Hidden Health Benefits of Olives

(By Mehak Khalid*, Mujahid Ali**, Muhammad Ali**)

(*IFSN, UOS; **Horticulture, UOS; Horticulture, BZU)

Olive is a great blessing of Allah, the Almighty. It has amazing health benefits in its fruit and one of the oldest fruit in the history. A lot of great personalities enjoyed this fruit including Prophet Muahmmad (SAW). Olives are small fruits that grow on olive tree. Olive trees know as Olea europaea. In Urdu It is called “Zaitoon”. It belongs to a group of fruit called drupes or stone fruit olives. It is mentioned in Quran as “And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess. [Surah al-Anaam, 6:141]. It is also mentioned in Hadith, Abu Aseed said: “The Prophet (SAW) said: “Eat the oil and use it on your hair and skin, for it comes from a blessed tree.” (Al-Tirmidhi, 1775).

Olive top producing countries are Italy Greece, Turkey, Tunisia, Portugal, Syria and Morocco. Olives are related to mangoes, cherries, peaches, almonds, and pistachios. there are so many health benefits of olives as olives are very high in vitamin E. They are power full anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidant reduces the risk of chronic disease such as heart and cancer. Due to rich in anti-oxidant it reduces the inflammation which ultimately reduces the growth of unwanted microorganism. Olive increase blood level of Glutathione. Glutathione is a most power full and anti-oxidant in body. Due to anti-oxidant property they reduce oxidative damage in the body and help to fight infection caused by bacteria.

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It is good for heart and protect against osteoporosis and cancer. Fresh unripened olives have high amount of oleuropein. During ripening of olives oleuropein is broken down into hydroxytyrosol which is power full anti-oxidant. Olive oil make body strong as it has lot of energy. That is why Arab people have strong body who use this oil. It also improves sterility in male.

Olives are rich in carbohydrates vitamins protein these are rich source of energy for human body. Black olive contain iron and iron is important for the transport of oxygen in RBCs. Due to deficiency of iron anemia cause. Olives also contain copper and copper deficiency may increase the risk of heart disease. Olives contain calcium which is abundant material found in the body and necessary for bone muscle and nerve function. Sodium is present in high amount in olives because olives are packaged and canned in brine or salt water. Olives reduce the blood pressure because high blood pressure and high cholesterol level are both factor for heart disease. Oleic acid in olives regulate the cholesterol and protect the cholesterol form oxidation.

Osteoporosis is deducted by decreased bone mass and bone quality which increase the risk of fractures, but the use of olives can lower the risk because it is found protective which help to prevent bone lose. olives reduce the risk of cancer due to high content of partially due to high content of anti-oxidant and oleic acid. Olive contain low calories. Olives have a “negative caloric load” which mean we born more calories digesting an olive that we gain eating one.

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Olive are not fattening because the contain mono unsaturated fat which increase good cholesterol level. olives contain polyphenols which is a natural chemical that reduce oxidative street in bandoliers can improve memories. Olives help the skin stay soft and healthy due to oleic acid as it removes wrinkles of face and around eyes.

Olives can edge off appetite because mono unsaturated fatty acid in olives slow down digestion and stimulate the hormone cholecystokinin. Which send message of fullness and satisfaction.to brain. olives oil contains oleocanthal a substance which is anti-inflammatory agent that can act as natural ibuprofen.

Olives reduce the effect of degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s benign and malignant tumors. Olives help prevent blood clot that could lead to myo-cordial infection or deep vein thromobosis. Olives enhances fertility a reproductivity. Olives play vital role in maintaining healthy immune system especially during oxidative stress. oleuropein a value able chemical found in olive act as anti-microbial and anti-bacterial agent for the body.

Tyrosol is present in olive oil prevent heart disease and oleanolic acid help to prevent liver damage regulate blood fats and reduce inflammation. Quercetin lower the blood pressure and improve heart health. Due to so many health benefits of olives we should take adequate amount of olives in our daily diet. It can be used as replacement of vegetable oil or along with it in cooking meals. Its fruit pickles are also available in markets now a day. Now a days Pakistan govt is organizing planes to grow olive in different barren areas of the countries. Its cuttings have been planted in different areas for propagation.

Mujahid Ali

I am a PhD scholar in Institute of Horticultural Sciences, UAF and Visiting Lecturer in Horticulture Department in University of Sargodha.

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