Are Green Olives Good for You—Nutrition Facts And Health Benefits

You might wonder if green olives good for you. The two main types are black and green olives. It’s important to know the nutrition facts of green olives and various health benefits.

Green olives in a clear glass jar with water

Are green olives good for you? This is a big question since the two main types are green and black olives. Fun Fact: Olives are up to 15% fat. This is one of the various issues to take up if you’re considering green olives for vegetable salads, low-carb cooking, and vodka martini. There are various factors that determine the health value of olives. They include whether they’re fresh/canned, organic/non-organic, and pitted/unpitted. These are all important issues to take up if you’re shopping for olives. It will help you to choose wisely in terms of health benefits so you get the most nutritional value from the olives.

Olives were first grown in the Mediterranean region about 7,000 years ago. They’ve become a popular ingredient throughout the world. However, it’s one of those foods we’re sometimes not sure of in terms of whether or not they’re healthy. For example, are pimento-stuffed olives in saltwater healthy? There’s no question that natural foods are generally quite food and often are considered superfoods. However, a high amount of food processing can lower the nutritional value including olive oils. It’s certainly an issue since many people don’t live near climates that are olive-friendly like the Mediterranean.

What Exactly Are Green Olives?

Olives were grown 7000+ years ago on the Greek island Crete. Today olives are used for products like olive oil. However, during ancient times they were considered to be sacred food. In fact, olives were used in religious ceremonies. They were also used for hair, bodies, and anointments. In addition, winners at the ancient Olympics were crowned with olive branches/leaves.  

Today they’re grown in regions with similar climates. They include California (USA), Peru, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, etc. In fact, the type of olives grown in those regions is based on the climate.  The most popular variety grown in Greece is the “Kalamata.”

We know what green olives are but are they really about? When we see the different colors it might seem like they’re completely different varieties. However, the main difference is when they’re picked from olive gardens.

The green olives are picked before the fruits become ripple. Meanwhile, the black lives are ripe fruits. The main difference in the olives’ color is related to when they’re picked from the tree. However, There’s also the food processing that takes place, which is related to the process.  

The reason is green olives get soaked in a salt solution with stuff called “lye.” Then the fruits are fermented for up to one year after being picked. The soaking provides various benefits. They include more flavor and less bitterness.

Another big difference is green olives usually get pitted. They’re stuffed with items like:

  • Anchovies
  • Garlic
  • Jalapenos
  • Onion
  • Pimientos

Meanwhile, black olives also get soaked to reduce bitterness. They’re then soaked in brine. However, a big difference is usually they aren’t stuffed, unlike green olives.

Besides that, there aren’t many differences between green and black olives. One difference worth noting is green olives usually have 2x more sodium versus black olives. Another issue is black olives have more oil than green olives.

Are Green Olives Good for You?

Here’s what you get from one serving (3.5 oz./100g) of olives:

Calories

You get up to 145 calories in one serving. This is about 7% of the daily total on a 2,000-calorie diet. It’s not really a sky-high figure. However, you should make sure to count calories during the day to make sure you stay within your calorie limit for the day. This is especially important if your diet requires calorie-counting.

Carbs

You get 6.3g of carbs in a serving of olives. This isn’t super-low. However, when you subtract the fiber it works out to about 3g of net carbs. This definitely qualifies the food as Keto-friendly. The net carbs are calculated by subtracting the food’s fiber content, which is over 3g for a serving of olives.

Protein

There’s about 1g of protein in olives. This isn’t really sky-high but fruits tend to have low-calorie content. You can pair the olives with other foods to boost the protein content and make sure you’re getting enough to meet your daily totals.

Fat

There’s nearly 11g of healthy fat in a serving of olives. Most of the fat is unsaturated, with about 1.5g of saturated fat. This differs from coconut oil, which is higher in saturated fat. It’s worth noting that the high-fat content provides various benefits. They include benefits for the heart, brain, skin, and hair.

Vitamins/Minerals

You get several of them from olives including:

  • Vitamin E
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Sodium

These are all key nutrients that are needed in the daily diet for good health.

Water

Olives are quite high in H2O, which makes up 80% of the food. This provides several benefits like helping to prevent dehydration. It’s recommended that humans consume 3 liters of water daily for anti-aging benefits. That can be from drinking water, food, and beverages.

Green Olives: Health Benefits

Healthy Fat

This is one of the key health benefits of olives. One serving has about 10g to 11g of fat. However, most of this fat is unsaturated, which is generally healthier versus saturated fat. Studies show that diets high in healthy fats can provide various benefits like more weight loss and lower risk of heart disease.

Appetite control

This happens in different ways. For example, fat has 2x more calories versus carbs/protein. So when you consume olives they’re more filling and can help you to stay full whether it’s during a meal or snack food.

Another factor is the fatty acids also slows down digestion and boost a certain hormone. The brain gets the message that you’re full/satisfied, which can help to prevent you from over-eating.

Anti-cancer

Since olives are anti-inflammation and high-antioxidant, this helps to make them an anti-cancer food. These are two factors that increase the risk of cancer. Fighting inflammation and free radical molecules can help to prevent cancer.

Skin-friendly

This is due to the healthy fats including “oleic acid.” So if you want healthy skin you should certainly consider adding more olives to your diet. Green and black options are both good for healthier skin. Just make sure to go with ripe over processed when possible.

Low -calories

Olives are relatively low in calories. This is especially true when you go with fresh olives versus processed ones. A key factor is the particular dishes you add olives to. For example, a “heavy” dish could actually be high-calorie even though the green/black fruits are low-calorie.  

Antioxidants

Olives are high in antioxidants, which can help to fight off free radical molecules that attack healthy cells. This is important because it can help to prevent infection, inflammation, and illness/diseases. In fact, antioxidants might boost life expectancy after learning are green olives good for you.

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