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Health Benefits of Olives, Olive Leaves and Olive Oil

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

General Information

Latin Name: Olea europaea

This hub will focus on the benefits of olive oil. But before I get down to this, I would like to give you some information about the olive tree and olives.

The olive tree is an evergreen tree thought to have been existing for over 8000 years. The tree lives for hundreds of years and some have been verified to have been living for over 2000 years. The tree is native to the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa.

Olives are plucked when they are green to dark purple in colour. The colour of the olive fruit does not indicate its ripeness. Many olives start off green and turn black when fully ripe while some olives start green and remain green when ripe while some others start black and remain so when ripe. Olives are picked both unripe and when ripe.

Olives in their natural state are mostly bitter, due to the chemical glycoside that they contain naturally. To overcome this, they have to be processed or cured. There are 5 ways to cure olives viz water curing, brine curing, oil curing, lye curing and salt curing which is also called dry curing.

Green Olives

Uses Of The Olive Tree

The olive tree has been cultivated for a variety of purposes some of which are as given below :

  • For the olive fruit which is used in cooking and for extracting oil.
  • For the olive oil which is used in cooking and as salad oil. It is also used in making soaps, commercial plasters, liniments and dental cement which delay setting time of artificial dentures.
  • For the fine wood, it provides which is used for making pieces of furniture, as it has a beautiful grain and the wood is hard.
  • For the olive leaves that are used in making medicines & medicinal teas etc.
  • The water extracts of the fruit pulp are used in treating rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
  • The waste of the olive tree has been found to give 2 and 1/2 times the energy given by burning other types of wood. Its smoke has no negative impact on the environment and the ash can be used as fertilizer for plants.

Black Olives

Is Olive Oil Good For You ?

Olive oil is a light green to golden yellow coloured oil obtained by cold pressing of the olives. Green olives yield the bitter green oil while the black olives yield the less pungent yellow oil.

If you are not sure whether olive oil is good for you or not I place before you some facts!

Olive oil contains 77% monosaturated fatty acids, 14% saturated fatty acids and 9% polyunsaturated acids. It also contains vitamin E, K and vegetable mucilage

1 tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories and 14 gms of fat but because most of this fat is monosaturated, it is beneficial to the body and helps to reduce cardiovascular diseases, lowers cholesterol and is easily digested.
Countries like Spain, Italy and Greece have a low incidence of heart disease because these people consume olive oil a lot.

Olive oil can be washed away easily if you spill it on the hands and doesn't need a lot of water and soap. This property of olive oil benefits the body in that it is digested very fast and uses very little energy.

As you can see from the above, the benefits of olive oil are quite amazing.

Olive oil is used in cooking, cosmetics, medicines and soap making. It is also used in religious rituals.

Types Of Olive Oil

Olive oil is available in the following varieties :

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    This is the best in quality obtained from the first pressing of the olives and is the least processed. It has less than 1% acidity.
  • Virgin Olive Oil.

    It is the second pressed oil. The acidity is about 1.5%.
  • Pure & Light Olive Oil

    After pressing some filtering and refining is done. A little Extra virgin Oil is added to the refined olive oil.
  • Extra Light Olive Oil

    Considerable processing is done. It retains a very mild olive flavour.

How To Use Olive Oil For Beauty

Olive Oil Nutrition Facts

Olives contain a variety of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Some of them are phenols, terpenes, flavons, anthocyanidins, flavonols, hydroxybenzoic acids and hydroxyphenyl acetic acids. They also contain vitamin E and Vitamin K in good amounts.

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Olive Oil Nutrition

 Olive oil (Olea europaea) 

 

Nutritional value per 100 g.

 

 

(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

 

Principle

Nutrient Value

Percentage of RDA

Energy

884 Kcal

44%

Carbohydrates

0 g

0%

Protein

0 g

0%

Total Fat

100 g

500%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

0 g

0%

Vitamins

 

 

Folates

0 mcg

0%

Niacin

0 mg

0%

Pantothenic acid

0 mg

0%

Pyridoxine

0 mg

0%

Riboflavin

0 mg

0%

Thiamin

0 mg

0%

Vitamin A

0 IU

0%

Vitamin C

0

0%

Vitamin E

14.39 mg

96%

Vitamin K

60.2 mcg

50%

Electrolytes

 

 

Sodium

2 mg

0%

Potassium

1 mg

0%

Minerals

 

 

Calcium

1 mg

0%

Copper

0 mg

0%

Iron

0.56 mg

7%

Magnesium

0 mg

0%

Manganese

0 mg

0%

Phosphorus

0 mg

0%

Selenium

0 mcg

0%

Zinc

0.01 mg

<1%%

Phyto-nutrients

 

 

Carotene

0 mcg

--

Crypto-xanthin

0 mcg

--

Lutein-zeaxanthin

0 mcg

--

Phytosterols

221 mg

--

 

 

 

Olive Oil Health Benefits

Health Benefits of Olive Oil

  • Olive oil stimulates the metabolism, helps digestion and soothes the mucous lining of the skin.
  • It relieves constipation and other stomach ailments, has antioxidant benefits, lowers cholesterol and controls ear problems.
  • Olive oil controls dandruff and hair loss, moisturizes the skin, reduces stretch marks and makes bones strong.
  • It helps in controlling diabetes, obesity, hypertension and blood pressure.
  • It also helps in prevention of gall stones, cancer especially colon cancer, soothes ulcers and acts as a natural pain reliever.
  • It helps in reducing bone loss due to its vitamin K content.
  • Vitamin K also helps in limiting brain damage in Alzheimer's.

