8 Benefits of Olives for Health and Wellness

Updated: Mar. 12, 2024

The health and beauty benefits of olives give us all good reason to start the Mediterranean diet!

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olives in a bowl on wooden surface
Diana Taliun/Shutterstock

Boost Your Brain

60 percent of your brain is fat. The healthy fats in olives are exactly what your noggin needs to work smarter and more efficiently, delivering benefits like sharper focus and improved concentration. How’s that for (literal) food for thought?

You can cook with olives—start with our top Mediterranean-inspired recipes.

Also, check here the types of olives all devotees must try in their lives.

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Skillet Chicken with Olives
Taste of Home

Lower Blood Pressure

Your new mantra: fats are friends. The good kind, at least, like monounsaturated fats, which is what olives contain and which have been proven to reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Here are 24 other foods that will keep your blood pressure in check.

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woman applying hair care with a comb

Soften Your Skin and Hair

With vitamin E, olive oil is perfect for smoothing your skin and your strands. For hair, make a paste out of mashed avocado and two tablespoons of olive oil. Let it sit on your hair for about 30 minutes before rinsing.

Rather use EVOO on your skin? Whip up this DIY olive oil face mask.

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Green Sant Agostino Olives in a small ceramic bowl.
Barbara Dudzinska/Shutterstock

Fight Inflammation

Olives are jam-packed with antioxidants (specifically oleuropein, which is only found in olives). That means they’re also jam-packed with anti-inflammatory properties. The less inflammation you have, the faster (and more effectively) your body heals.

Psst: You can also try one of these other tricks for reducing inflammation.

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Herb-Roasted Olives & Tomatoes
Taste of Home

Strengthen Bones

We all know that calcium is key for better bones, but did you know that olives have some seriously strengthening side effects, too? One study found that people who ate a Mediterranean diet (aka lots of olives and olive oil) had higher levels of osteoblasts, which are your body’s bone-building cells.

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olive oil
HelloRF Zcool/Shutterstock

Remove Makeup

Instead of storebought makeup removers, which can contain irritating and harmful chemicals, use olive oil. (Bonus: It will moisturize your face, too.) Simply wipe it over your face with a clean washcloth, then rinse.

If you’re wondering what to do with leftover olive oil, consider one of these 10 surprising ways to put it to use.

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One hand takes in the hands of the olives that have just fallen from the tree for the production of extra virgin olive oil produced in italy to control the quality.

Improve Circulation

Bye bye, poor circulation! Not only does the vitamin E in olives prevent blood clots from forming, but the high levels of iron promote better blood flow through your bod. To reap the benefits, make one of these delicious Mediterranean recipes stat.

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Farmer hands holding a handful of fresh harvested olives.

Enhance Your Memory

One word: polyphenols. That’s the natural-occurring chemical in olives that is known to improve memory by reducing stress in the brain. Even better? Consuming more olives or olive products can help lower your risk of memory-related diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia.