in olives helps fight bacterial infections, according to an international patent application by Spanish scientists.

They say hydroxytyrosol and derivatives of it can disrupt quorum sensing (QS) – a way in which bacteria ‘talk’ to each other – thereby making infections less virulent. With antibiotic resistance increasing, this is seen as a promising way of treatment.

Madrid-based patent applicant Seprox Biotech, which sells hydroxytyrosol (HT), claims that HT and its derivatives hydroxytyrosol acetate (HTA) and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) have good anti-QS activity, making them useful for preventing and treating many kinds of infections.


Potential usage

It said in its application that in vivo uses could include pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment of bacterial infection. Ex vivo uses include in the manufacture of food, food packaging, medical devices and pharmaceutical compositions, including application to or use in the making of surfaces – such as in medical devices and foods or food packaging – to inhibit formation of bacterial biofilm.

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A taste of the Mediterranean: Olives — their oil and our health

Olives in bowls in a shop. Black and green olivesContinuing with the Mediterranean eating theme practically requires that we cover olives and olive oil at some point in the discussion, since they are so widely consumed by Mediterranean cultures. Traditionally, a Mediterranean diet calls for eating several olives (maybe up to 10) or consuming 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil each day. Let’s take a look at what the benefits of this practice may be.

Are there health benefits from olives that are separate from their oil?

This is the first question I had when starting this post. After all, most dietitians can rattle off several benefits of consuming olive oil without much trouble at all, but olives themselves? I tend to think of olives as mostly a garnish of sorts, not really a food, but in the Mediterranean diet they are indeed a food. Olives are rich in phytonutrients that exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. A recent study even shows that compounds in olive leaves may help increase insulin sensitivity (though the study used capsules and not olives themselves). In fact, one company is seeking a patent for the olive leaf extract, which is a more potent source of the two phytonutrients of interest—oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol—for its effects in the blood sugar control/metabolic syndrome area. These phytonutrients may also play a role in cancer prevention, and are known to have some blood thinning properties. It’s a bit early to jump on the olive leaf extract bandwagon, but it certainly presents some rationale for including more olives in your diet. Olives are also a good source of fiber, iron, copper and vitamin E.

Now to rattle off the olive oil health benefits

Marinated green and black olivesMost of the health chatter around olive oil relates to the fact that it is mainly made up of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). These are considered healthy dietary fats, and when you decrease your consumption of less healthy fats (such as saturated and trans fats) with MUFAs, you can help lower your risk of heart disease by lowering total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. There is also some evidence that suggests that MUFAs may benefit blood sugar control as well—great for those with metabolic syndrome or Type 2 diabetes. In fact, studies like this recent one have shown that a Mediterranean diet that includes olive oil and nuts—without energy (calorie) restriction—reduced diabetes risk in a group of adult men and women who were already at risk of cardiovascular disease. Some types of MUFAs appear to have a use in fighting breast cancer, though more studies need to be done before conclusive benefits are demonstrated.

Bringing it to the table

Healthy golden olive oilOlives or olive oil for you? Both have benefits, and many of them are the same. So it may come down to sodium. Olives are usually high in sodium, though the level varies by type and processing technique. Most olives are brined and cured for several months to offset their naturally bitter taste. This means, of course, that they are salty—and rinsing them does little good. If you’re one of those folks who needs to watch sodium, you may want to go the olive oil route instead of the olive route when following a Mediterranean eating plan.

When choosing olive oil, keep these things in mind:

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has the highest concentration of health-promoting phytonutrients. It’s made by crushing/pressing the olives, and is the first extraction of the oil from high quality olives. Choose EVOO for drizzling, dipping or dressings.
  • Light olive oil, though not worthy of the extra virgin quality label, is still olive oil (albeit likely a mixture of different olive oils) and has comparable health benefits. It is further refined than EVOO, resulting in a more colorless, more mild-tasting oil. It’s better suited to cooking with high heat as its smoke-point is higher than that of EVOO. It’s also a good choice for baking.

(source: http://catchinghealth.bangordailynews.com/)

Did you know that olives and olive oil fight cancer?

It has been repeatedly mentioned in many posts that consumption of olive oil creates a protection shield against many diseases among which it is cancer. Olive oil and olives are among the foods which can and should be consumed daily in one form or the other as part of the Mediterranean diet. You may use olive oil in salads as dressing, in foods when cooking and olives as a snack, in salads or when making a delicious olive pie! Olives and 20131118_olives_and_oilolive oil are major components of the Mediterranean diet and their medical properties have been recognized since the early days of civilization.

