Olives are the edible fruit of the olive tree, or Olea Europaea. Olives can be eaten after a treatment in order to attenuate the bitter taste of freshly harvested olives or used raw to extract olive oil. Olives are rich in monounsaturated fats, the percentage in black olives is higher, about 25%, than that in green olives, 15%, these fats are important because they help lower LDL cholesterol levels, increase good cholesterol HDL and reduce blood pressure. Olives also bring antioxidants important against the aging processes and anti-inflammatory substances with beneficial effects on cardiovascular health and tumor prevention. Indeed, one of these substances, hydroxytyrosol, is a phytonutrient that seems to induce apoptosis, namely the death of cancer cells, as reported in a study published in 2014 on the Food and Function magazine where a team of the Clinical Nutrition Research Center in Singapore has shown that hydroxytryrosol is able to induce death in colon cancer cells. Olives contain also vitamins, for example vitamin A, group B, E, important against the aging processes of the skin and to protect skin from damages caused by UV rays, vitamin K and J, but also mineral salts such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium. Finally, the olives have detox properties for what concerns the liver and aid digestion. You can add olives to salads, side dishes or to the sauce for pasta, remember to rinse well the pickled olives before using them in order to remove the salt. And what about homemade pickled olives? The process is very easy, but it takes a couple of weeks. First of all, make a cut on the olives, then soak them in a bowl full of water. The olive should rest in this way for about two weeks, change the water twice a day. Then, try to eat an olive, it should no longer be bitter. Boil 1 liter of water and 80 g of coarse salt until the salt dissolves. Remove from heat and let it cool down, you can add oregano. Then take some clean jars, pour the olives and the salty water, the olives should be completely covered by water, cover the surface with laurel leafs as to make a cap, in this way you will flavor the olives but you will also be sure that the olives will be all covered by the salty water. Close the caps of the jars, keep them closed in a cool place for two months, then you can eat them.
Vitamins and mineral salts, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, detox action on the liver, helpful to keep under control the cholesterol levels and blood pressure, studies have demonstrated the role of olives in cancer prevention because there are substances, contained in the olives, able to cause the death of cancer cells.