Olives are often used for flavoring or garnishing food, while olive oil is often used to cook other foods. However olive is eaten, it has high nutritious value. These black or green nut-shaped fruits have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can protect you against heart diseases, cancer, and other inflammatory diseases like asthma and arthritis. Studies have also found that when unhealthy fats in one’s diet is replaced (yes, unhealthy fats still need to be eliminated) with healthy olive fats or olive oil, LDL cholesterol levels could drop by 18%. A double-blind-placebo-controlled study also found that extracts of olive leaves helped reduce blood pressure in those with hypertension. Olives are rich in an omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid. A study published in the Annals of Oncology reported that oleic acid found in olive oil can help significantly cut the expression of a breast-cancer-promoting-gene by up to 46%. Studies have also found that diabetic patients who ate meals with olive oil gained better control of their blood sugar than those who ate low-fat meals without olive oil. Beside being an excellent source of healthy fats, olives are also filled with iron, vitamin E, and fiber.
 Collins, Elise Marie. An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods: A Shopper’s Companion. San Francisco, California: Conari Press, 2009. Print.
 Murray, Michael, ND., Pizzorno, Joseph, ND., and Pizzorno, Lara, MA, LMT. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books, 2005. Print.
Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.