Olives are fruits of the tree known as Olea europaea. ‘Olea’ is the Latin word for ‘oil,’ reflecting the olives very high fat content, of which 75% is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. ‘Europaea’ reminds us that olives are native to the Mediterranean region of Europe.
Olive is a drupe or stone-fruit with a central single seed, surrounded by edible pulp. Their size and shape greatly varies depending on the cultivar type.
On an average, a fruit weighs about 3-5 g. Raw fruits are green, which turn yellow to dark as it ripens further. Its fruits are generally picked at stages, whether they destined to be used as table fruits or pressed for oil.
Traditionally, olives have been viewed as very healthy food. The fruit provides calories; contain significant amounts of plant-derived anti-oxidants, minerals, phyto-sterols, and vitamins.
Olives are a moderate source of calories; 100 g of fruits provide just 115 calories. Their calorie content basically comes from fats. Nonetheless, the fruit composes healthy fat in the form of mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) like oleic acid (18:1) and palmitoleic acid (16:1) that help lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol” in the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet, which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.What You Need To Know about Olive Nutritional Facts,