2008. DNA protection from unwanted oxidative stress means better cell function in wide variety of ways and provides cells with decreased risk of cancer development. This ancient and legendary tree was also native to parts of Asia and Africa. The healthy fats in olives make it a healthy choice. 2008. Dark style ripe olives and green olives are examples of olives that have typically been lye-cured. Unripe olives are incredibly bitter and not edible. 2010. Several recent laboratory animal studies have found increased depositing of calcium in bone and decreased loss of total bone mass following consumption of this olive phytonutrient (as well as oleuropein, another key phytonutrient found in olives). The brine in which olives are packed can be used as a replacement for salted water in recipes. Terms of Use 87, Iss. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. Studies indicate that oleuropein acts at the origin site of inflammation to calm it quickly before damage can occur. This description does not necessarily tell you anything helpful about the olive harvesting. Epub 2007 Dec 1. This bitterness is related to their phytonutrient content, and especially to their concentration of oleuropein (a secoirodoid terpene). J Agric Food Chem. Perhaps the best-studied antioxidant phytonutrient found in olives is oleuropein. Owen RW, Haubner R, Mier W et al. any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. They are the medium to large fruit of the Conservolea tree, one of the oldest olive trees in the world. In terms of their phytonutrient content, olives are nothing short of astounding. The difference in color is primarily due to the olive's ripeness when picked but is also affected by processing methods. Whether you like your olives green or black, as a tapenade or spread, these delicious fruits are beloved by epicureans far and wide. Roger Dixon via Getty Images. They’re also a good source of essential minerals. 2011 Jan 12;59(1):121-30. Later on in the maturation process, these trends may be reversed. Findings published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism reveal that one way oleic acid does this is by preventing LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. Get it daily. 2009 Feb;18(1):33-9. The biggest nutritional difference is in the sodium content -- green olives contain about twice as much sodium as black olives. J Food Sci. Their Mediterranean origins are highlighted in their species name, europea, since countries bordering the north shore of the Mediterranean Sea are typically considered as parts of southern Europe. Olives come in many different varieties. Mediterranean production of olives currently involves approximately 800 million trees. (On a worldwide basis, olives are produced in greater amounts than either grapes, apples, or oranges.) chez loulou/Flickr. USDA National Nutrient Database: Olives, Ripe, Canned, PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION. And we don’t just get the olive fruit from the olive tree. Olive trees can have remarkable longevity. At the same time, olives are high in sodium, which decreases their nutritional value somewhat. Catherine Cox started writing in 1989. They are soaked in a lye solution, then fermented in a brine solution for six to 12 months before packing. 2010 June 30; 78(2): 133-154. doi:10.3797/scipharm.0912-18. (This doesn’t have any major bearing on their nutrient profiles, however.) “Olive oil is made up of 100 percent fat, while olives contain about 20 percent fat,” says McDowell. In addition to their function as antioxidants, many of the phytonutrients found in olives have well-documented anti-inflammatory properties.