Olive Oil Health Benefits

For Digestion

Take 1 tsp of olive oil on an empty stomach to stimulate digestion and remove flatulence and heartburn and correct stomach upsets.

For constipation

In the morning take 1 tsp olive oil in a glass of lemon juice on empty stomach.

Also, take enema made from 5 ounces of olive oil in 20 ounces of boiling water after cooling to lukewarm state.

For Ear Problems

Put a few drops of warm olive oil in the blocked ear. Lie for 5 minutes and then turn over so that the oil flows out. Do not do this if you have a perforated eardrum.

In Earache

Soak a cotton pad in olive oil. Put 5 drops of lavender oil on this. Place the pad in the outer ear loosely till the pain subsides.

In Hair Loss

Massage the head with oil daily for a week at night. Wash in the morning.

In Dandruff

Warm a little olive oil and massage into the scalp. Wrap a towel around and leave for 1/2 an hour then wash the hair.

For Dry Skin

Apply olive oil daily. Can also be applied on stretch marks to lighten them.

For Weak Nails

Add 1 tsp lemon juice to 3 tsp lukewarm olive oil. Soak the nails in this. Wear gloves and keep overnight. It helps in making nails stronger.

In Lowering Cholesterol

The monounsaturated fatty acids lower the LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels but do not affect the HDL levels. Try to use olive oil in place of butter or other oils in cooking. Minimum 15% of the daily calories should come from unsaturated fatty acids to lower cholesterol.

Olive Oil Uses

Other than it being used in cooking and the health benefits of olive oil, it has many non-conventional uses as well.

  • It helps in taming tangled hair as it moisturizes the hair.
  • It can ease snoring. Taking a sip of the oil before going to bed helps in lubricating the throat muscles.
  • Silverware, copperware, and other metals can be given a final rub with olive oil to prevent streaks and tarnish.
  • To clean furniture add a few drops on a cloth and wipe.
  • Stuck zippers can benefit from a rub of some olive oil on the teeth of the zipper.
  • It can also help in preventing squeaky hinges when lubricated.

Safety Factor

Olive oil can be used daily. It has no allergic agents, unlike some other oils.


Olive Oil Care

  • Do not place olive oil a lighted and hot place. The oil will oxidise and become rancid fast.
  • Refrigeration is not advised as condensation in the bottle may affect the flavour of the oil.
  • Cold weather can make the oil turn cloudy or it can solidify. It turns back to its liquid state when kept at room temperature.
  • Dark coloured glass containers, porcelain or stainless steel are best for storing olive oil.
  • Never store olive oil in plastic or metal containers.
  • Always keep the cap of the bottle firmly closed.

Olive Leaf

Medicinal uses of Olive Leaf

About Olive Leaf

The leaves of the olive tree are used in alternative medicine. The leaves contain primarily the antioxidants oleuropein, and hydroxytyrosol, other polyphenols and flavonoids.

The leaves have the ability to inhibit the reproduction of many natural pathogens. They are also used in getting relief from cold, flu, yeast and viral infections. They also reduce LDL, the bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure, help in post-stroke recovery, reduce brain oedema, treat some tumours and cancers.

The leaves can be consumed as a liquid concentrate, a dried leaf tea, as powder or capsule form.
The fresh leaf extracts in liquid form are the most healing due to the wide range of healing compounds contained in it.

Conversion Chart Source http://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/conversion-chart

ConversionChart

Use olive oil instead

of butter or margarine

Butter/Margarine

Olive Oil

1 teaspoon

3/4 teaspoon

1 tablespoon

2 1/4 teaspoons

2 tablespoons

1 1/2 tablespoons

1/4 cup

3 tablespoons

1/3 cup

1/4 cup

1/2 cup

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons

2/3 cup

1/2 cup

3/4 cup

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon

1 cup

3/4 cup

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Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer for you.

  1. Did you know about these benefits of olive oil?
    • yes
    • no
    • most of them
    • some of them
  2. Are you using olive oil?
    • yes
    • no
    • sometimes
  3. Would you change over to olive oil usage now?
    • yes
    • no
    • don't know
    • maybe
  4. Did you find the hub informative?
    • yes
    • no
    • somewhat

Scoring

Use the scoring guide below to add up your total points based on your answers.

  1. Did you know about these benefits of olive oil?
    • yes: +5 points
    • no: +0 points
    • most of them: +4 points
    • some of them: +2 points
  2. Are you using olive oil?
    • yes: +5 points
    • no: +0 points
    • sometimes: +3 points
  3. Would you change over to olive oil usage now?
    • yes: +5 points
    • no: +0 points
    • don't know: +0 points
    • maybe: +2 points
  4. Did you find the hub informative?
    • yes: +5 points
    • no: +0 points
    • somewhat: +3 points

Interpreting Your Score

A score between 0 and 6 means: You are not much aware of the health aspects of olive oil.