Live it up with olives

by Sanjeev Kapoor

Did you know that just ten percent of the world’s olive production is used for table consumption? Rest of it is for extraction of the various oils. Now ten percent may seem like a really small amount, but even that translates into a figure of 1,500,000 metric tonnes.

Here is why olives – black, green or the oil that is pressed from them have become such a favourite with health freaks and food fanatic alike!

Health benefits

Anti oxidant rich – The same compounds responsible for their characteristic slight bitter taste are also what make olives one of the highest antioxidant rich natural foods. Along with other compounds like calcium and zinc they contribute to glowing skin, shiny hair and general good health.

Cancer fighter – Olives protect against colon, breast and skin cancer. Phenolic antioxidants as well as the anti-cancer compounds present in olives, work together to neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals on the body’s cells.

Heart Healthy Olives and olive oil both contain biophenols which reduce the amount of LDL (bad cholesterol) and arterial plaque in the blood stream. It ultimately lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke. Oil expressed from these fruits is recognized as one of the healthiest edible oils since it contains less saturated fat and plenty of omega 3 and omega 6 compounds.

Iron power – olives have around 4.4 mili grams of iron per cup which is a very important mineral in ensuring proper production and circulation of hemoglobin and blood in the body.  Along with other important minerals like calcium, copper manganese and zinc it contributes to the formation of Adenosine triphosphate or ATP, your body’s main energy source.

Low Calorie – 100 grams of olives contain just about 115 calories. Even in this most of it is constituted by healthy fat or mono unsaturated fatty acids (mufa). They also contain fibre which promotes good digestion.

Quick Party Starters with olives

  • At you next party try circulating stuffed olives on crushed ice in margarita glasses. Wow, no nuts, no tikkas, just healthy tender stuffed olives where you could pick from ones with pimento, or almonds or hazelnuts.
  • Not a lot of food comes in the colour black. A black olive tapenade is a great way to include the classic colour onto your plates. Grind about 15-20 black olives, 8-10 garlic cloves, a few basil leaves, some sea salt and half cup of cold pressed extra virgin (or just any other) olive oil to a smooth paste for this delicious dip/spread.
  • Skewer olives, lettuce leaves, feta cheese and tomatoes on a toothpick and drizzle with olive oil and a hint of pepper – it makes for a quick healthy and really tasty party starter.

Now that you know of enough reasons and ways to include these gorgeous fruits in your diet, don’t shy away from picking up that bottle of pickled olives on your next super market visit.

For more recipes browse through

Recommended recipes-

Olive Tapenade,  Cumin And Black Olive Hummus,  Olive And Potato Balls,  Cheese and Olive Sandwich,  Sweet Olive Pickle,  Spiced Olives and Dried Tomatoes,  Olive Fingers,  Olive and Chilli Cheese,  Chicken Pie With Tomatoes And Olives,  Olive ke Pakode

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.