What are the health benefits of olives? Olives are a true gift of a food. A bowl of olives and a glass of red wine is one of my greatest pleasures.

Digestive system health

One of the most noticeable thing about olives is their bitter flavour. This is key to how they can help digestion. When we taste something bitter, a nervous reflex takes place, and as a result of this, the gall bladder contracts and releases a squirt of bile. Bile is essential for fat digestion, and also works as the body’s own built-in laxative. This same reflex also increases the production of gastric juices, so protein digestion will be improved slightly.

Heart & circulation

The fatty acids in olive oil have been shown on many occasions to be beneficial for the health of the heart. They can increase the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol, and decrease the bad. Oleic acid in olive oil also seems to have a beneficial effect upon blood pressure.