Delicious, delicious olives. From the tree to your plate, olives are enjoyed around the world and you might be wondering, ‘Is it okay to eat olives in a state of pregnancy?’ We’re happy to inform you that you can continue eating your favorite snack and that there are also many benefits for you and baby in the bargain!
Hooray! So I can eat as many olives as I like?
Not so fast, olives are high in sodium, so try not to eat the whole jar. That said, the health benefits are actually quite staggering. Let’s discuss the history of the olive a little and then we’ll tell you more on the benefits!
The mythology and history of the olive
Considered a gift to the peoples by the Greek goddess Athena, the olive has a rich and meaningful history that goes back further… some say it was even being cultivated 5000 years b.c.e. Requiring very little rainfall and thriving in summer, olives have long been enjoyed in early and modern Israel, as well as Egypt, Greece, and more. Olive trees are easy to spread as well, with new cuttings sprouting up quickly and living to a long age due to their hardiness and resistance to drought. Aside from their fruits, olive leaves were sometimes used to treat infections, and the pressing process for obtaining oils can even be employed to feed livestock. The Romans loved olive oil so much that it could even be used to pay taxes! Some even attribute the longevity of the ancient Greeks to a diet high in olives.
The benefits of olives during pregnancy
Aside from its history and myth, olives provide some genuine health benefits that are certainly worth your time. So what can they do? First, here are the vitamins and minerals in olives:
- Iron– Important for your red blood cells, black olives are a great source of iron in your diet.
- Calcium– Essential for bone and muscle development, this is definitely good for you and baby.
- Copper– This helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Sodium– A little sodium is good for you and the packaging of the olives often involves brine, adding sodium into the mix.
- Vitamin E – A powerful antioxidant for you and your developing baby!
- Vitamin A – This helps with the development of baby’s immune system and eyesight!
Other benefits of ingesting olives during pregnancy
Eating olives during your pregnancy can provide much more than vitamins. Some of those benefits include the following:
- Olives provide such nutrients as pantothenic acid and niacin. This can help in the development of blood cells in baby AND mom.
- Studies have shown it may help to inhibit cancer by reducing inflammation and even killing cancer cells.
” Olive oils are also thought to help to reduce stretch marks!”
- Olives can help to lower your cholesterol and to maintain a healthy blood pressure during and beyond your pregnancy.
- The antioxidants in olives can also help to reduce inflammations!
- Olives can help to clear up the complexion.
- Olive oils are also thought to help to reduce stretch marks!
That all sounds too wonderful to be true!
Do a Google search on ‘detailed nutritional profile’ for olives and see for yourself! There are a wide assortment of benefits to find.
Which are better, the black or green ones?
Nutritionally both olives have the same profile. So feel free to enjoy your favorite kind, you will get the benefits from either choice.
Types of olives
Curiously enough, while we often just view them as ‘green and black’, the widespread cultivation of olives has resulted in a number of varieties. Such as:
- Manzanilla olives – These have a flavor akin to almonds and are often eaten as appetizers.
- Castelvetrano olives – Mild in flavor, these olives are meaty and bright green in color.
- Kalamata olives – These have an almond shape and are a dark purple color. These are often used in wines (but those wines are, of course, off-limits!)
- Cerignola olives – These are your large, green olives from southern Italy.
- Nyon olives – These are a black olive cultivated in France.
- Gaeta olives – These olives have a tangy taste to them and are violet-brown in color.
So there are absolutely no risks?
Eat those olives but just practice moderation to avoid too much sodium. The health benefits are certainly worth it and when it comes to a tasty treat, they are hard to beat. Add them in your salads or snack on them straight out of the jar.
So, is that the reason I am craving olives during pregnancy.. all the vitamins?
Most likely, yes. Listen to your body’s cravings, it knows what baby wants and needs and you certainly can’t go wrong with olives.
How many do I have to eat to get benefits?
Eating 7-8 olives a day will do, but you can eat more if you like. If you are targeting a particular vitamin concentration then take a look at a detailed nutritional profile of the olive to see if they are the most efficient means to get that particular vitamin.
Can you eat olives while pregnant? The answer is a resounding ‘yes!’. For best health results, find what the olives you are enjoying are packed in, whether it is oil or brine(salt water), for instance. This will let you do a little Google research to help to ensure that you are getting only the good parts of olive consumption. Pregnant women can eat olives but if they are packed in something unconventional then you will want to research that. For the most part this is not going to be a concern but we just like to be on the safe side. So enjoy the benefits for baby’s development, as well as the complexion goodness, cholesterol lowering, and more. As we’ve said, folks have been enjoying the benefits of this fruit since ancient times and science seems to agree.