By now, you’ve most likely heard of the multiple health benefits associated with the Mediterranean Diet. It’s been found to help reduce inflammation, improve your cognitive function, and help you have a healthier heart. And while the diet consists of many different types of foods, one of the most popular Mediterranean Diet snacks is olives!
Whether you love them or hate them, olives are packed full of health benefits, which is why they are such a healthy staple in many types of healthy eating plans. Learn more about the surprising effects of eating olives, and for more healthy eating tips check out Secret Side Effects of Eating Cucumbers.
You’ll get a boost of healthy fats.
Olives are made up largely of healthy fats and contain high levels of a specific fat called oleic acid, which makes up 74% of the fat found in olives. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat and has been known to help with inflammation.
Getting more of these “healthy” fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in your diet, especially when they replace fats like saturated and trans fats, can significantly help your overall health. You’ll see more specific health benefits related to these fats below.
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You may improve your brain function.
One of the main benefits of getting more healthy fatty acids in your diet is that they can help you improve your brain health and functioning. According to Psychology Today, people who eat plenty of monounsaturated fats often have higher levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which we need for functions like memory retention and learning.
Olives also contain phenolic compounds, which have found to have a connection to protecting against age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
You’ll get a nice dose of fiber.
While olives and olive oil have many of the same health benefits, one of the specific effects of eating olives is that they contain dietary fiber! In fact, three ounces of canned olives contain around 3.2 grams of fiber, which is a helpful amount for a small snack.
Getting enough fiber in your diet is one of the main keys to a healthy heart, healthy cholesterol levels, good digestion, and longevity as a whole, and olives can be a helpful part in reaching your fiber goals.
You can improve the health of your heart.
Olives are one of the best heart-healthy foods you can snack on because of their high levels of monounsaturated fats. According to a report published in Lipids in Health and Disease, monounsaturated fats were found to help reduce the overall risk of mortality, stroke, and cardiovascular disease in the study’s participants.
Monounsaturated fats can also help you lower “bad cholesterol” (LDL) and raise “good cholesterol” (HDL), which in turn can help you maintain a healthy heart.
This content was originally published here.