Olives~ Did You Know?

Olives, a savory Mediterranean fruit, are often cured and eaten whole as a tangy, salty snack. Many people also enjoy them on pizzas and salads or processed into oil or tapenade.

They’re known for being rich in beneficial fats and are included in the popular Mediterranean diet, so you may wonder whether olives can help you lose weight.

This article explains whether olives aid weight loss.

olives in a bowl
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How olives affect weight loss

Olives may affect your weight in a variety of ways.

Calorie density

Olives have a notably low calorie density.

Calorie density is a measure of the number of calories in a food relative to the food’s weight or volume (in grams). In general, any food with a calorie density of 4 or more is considered high.

Whole black or green olives have a calorie density of 1–1.5.

Choosing foods with a low-calorie density may boost weight loss, as these foods tend to help you feel full for longer — and for fewer calories (1Trusted Source2Trusted Source3Trusted Source4Trusted Source).

Healthy fats

Olives also boast healthy unsaturated fats, which differ from saturated and trans fats due to their chemical structure. All fats contain the same amount of calories, but unsaturated fats affect your body beneficially (5Trusted Source6).

In particular, replacing carbs and other fats in your diet with monounsaturated fats may reduce inflammation and decrease your risk of heart disease (7Trusted Source8Trusted Source9Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

Monounsaturated fats are found in foods like olives, nuts, avocados, and plant-based oils. Some research links diets high in monounsaturated fats directly to weight loss (11Trusted Source).

A 60-day study in 32 women compared diets high monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with normal diets. The diet high in monounsaturated fats resulted in a weight loss of up to 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg), plus lower fat mass, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference (12Trusted Source).

Furthermore, a large review of low calorie diets revealed that high fat eating patterns more often lead to weight loss than low fat ones (13Trusted Source).

Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes whole foods and seafood while limiting processed foods, may boost weight loss. Olives, olive oil, and other healthy fats are a key component of this diet (14Trusted Source15Trusted Source16Trusted Source).

Specific studies on this diet suggest that it may result in 1–4.5 pounds (2.2–10.1 kg) of weight loss (17Trusted Source18Trusted Source).

All the same, other studies don’t directly associate it with weight loss (19Trusted Source).

Nevertheless, the Mediterranean diet appears to provide a wide range of health benefits, such as reduced blood pressure and waist circumference (19Trusted Source20Trusted Source21Trusted Source22Trusted Source23Trusted Source).

SUMMARY

Olives have a low calorie density and are a good source of healthy fats, two factors that may boost weight loss by helping keep you full and replacing less healthy fats in your diet.

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Olive nutrition facts

The nutritional profile of olives varies based on the type of olive and the curing method. Still, most are low in calories but fairly high in salt and beneficial fats.

The following chart examines the nutrients in 1.2 ounces (34 grams) of black and green olives. This serving provides approximately 10 small- to medium-sized olives (24Trusted Source25Trusted Source).

Black olivesGreen olives
Calories3649
Carbs2 grams1 gram
Proteinless than 1 gramless than 1 gram
Total fat3 grams5 grams
Monounsaturated fat2 grams4 grams
Saturated fat2% of the Daily Value (DV)3% of the DV
Fiber3% of the DV4% of the DV
Sodium11% of the DV23% of the DV

Depending on the size of the fruits, a serving of 10 green or black olives may contain 35–95 calories.

Notably, olives are rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which fight harmful compounds called free radicals in your body. They’re also believed to help reduce your risk of health conditions like diabetes and heart disease (26Trusted Source27Trusted Source).

SUMMARY

Whole olives are low in calories but rich in polyphenols and healthy fats. They tend to be high in sodium.

Moderation is key

Although olives have a low-calorie density and may aid weight loss in several ways, it’s best to enjoy them in moderation due to their high salt content, as well as their overall fat content.

Furthermore, if you don’t closely monitor portion sizes, olives’ calorie count can add up quickly.

To keep your saturated fat intake within the recommended guidelines, it’s best to limit your intake to 2–3 ounces (56–84 grams) — about 16–24 small- to medium-sized olives — per day.

SUMMARY

Though olives may aid weight loss, they’re high in salt and fat — and eating too many of them may offset your weight loss success. As such, you should moderate your intake, limiting yourself to a few ounces at most per day.

