Black olives are a flavorful addition to many dishes for a variety of occasions, ranging from a simple side dish at Thanksgiving dinner to a main ingredient in pastas, sandwiches, salads and tapenades. Although black olives are typically high in unhealthful sodium, they do provide many nutritious benefits to a meal.
One of the leading health benefits of black olives is their high level of the "good" fat known as monounsaturated fat. The monounsaturated fats in olives help reduce bad cholesterol levels, and that can reduce your risk of developing heart disease and stroke, states the American Heart Association.
The phytonutrients in black olives, such as polyphenols and flavonoids, boost the overall health value of black olives. These phytonutrients play a role in preventing inflammation in the body. This can help reduce the effects of inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis and asthma.
Iron is abundant in black olives. Iron is necessary to help distribute oxygen throughout the body, and it plays an important role in creating the energy your body needs to function. Iron is also essential for the operation of your immune system.
High levels of vitamin E are also present in black olives. Vitamin E helps the body in several ways, including boosting the immune system, inhibiting inflammation in the body and preventing blood clots. Vitamin E may also help prevent heart disease, eye degeneration, cognitive disorders and even some forms of cancer, states the National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements.
Black olives are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is beneficial for regulating your digestive system to prevent problems such as constipation. Soluble fiber creates a gel inside your digestive system that helps regulate your blood sugar levels, and it can reduce your LDL "bad" cholesterol levels, states the Mayo Clinic.
- olives image by Snezana Skundric from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.