Food Recipe Collections & Favorites Popular Ingredients 4 Healthy Reasons to Eat More Olives There are several health benefits to eating olives on the regular. By Laura Fisher Laura Fisher Laura Fisher is a sustainability and health professional with a passion for good food, the outdoors, and fitness. She has a Masters degree from NYU in Environmental Education and is a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She can be reached at: email@example.com. Real Simple's Editorial Guidelines Updated on November 10, 2022 Fact checked by Danielle Slauter Fact checked by Danielle Slauter Highlights: * Has worked as a fact checker for Real Simple since 2022 * Worked as a staff writer for Mochi Magazine * Currently runs and operates the United States blog for Student Beans Our Fact-Checking Process Share Tweet Pin Email Olives are one of the staples of the Mediterranean Diet, which is well-known for improving cholesterol levels and lowering the risk of heart disease and diabetes, says Montserrat Fitó, MD, Ph.D., coordinator of the Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition Research Group at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain. But what exactly is it about those salty, plump morsels that makes them such an important part of the top-rated diet of the year, according to U.S. News & World Report? Read on to find out exactly why you should be including more olives in your diet. Remember, if you don't like the taste of olives, you can reap many of their benefits through olive oil—just be sure to use it at low to medium heat. There are also companies like Olyxir, which makes teas and chocolates from olive leaves, meaning you get all the antioxidants and vitamins with none of the olive taste. If you do like olives, in addition to popping them straight, try making a tapenade, serving them over fish or chicken, or in a salad with radicchio. 9 Plant-Based Foods RDs Say You Should Be Eating More Of 01 of 04 Antioxidants Olives, whether they be black, green, or stuffed with blue cheese, are loaded with Vitamin E and polyphenols, both of which are powerful antioxidants. To break that down a little, antioxidants are potent compounds that fight free radicals in the body, which can help protect cells and prevent cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Antioxidants also help protect your immune system, helping you avoid getting sick and keep you healthy as you age. Vitamin E is fat-soluble, meaning that it's better absorbed into your bloodstream when combined with fat—just like in that perfect little olive package that nature cleverly designed. 02 of 04 Healthy Fats Olives are packed with monounsaturated fats, which qualify as healthy fats that can reduce the risk of heart disease and potentially decrease inflammation in the body. It is these fats that are extracted to make olive oil, which we all know and love as one of the healthiest ways to dress up a salad or a bowl of pasta. RELATED: 8 Clever Uses for Coconut Oil (That Are Almost Too Good to Be True) 03 of 04 Iron This is specific to black olives, including Kalamatas. Those dark little fruits (yes, olives are technically fruit!) contain a good dose of iron, which is an essential nutrient and helps carry oxygen to the blood. Iron deficiency is quite common among women and could be the reason why you are fatigued, lightheaded, or have cold hands and feet. Just 100 grams of olives provides about 16% of the recommended daily amount for women ages 19 to 40. 04 of 04 Fiber The benefit of eating the whole olive and not just the oil is that you get an added dose of dietary fiber, which helps keep you full and your digestive system operating smoothly. It's not a huge amount, but we'll take any excuse to sprinkle a few of those savory bursts of flavor onto our plates any day. RELATED: Every Question You've Ever Had About Cooking Oils, Answered Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Real Simple is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy. Bonaccio M, Di Castelnuovo A, De Curtis A, et al. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with lower platelet and leukocyte counts: results from the Moli-sani study. 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