There are a couple of foods that you just couldn’t have missed in your lifetime. The foods that are just always around! There is no way that you don’t have a jar of olives hanging around in your fridge. If you think you don’t, take another look – they are there!
Olives are one of those superfoods you always read about online. If you look up diets that are good for your skin, heart or anything really, you’ll bump into some olive-related content – no questions about it. It’s not that big of a suprise when you think about it, the olive tree is about 20 to 40 million years old.
And it hasn’t just been living there rent-free for so long. At some point humans started eating them. Which begs the question, if they’ve been part of our diets for so long should you be putting them in your Paleo meals today? Can you eat olives on Paleo?
Seems simple enough, but you never know, so we’re here to check. A lot has happened in those millions of years, and food today is quite processed. Does all this affect the nutritional or health values of the olive? Let’s find out.
Related Post: Do Olives Go Bad?
Can You Eat Olives On Paleo?
You have probably figured it out by now, but let’s just say it loud and clear in case somebody missed a beat – YES you can absolutely eat olives while on the Paleo diet.
There is no way that you’ve spent even a week on Paleo without running into a Paleo recipe that has olive oil in it. Only coconut oil could compete with so many mentions in the Paleo world.
But with that said, we need to get over a few things. No food is without its risks and quirks, so let’s see what they are!
What Are Olives?
When someone says olive there is a 99% chance that they are thinking of the Olea Europaea, which literally means – European olive. Now, this is no coincidence. The olive tree did originate all those years ago in the region of today’s Italy. It can be found in Central and Southern America too, but it did not get on the boat to cross the ocean itself.
It was brought here during the Spanish colonization. The parts where olives survived are ones that had the closest climate to that of the Meditarirean, which would be California in the U.S.A. and Peru, Chile, and Argentina in South America.
There are a couple of versions of olives, even if they all come from the same place. Some olives are green when plucked, but turn black as they are cured. Some turn black on the tree as they mature. Whichever way you turn it, they can’t be eaten straight off the branch since they are too bitter while fresh. This is why they have to be cured.
Now curing does affect the taste of the olive, and there are different curing methods. What method of curing will be used depends on what the olives are for. There is water-curing, brine-curing, lye-curing, and dry-curing. The one thing they all have in common is salt. Lots of salt. This may sound a bit bothersome for some, but don’t worry. Unless you have a medical condition that can cause problems when combined with salt, you’ll be just fine.
There are many ways to eat olives. The two most popular ones are eating them as a side dish or in salads, but we can’t help but to mention them in a pizza conversation. Olive oil is also a common guest in Paleo meals, and it has proven to be very good for skin and hair. But that is far from all they’re good for, let’s get to the most important part of this article: the benefits to your health.
Health Benefits And Risks
Olives have been used for their health benefits for pretty much as long as we’ve been eating them. Health-wise, they truly are a super-food that needs to find a way into your diet. And it’s not just regular olives – olive oil has some great benefits to it. For this reason, we will throw in a couple of benefits for it as well. We just got to mention the oil!
You probably know by now to stay away from cholesterol, and there’s a good reason for this! Cholesterol hangs on to your blood vessel walls, making them tighter and raising the risk of a heart attack and other cardiovascular-related problems. But that’s what bad cholesterol does.
There are two types of the stuff – LDL and HDL cholesterol. LDL fills up your blood vessels, and HDL takes it to the liver, so your body can get rid of it. But both LDL and HDL are important for your body, as they help your nervous system work properly. But, like all substances, you don’t want to have too much of it. This is where olives come into play.
Olives can help lower bad cholesterol, and by doing this the good cholesterol gets rid of the excess easier and your blood vessels are free to do their job the way they need to.
There are several studies that suggest that olives can lower the risk of strokes in old age. Now you may think that this is something your grandfather should worry about, but research suggests that people who consume olives on the regular have a 41% lower risk of strokes than people who ever consumed them. So you might want to start stacking up those olives in your fridge.
We move on to olive oil. Research has shown that a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil lower helps the body regulate blood pressure. But that is not the only step you need to take in this situation. Lowering the intake of saturated fats is as important. Luckily for us Paleo folks, our diet eliminates that step completely! What we’re saying is that even if you don’t plan on using olive oil everyday, definitely keep a bottle of the stuff in your kitchen at all times.
Say Goodbye To Pain Pills
Olives contain a substance called Oleocanthal, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Because of this, having olives in your diet can reduce pain in some chronic inflammatory diseases like Arthritis.
Olives Are Full Of Antioxidants
We always get the advice to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants. The reason is that antioxidants are pretty great at battling chronic diseases and even cancer in some cases! Well, good news, olives are packed full of them, and your meals should be too.
What Are The Health Risks Of Olives?
Now you might think that after all these benefits, there has to be a catch. Something must be wrong here, it can’t be this good! Well hate to break it to you, but olives are just that good. Sure you probably shouldn’t eat only olives all day every day. But we really couldn’t find any risks when it comes to eating them or using olive oil.
The only thing worth mentioning is that you shouldn’t deep fry your food in olive oil for too long, since some of its fat contents can start to break apart. But honestly, you recommend not deep frying your food in general while on Paleo, so that pretty much solved itself.
Nutritional Values Of Olives
So what kind of nutritional values do olives bring to the table? Does a huge intake affect your dieting plans? Let’s find out:
Nutritional Values For Riped, Canned Olives
As we can see, the effect they have on your health outweighs the calorie numbers by a lot. The other thing that is interesting is that they are 80% water! Our advice for not eating them all day still stands, but honestly, even if you do, we don’t see it to be that big of a problem.
Now the calories are not an issue, but we do want to point out that the best way to go about counting how much you’ve eaten is remembering one thing. Ten olives equal about 59. calories.
Can You Eat Olives On Paleo – Final Words
Olives are quite an addition to your meals. The health benefits are off the charts and the calories are on the lower end of the spectrum. They are one of our favourite Paleo-friendly foods, and we can’t recommend them enough.
So if you were wondering, not only should you implement them in your meals – you can go ahead and implement them as one of the healthiest snacks you can put in your body!