Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Healthy Snacks #1: Olives

In a world full of processed, unhealthy snacks it's nice to find a few nutritious foods that you can serve instead. I recently served olives, carrots and Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Sea Salt Crackers with two dips from Hampton Chutney Company.

Olives are technically a fruit, but because they aren't sweet, I tend to classify them as a vegetable--along with tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes, zucchini and avocados--which are all actually fruits.

According to The World's Healthiest Foods olives are full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. In addition, an olive phytonutrient called hydroxytyrosol which is linked to cancer prevention might also prevent bone loss and perhaps explains the decreased risk of osteoporois associated with those following the mediterrean diet. Olives also have been used to treat "inflammatory problems, including allergy related inflammation."1

For a full list of the health properties of olives, see WHFoods: Olives. I love putting olives out with vegetables. The oil in olives actually allows you to absorb more of the nutrients in the veggies--making this a great snack combo.