The healthy benefits resulting from the olive tree, known in scientific terms as Olea Europaea, have been well known to the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean region for the past 5000 years. The benefits from the leaves and the fruits of the Olive tree were fully exploited by civilizations like the Athenians and the Spartans. The olive tree was the Holy tree of the Athenians and the gift given by the goddess Athena.

Why are olive products beneficial for us? The reasons are many, and we would like you to know that consuming 3-4 olives day or 3 tablespoons of raw extra virgin olive oil protects your body from cancer. How? Olive oil contains a polyphenol calledhydroxytyrosol which destroys tumour cells and prevents their proliferation and expansion in the human body. Hydroxytyrosol is an antioxidant with anti-cancerous properties and many other positive effects on our health. These positive effects have been analysed and explained by many studies and articles by many authors and in many languages…. (more at http://www.mediterraneandietforall.com/did-you-know-that-olives-and-olive-oil-fight-cancer/)


Inolivia | Olives | Nutrition | Health



[EN] The olive fruit is an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids. Olives have 10 times more antioxidants than olive oil and offer to the human body fiber and minerals. It is also a very good source of vitamin E, which is known beneficial against the aging of the body cells. Additionally, olives are rich in antioxidant carotenes and vitamin A that boosts the immune system, helps in the treatment of skin diseases , operates against carcinogenesis , prevents skin aging and contributes to building strong teeth, bones and hair.

[GR] Ο καρπός της ελιάς, είναι εξαιρετική πηγή μονοακόρεστων λιπαρών οξέων. οι ελιές έχουν 10 φορές περισσότερα αντιοξειδωτικά, από το ελαιόλαδο. προσφέρουν στον ανθρώπινο οργανισμό φυτικές ίνες και μέταλλα, ενώ είναι μια πολύ καλή πηγή βιταμίνης ε, η οποία μπορεί να καθυστερήσει τη γήρανση των κυττάρων. Οι ελιές, είναι πλούσιες ακόμη σε αντιοξειδωτικά καροτένια και σε βιταμίνη α που ενισχύει το ανοσοποιητικό, συμβάλλει στη θεραπεία δερματικών παθήσεων, λειτουργεί κατά της καρκινογένεσης, προλαμβάνει τη γήρανση της επιδερμίδας και συμβάλλει στην ανάπτυξη γερών δοντιών, οστών και μαλλιών.

Βραδιά Γευσιγνωσίας Ελαιολάδου

Ευχαριστούμε το κ. Βασίλη Φραντζολά (Food Policy M.Sc.) για την βραδιά μύησης στα μυστικά του ελαιολάδου, στο πλαίσιο του προγράμματος των εκδηλώσεων του “Οίνος ο Αγαπητός”. Από την καλλιέργεια  και συλλογή του ελαιοκάρπου μέχρι την ελαιοποίηση και την αποθήκευση του ελαιολάδου, σημαντικοί παράγοντες αναδείχθηκαν με αποκλειστικό γνώμονα την ποιότητα. Ποιότητα η οποία εκτός από το αλάνθαστο κριτήριο του  τελικού καταναλωτή, αναδεικνύεται κατά τη διαδικασία γευσιγνωσίας στο πλαίσιο προκαθορισμένων κριτηρίων που αντιστοιχούν στην οργανική σύσταση του ελαιολάδου (φαινόλες, οξύτητα κ.α.). Οι βασικοί άξονες των κριτηρίων γευσιγνωσίας ελαιολάδου που εφαρμόστηκαν σε μια σειρά δειγμάτων ελαιολάδου αφορούσαν συγκεκριμένα στο φρουτώδες άρωμα και στην πικάντικη και πικρή γεύση του. Η προσομοίωση της λειτουργίας ενός πάνελ γευσιγνωσίας ελαιολάδου ενθουσίασε τους συμμετέχοντες και έδωσε ελπίδα τόσο για την αναβάθμιση της ποιότητας των ελληνικών λαδιών όσο και για την λήψη πρωτοβουλιών για την θεσμική εναρμόνιση της χώρας στις νέες εξελίξεις στο χώρο του ελαιολάδου. Η ανάπτυξη του τομέα της γευσιγνωσίας ας είναι η αρχή.


Γ. Μπανάβας