Food Recipe Collections & Favorites Popular Ingredients 4 Benefits of Eating Olives on a Regular Basis There are several health advantages to eating olives. By Laura Fisher Laura Fisher Laura Fisher is a sustainability and health professional with a passion for good food, the outdoors, and fitness. Real Simple's Editorial Guidelines Updated on March 8, 2023 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 make them such an important part of the top-rated diet of 2022, according to U.S. News & World Report? We share the benefits of eating olives and why adding them to your diet is a healthy option. Olives Are Incredibly Misunderstood—Here's Everything You Need to Know About Your Favorite Briny Fruit 01 of 05 Packed With Antioxidants Olives—whether black, green, or stuffed with blue cheese—are loaded with Vitamin E and polyphenols, 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 keeping you healthy as you age. Vitamin E is fat-soluble, meaning it's better absorbed into your bloodstream when combined with fat—just like in that perfect little olive package nature cleverly designed. 02 of 05 Full of 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. 03 of 05 Increased Iron This is specific to black olives, including Kalamatas. Those dark little fruits (yes, olives are technically a fruit!) contain a good dose of iron, an essential nutrient that helps carry oxygen to the blood. Iron deficiency is quite common among women and could be why you feel fatigued, lightheaded, or have cold hands and feet. Just 100 grams of olives provides about 16 percent of the recommended daily amount for women ages 19 to 40. 04 of 05 Added 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. 05 of 05 Additional Tips for Olive Nutritional Benefits If you don't like the taste of olives, reap many of the same health benefits with 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. How to Pit Olives Like a Pro 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. Blood. 2014;123(19):3037-3044. doi:10.1182/blood-2013-12-541672 Georgoulis M, Kontogianni MD, Yiannakouris N. Mediterranean diet and diabetes: prevention and treatment. Nutrients. 2014;6(4):1406-1423. doi:10.3390/nu6041406 Hernáez Á, Castañer O, Elosua R, et al. Mediterranean diet improves high-density lipoprotein function in high-cardiovascular-risk individuals: a randomized controlled trial. Circulation. 2017;135(7):633-643. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.116.023712 U.S. News & World Report. Best Diets Overall 2022. 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