Olives are nutritious and healthy: they stimulate the cardiovascular system, they are antioxidants and they have dietary fibre, minerals and all the essential amino acids, a good food for athletes and a basic Mediterranean appetizer.
It is important to disprove that false myth about the high caloric content of an appetizer as healthy as table olives. In fact, they have fewer calories than most snacks. For example, compared to the approximately 500 kilocalories that contain 100 grams of chips, the same amount of olives does not exceed 150 Kcal (70% less than French fries). This makes them the perfect aperitif to take care of our organism inside and out.
Reasons to introduce this Mediterranean delight into your diet if you are a sportsperson
#1 PART OF YOUR 5 A DAY
Olives are a fruit and just sixteen olives make up one of your five-a-day. They’re also a great source of dietary fibre, important for a sportsperson because it keeps you feeling fuller for longer and helps to control blood-sugar levels.
In addition, being rich in minerals (calcium, iron and magnesium) and having approximately 50% water, they help restore the body’s water balance after practicing any sport.
#2 PROTECTION FROM FREE RADICALS
Exercising in a polluted environment causes the body to produce inflammation-causing compounds as a result of oxidative stress in the body. Olives are full of Vitamin E – an anti-oxidant that protects cells from those dangerous free radicals, reducing oxidative stress.
#3 VITAMIN RICH
As running can lower the body’s immune defences (particularly in the 24 hours after an intense training session), it is important to include lots of vitamin-rich foods in your diet to strengthen your immune system. In addition to Vitamin E, they contain sodium, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium, essential in the diet of the athlete because, among other things, they help to remedy muscle cramps and protect our muscle mass. In the case of black olives, it should be noted that they are a source of high iron content; reaching 45.5% of the recommended daily amount. The experts talk about seven olives a day to squeeze all their health benefits.
Olives are also rich in vitamins of group B, E and A; which contributes to the protection of cells against oxidative damage and the aging process, thanks to their antioxidants.
#4 HEALTHY FATS
Providing an essential source of energy and all-important fatty acids, fats and oils are a crucial part of a runner’s diet. Olives contain unsaturated healthy fats including omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to speed recovery in athletes by reducing inflammation and improving protein synthesis.
They are a cholesterol-free food -they contain around 0.2 mg per 100 g- thanks to their high percentage of oleic acid that helps maintain normal blood cholesterol levels and protect the heart.
For all these reasons, olives are not only delicious, but they are also great if you like sports. Full of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and unique taste!