Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Health Benefits of Olives - A Natural Aphrodisiac!

Olives are one of the oldest and healthiest foods known to man.  They were grown widely, traded and eaten in the ancient Mediterranean, and stone mortars and presses used for olive oil extraction date as far back as 5000 BC!  The wood from the trees were used for fuel and construction, and the olive fruit and oil remain one of the oldest medicines known to man (it is, indeed, a fruit). All olives actually start off green. They are picked in different stages and gradually turn from green to black as they ripen. Olives are one of the only fruits that can not be eaten right off the tree. Unripe olives are packed with bitterness; they are cured in water or salt to make them edible. Olives are also a natural aphrodisiac - who knew?!

Health Benefits:

Oleic Acid 
Oleic Acid comprises 75% of the fat in olives.  It is a monounsaturated fat that helps to lower blood cholesterol levels, promote the development of bones and marrow, maintain balance in the metabolism and prevent oxidization.  This is a great fat to introduce into your diet and is liquid at room temperature.

1 cup of black olives provides 38% of your daily value of copper.  Copper is central to building strong tissue, maintaining blood volume, and producing energy in your cells.  It is required to manufacture collagen, a major structural protein in the body, and functions as a cofactor in the formation of the anti-oxidizing enzyme "superoxide dismutase."

That same cup of black olives will provide you with 1/4 of your daily iron requirement (Olives are the most iron-rich fruit in the world).  Iron is contained in hemoglobin, which exists within the red blood cells in your body.  It is extremely important in the transportation of oxygen throughout the body.  It is also magnetic.  If you've ever wondered how the magnetic field produced by your body directly relates to your biological health, think about that iron moving around.

Weight Loss
When replacing saturated fats, olive oil has shown to reduce insulin insensitivity and help break down fat inside of fat cells.  The aroma extracts in olive oil have also been known to leave people feeling more full.

Improve Memory 
Olives contain polyphenols, a natural chemicals that reduce oxidative stress in the brain. EATING a daily serving of olives improves memory by 25% according to research from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Cancer Prevention
In addition to the abundance of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory acids, olives contain squalene and terpenoid, two compounds that work to neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals on the body’s cells.

Heart Health
Olive oil contains biophenols, which reduce blood pressure and suppress the synthesis of LDLs (Low-density lipoproteins).  LDLs are known as "bad cholesterol" and the biophenols help prevent them from hardening the arterial walls (which could, otherwise, lead to atherosclerosis).

Pain Reduction
A compound within olives, called oleocanthal, has notable anti-inflammatory properties resembling those of ibuprofen.  Though structurally dissimilar to ibuprofen, they both inhibit an enzyme called cyclooxygenase and help prevent inflammation.

Prevention Of Stomach Ulcers
Helicobacter pylori is a stomach ulcer inducing bacteria found in gastric acid and has developed some resistance to antibiotics throughout the world.  In-vitro studies have shown that some phenols from olive oil can destroy 8 strains of H. pylori and may be a legitimate chemopreventive agent for peptic ulcers or gastric cancer.

Healing Properties
Because it plays an important role in maintaining healthy immune system, especially during oxidative stress and chronic viral diseases,

Reduce Wrinkles
Eating olives improves the appearance of wrinkles by 20% since they contain oleic acid, which keeps skin soft and healthy. In addition, olives contain vitamin E, an excellent antioxidant for skin health.

Vitamin E, Vitamin A, And Fiber
The nutrient rich olive is full of hugely beneficial vitamins that help improve vision, digestion, skin and hair health and the list goes on.

They Taste Great!
Olives taste awesome.  Yes, this is an opinion.  Cured olives go great on anything from pizza, to martinis, to salads and sandwiches, to breads.  Their mild, yet pungent deliciousness permeates cultures and restaurants around the world.

Last but definitely NOT Least:  

Both the green and black olives are natural aphrodisiacs. Use them to spice up your palate and your plate for a taste of succulent seduction with your mate.

When it comes to being an aphrodisiac, the green olive is believed to make men more virile.  While black olives are known for increasing a woman’s sex drive.

Being healthy is crucial to having a good sex life!

Mix up this green and black olive tapenade to serve up next time you and your boo have a romantic dinner at home. Having both olives in the dish should get your both in the mood for a round or two of making delicious love making.

Green and Black Olive Tapenade

1 1/2 cups pitted green olives
1 1/2 cups pitted black olives
2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, crushed with a garlic press or finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Mixing it up:

In a food processor, finely chop all olives; transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in orange and lemon zest.
Using flat side of a large knife, mash anchovies with garlic to form a paste. Add parsley, oil, and pepper to olives; stir until blended. Spread on spread on bread slices or crackers and feed to your lover.

Treat yourself to one of the greatest foods in the world often, and share the knowledge of their health benefits, as well as their flavors, with your family, friends, and your lover.  

Intuitively Yours, 
Laurel  XOXO


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