The bottom line

Olives are a scrumptious snack that boasts healthy fats and polyphenol antioxidants. Their low-calorie density means that they may aid weight loss by helping you feel full.

All the same, you should control for portion sizes because olives’ calories can add up quickly.

This popular Mediterranean fruit makes a great replacement for any processed foods or high-calorie snacks in your diet.ADVERTISEMENTStart a custom weight loss program

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Written by Cecilia Snyder, MS, RD on May 11, 2020

Thank you for reading 🙂

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Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday around the world in 2020

When is Easter Sunday?

Easter Sunday is the most important date in the Christian church.

In the bible, it is the day when Mary Magdalene found that an empty tomb in the cave in which Jesus had been placed following his death by crucifixion on the previous Friday.

It signifies the end of the 40 days of Lent, meaning Christians who gave up something during lent to signify Jesus’ time in the wilderness, can indulge themselves again.

Easter Sunday is also when church bells will be rung again, having been silent during Lent.

Why is it called Easter?

The name Easter is derived from ‘Ostara’ or ‘Eostre’, a pagan goddess of fertility, whose feast was celebrated on the Vernal Equinox. The word East is also derived from her names, as is Oestrogen, the female hormone. In Saxon culture, the Hare was sacred to Ostara and the modern tradition of the Easter Bunny is a distant echo of that.

However, In most languages other than English and German, the holiday’s name is derived from Pesach, the Hebrew name of Passover, a Jewish holiday to which the Christian Easter is intimately linked.

Easter depends on Passover not only for much of its symbolic meaning but also for its position in the calendar. Read more about the date of Easter.

Easter traditions

Easter Bunny

The Easter Bunny is now an established part of the Easter traditions. In Europe and America, the Easter Bunny visits the garden of children leaving chocolate eggs and treats for the children to find on Easter Egg hunts.

Rabbits and hares don’t have any direct connection to any Christian tradition and it is interesting to note that the pagan goddess, Ostara was always traditionally accompanied by a hare. The modern tradition derives from a German custom that was first recorded in the 16th century. It may seem strange for a rabbit to be laying eggs, but as eggs were part of the foods banned during Lent, then the reintroduction of eggs would have been a welcome treat, no matter how they arrived in the garden.

It was once thought that hares could give birth without conceiving, which may have made them a way of explaining the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary. It is also said that the sight of Rabbits appearing from their underground burrows is a reminder of Jesus appearing from the tomb after his resurrection on Easter morning.

Lamb

On Easter Sunday, the traditional meat for dinner is lamb. The lamb was a sacrifice during the Jewish Passover, and it became a symbol for Jesus. It is also seasonal as Spring lamb is particularly tender and noted for its subtle flavour.

Did you know?

Three facts about Easter Sunday

Though the method of calculating the date has changed, Easter first became an official Christian holiday in AD 325 at the first council of Nicaea presided over by Roman Emperor Constantine.

Easter is celebrated at different times by Eastern and Western Christians. It is because the dates for Easter in Eastern Christianity are based on the Julian calendar, while Western Christianity follows the Gregorian calendar.

The idea of the Easter bunny giving candies and eggs is said to have originated in Germany during the middle ages.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Preserving Fruits and Vegetables Longer

5 Ways to Make Cut Fruits and Vegetables Last Longer

by Meghan SplawnWe independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

Post Image
(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Keeping a stash of cut fruits and vegetables on hand has doubled my family’s produce consumption, and it also makes packing lunches and cooking dinner faster and easier. While there are some potential downsides to storing cut fruits and vegetables — they spoil faster and reportedly have fewer nutrients after a few days — I’d say the increase in actually eating up our produce is worth those negatives. Here are five ways I’ve learned to make cut fruit and vegetables last longer.

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(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

1. Water

Storing cut fruits and vegetables in water seems counterintuitive, but it is a great way to store hardy vegetables like carrots, celery, and potatoes after they are cut. To prolong their freshness, always store in fresh cool water and change out the water every few days for even longer-term storage. Water even works to preserve guacamole’s greenness and to store cut apples.

2. Acidity

Many home cooks know that a little lemon juice in water can prevent apples from browning, but there are also a few products (like Ball’s Fruit-Fresh) that contain citric acid for preserving the appearance of fruit. You can mimic the results of these products (and add flavor) by tossing fresh fruits with a little lemon or lime juice or sprinkling vegetables with a spice mix like Tajín seasoning before storing.

