No, you're not going crazy, this article is very much about the health benefits of olive juice. We can confirm that it's olive juice too, not olive oil. You already know that extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest fats out there. The Mediterranean diet, taken from Italy and Greece in particular, is quite reliant on monounsaturated fats, a good source of fat content that is also great for heart health.
Instead, we want to bring this new, unique concept into your mental dossier of health foods. The brine that your olives are resting in shouldn't go to waste! Besides drinking a shot or two of olive juice for the health benefits, the brine is also a main ingredient in drinks like the classic dirty martini and Bloody Mary. Even more of an excuse to mix up a few batches, right?
We'll stop beating around the olive tree, though, and get into it. Here are seven reasons why you should save your jar of olives and start drinking olive juice.
1. Improved nerve function
Olive juice is often a sodium-rich substance. That said, sodium can promote the proper transmission of nerve impulses in our bodies providing health benefits. No, it's not just pickle juice that helps with this, though your Bloody Mary is better with both.
If your diet is generally low in sodium or you just don't like putting salt on your food, a swig or two of olive juice combined with a healthy diet could improve how your nerves function.
2. Increased muscle control
Another benefit of the sodium found in olive juice is improved muscle control. Normal muscle movement, believe it or not, requires a handful of electrolytes and minerals to occur. One of those necessary ingredients, if you will, is sodium.
While not a cure, olive juice from that empty glass jar, can provide the boost of healthy fats your body needs to recover from a high-intensity workout or an endurance exercise, especially because it comes from natural sources.
3. Healthier hair growth
Most olive varieties, including green olives and black olives, contain a healthy dose of vitamin E. Vitamin E has been shown to increase blood circulation to hair follicles, resulting in healthier hair growth.
That said, both olive juice and olive oil consumption can help your hair to grow well. Some people even go as far as rubbing warm olive juice into their entire scalp, but we won't make you do that. (Unless you want to, of course).
4. Reduced blood sugar and blood pressure
More often than not, vinegar is involved in an olive's lifecycle at some point. As a preservative, many pickling methods finish the olives in a solution of vinegar and salt. That said, vinegar has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. We're not doctors, but if a shot of olive juice can get our blood sugar levels down as opposed to a manufactured pill we'll happily self-prescribe. The strong olive flavor might be a bit much for some, but worth the health benefits.
Additionally, olive juice is high in oleic acid, a fatty acid that naturally occurs in plant-based fats. It can help reduce high blood pressure and increases fat burning to aid in weight loss and fighting obesity.
5. Balanced water levels
You understand electrolytes, right? Whether you're hungover after a few of your favorite alcoholic beverages or just trying to rehydrate after working out, electrolytes can help you get your water levels where they need to be.
Because of the sodium used in making olives, olive juice is inherently a hydrating substance. You won't want to replace water with olive juice by any means, but drinking a little brine here and there can be beneficial for your overall health and function, including preventing the risk factors on this list.
6. Boosted immune system
Antioxidants help your immune system function at its best. You've been inundated with antioxidant-focused articles for years now. The anti-inflammatory properties of olive juice in particular is helpful in maintaining a strong immune system from natural sources.
What you may not have read yet, though, is that vinegar can have the benefits of an antioxidant. That said, olive juice consumption equals antioxidant consumption which, in turn, equals an immunity boost.
7. Controlled free radicals
The vitamin E in olives can help neutralize free radicals in the human body. Sure, eating an olive will give you more vitamin E than drinking olive juice. We aren't arguing against that. We do think, though, that olive brine inherently contains vitamin E. Thus, drinking a small quantity of olive juice may help you cut down on those free radicals.
Why is that good? It can help lower your risk of heart diseases, cancers, strokes, and many other nasty ailments. The oxidative stress relief from many inflammatory diseases can work to prevent heart attack and gastritis.
This post was originally published on December 19, 2017.