Olives have been cultivated in parts of the Mediterranean—including Crete and Syria—for at least 5,000 years.The Mediterranean diet always includes olives.
Olives are really good for all of us.
Hydroxytyrosol, an olive phytonutrient that has long been linked to cancer prevention, is now regarded as having the potential to help us prevent bone loss as well.
Research on whole olives and cancer has often focused on two cancer types: breast cancer and stomach (gastric) cancer.
In the case of breast cancer, special attention has been paid to the triterpene phytonutrients in olives, including erythrodiol, uvaol and oleanolic acid.
These olive phytonutrients have been shown to help interrupt the life cycle of breast cancer cells.
Interruption of cell cycles has also been shown in the case of gastric cancer, but with this second type of cancer, the exact olive phytonutrients involved are less clear.
Olive benefits have been demonstrated for the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, nervous system, musculoskeletal system, immune system, inflammatory system, and digestive system.
It is believed that many of these diverse systems benefits are actually related to two underlying health-support aspects of olives, namely, their unusual antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients.
Raw olives right off the tree are much too bitter to eat. They need to be cured first, to bring out their flavor.
If you have a messy olive tree you can harvest the olives right now and prepare them for eating yourself. (PDF)