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(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

3. Paper Towels

Paper towels and an airtight container is the best way to store salad greens (even cut romaine), but it also works well for peppers and strawberries. The towels wick away moisture while the container keeps spoilage at bay.

4. Freezing Them

Freezing cut fruits and vegetables is an especially easy shortcut for lunch fodder. It preserves the fruit and vegetables, but also keeps them cool in the lunch box. This works well for berries, corn, peas, carrot slices, and peppers.

5. Cooking Them

Let’s say that the peppers you cut on Sunday are looking a little sad on Wednesday — throw them in a hot oven to roast while you cook dinner and then use them the rest of the week in wraps or on scrambled eggs or sandwiches. Turn cut berries or apples into a quick sauce with a little bit of water in a small saucepan on the stove — then add this fruit sauce to yogurt or smoothies throughout the week. That way your hard work doesn’t go to waste and you can still enjoy your daily intake of fruits and vegetables.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Facts for February 18th~Did You Know?

1516: First Queen of England is born

Slide 1 of 12: Portrait of Queen Mary I (1516 - 1568).

Queen Mary I, first queen of England, also known as Bloody Mary for her persecution of Protestants was born in Palace of Placentia, Greenwich. She ruled from 1553 until her death in 1558.

1930: Pluto is discovered

Slide 6 of 12: (Original Caption) 8/31/1931-Flagstaff, AZ: Clyde W. Tombaugh,. discoverer of the planet Pluto, who is postponing his college education in order that he may be able to complete his studies of the planets. He was awarded the Edwin Emery Slossum Scholarship by Mrs. Slossum in memory of her chemist-scientist husband. Because the region occupied by Pluto has not yet been completely explored, Tombaugh will spend several months at the task. Complete Caption in Negative Sleeve

Photographic evidence of Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Initially considered the ninth planet in the Solar System, it was reclassified as a dwarf planet by International Astronomical Union in 2006.

2001: Dale Earnhardt dies in crash

Slide 10 of 12: Ken Schrader (36) slams into Dale Earnhardt (3) during the Daytona 500 Sunday afternoon Feb. 18, 2001 at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Earnhardt was killed in the crash. Earnhardt died Sunday, Feb. 18, 2001 at the Daytona 500 from injuries sustained in this crash (AP Photo/Glenn Smith)

Seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt Sr., considered as one of the greatest car racers, died at the age of 49 in an accident during the 43rd Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Slide 12 of 12: South Korean rescue workers inspect a subway train destroyed by a fire at a subway station February 18, 2003 in Daegu, 200 miles southeast of Seoul, South Korea. About 120 people were killed and at least 135 injured after a man ignited a milk carton filled with flammable material on a subway train in S. Korea's third largest city, officials said. Police are interrogating a 56-year-old man who was seen carrying a milk carton into the subway car, but no motive has been found.

2003: South Korean subway fire

South Korean rescue workers inspect a subway train destroyed by a fire at a subway station in Daegu, 200 miles southeast of Seoul, South Korea. About 120 people were killed and at least 135 injured after a man ignited a milk carton filled with flammable material.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Aloe Vera~ DID YOU KNOW?

Aloe vera is often called the “plant of immortality” because it can live and bloom without soil.

It is a member of the Liliaceae family, along with more than 400 other species of aloe.

Aloe vera has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, and studies have linked it to various health benefits as well. For example, the plant is used to treat sunburns, fight dental plaque and lower blood sugar levels.

In addition, aloe vera is rich in nutrients with more than 75 potentially active compounds, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, fatty acids and polysaccharides (1Trusted Source).

However, you may wonder whether the plant is safe for consumption.

This article tells you whether you can eat aloe vera — and whether you should.

Can You Eat Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera Leaves Are Generally Safe to Eat

Aloe vera leaves are comprised of three parts: the skin, the gel and the latex. They’re best known for their gel, which is responsible for most of its health benefits

While most people apply the gel to their skin, it’s also safe to eat when prepared right.

Aloe vera gel has a clean, refreshing taste and can be added to a variety of recipes, including smoothies and salsas.

To prepare the gel, cut off the spiky edges on the top and alongside the aloe vera leaf. Next, slice off the skin on the flat side, remove the clear gel and dice it into small cubes.

Make sure to wash the gel cubes thoroughly to remove all traces of dirt, debris and residue. Latex residue can give the gel an unpleasant bitter taste.

The latex is a thin layer of yellow liquid between the skin and the gel of the leaf. It contains compounds with powerful properties, such as aloin .

Eating too much latex can have serious and potentially fatal side effects

In contrast, the aloe vera skin is generally safe to eat. It has a mild flavor and a crunchy texture, perfect for adding variety to your summer salads. Alternatively, the skin can be enjoyed by dipping it in salsa or hummus.

To prepare the skin, cut off the spiky edges on the top and alongside the plant and slice off the skin on the flat side. Make sure to wash the skin thoroughly to remove any dirt, debris and latex.

You can soak it in water for 10–20 minutes before eating it if you find it too tough to chew.

It’s very important to choose leaves from the aloe vera plant and not from other aloe species, as these may be poisonous and therefore unfit for human consumption.

Summary It’s generally safe to eat the gel inside the aloe vera leaf, as well as the skin. Wash the skin or gel thoroughly to remove traces of latex, which can have unpleasant and potentially harmful side effects.

Avoid Eating Aloe Vera Skin Care Gels

Aloe vera skin care gels and products are not meant to be eaten.

Instead, they’re manufactured to help soothe sunburns, reduce inflammation, moisturize, relieve itchiness and treat a variety of other

Many commercial aloe vera gels contain preservatives to extend their shelf life, as well as other ingredients to improve the smell, texture and color. Many of these ingredients are not meant to be ingested

In addition, processing methods can strip away aloe vera gel’s active ingredients, which are otherwise responsible for the health benefits that come from eating the gel

Summary Many aloe vera skin care products contain preservatives and other ingredients that are not meant to be ingested. Stick to eating the aloe vera plant and not commercial skin care products.

Potential Benefits of Eating Aloe Vera

Consuming aloe vera gel from the leaf has been linked to potential health benefits. Other parts of the plant have been linked to benefits as well.

Here are some potential benefits of eating aloe vera:

  • May reduce blood sugar levels: In human and animal studies, aloe vera gel helped reduce blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity
  • May suppress inflammatory signals: In animal and test-tube studies, aloe vera extract suppressed inflammatory signals such as TNFα, IL-1 and IL-6 .
  • Reduce dental plaque: If used as a mouthwash, aloe vera juice may be as effective as a regular mouthwash in reducing dental plaque build-up
  • May boost memory: In one animal study, consuming aloe vera gel helped enhance learning and memory while also reducing symptoms of depression
  • Rich in antioxidants: Regularly eating aloe vera gel may raise blood antioxidant levels. Antioxidants help combat the damage caused by free radicals, which are compounds linked to many chronic diseases

Summary Aloe vera has been linked to potential health benefits, such as reduced blood sugar levels, inflammation and dental plaque, as well as improved memory and antioxidant defenses.

Potential Dangers of Eating Aloe Vera

Eating aloe vera latex, a yellow substance that is found inside the leaf, has potential risks.

In small doses, eating the latex may help treat constipation by promoting contractions. However, in 2002 the US FDA banned the sale of over-the-counter products containing aloe vera latex due to safety concerns

Long-term consumption of aloe vera latex has been linked to side effects, including stomach cramps, kidney problems, irregular heartbeat and muscle weakness

In high doses above 1 gram per day, prolonged use may even be fatal

Pregnant women should avoid eating the latex, as it may stimulate uterine contractions, which could cause a miscarriage

In addition, people with digestive disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or Crohn’s disease, should avoid consuming aloe vera latex as it may worsen their conditions

Aside from the latex, consuming aloe vera gel is not advised for people taking diabetes, heart or kidney medications, as it may worsen potential side effects from the drugs

Avoid eating aloe vera skin care gels, as they do not offer the same benefits as the gel inside the leaf. Skin care gels may also contain ingredients that are not meant to be eaten.

Summary Aloe vera latex can be harmful, especially to pregnant women, people with digestive disorders and people on certain medications. You should also avoid aloe vera gel if you take diabetes, heart or kidney medications.

The Bottom Line

Aloe vera gel and skin can be eaten. The gel, in particular, may offer several health benefits.

Be sure to wash the gel or skin thoroughly to remove all traces of latex, which has an unpleasant bitter taste and may cause harmful side effects.

Never eat aloe vera skin care products. They do not offer the same benefits as the leaf and are not meant to be ingested.

Thank you for reading 🙂