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Are Olives a Fruit or Vegetable?  Olive Oil Fans Will Know

Are Olives a Fruit or Vegetable?  Olive Oil Fans Will Know

Are olives a fruit or vegetable? In this article, I will discuss this matter from a botanical and general point of view.

Aside from being antioxidant-rich, olives also contain vitamin E. They are a savory dish. You use them in producing olive oil, which is crucial in the Mediterranean diet.

According to numerous studies, they also provide many health benefits, including the prevention of osteoporosis and cancer. The University of Florida dedicated a whole paper to the benefits of olives.

 

Are Olives a Fruit or a Vegetable?

Olives are fruits because they come from trees producing seeds. They are botanically known as drupes or stone fruits. Other fruits that belong to this class include peaches, cherries, mangoes, almonds, and pistachios. Olive pits can be planted to grow a new tree.

Are Olives a Fruit or a Vegetable?
Are Olives a Fruit or a Vegetable?

 

Why Olives Are Considered a Fruit

Olives are actually fruits because they come from the flower of the olive tree. The olives grow from the mature ovary of the plant.

Olives are fruits as they come from the fertilized ovary of the olive tree flowers
Olives are fruits as they come from the fertilized ovary of the olive tree flowers.

They come from the fertilized ovary of the flower, according to the International Society for Horticultural Science. They are known as fruits, but you can also call them vegetables.

 

The Differences Between Green and Black Olives

The color is based on when it was picked and preserved. While black ones are ripened before being harvested, green ones are unripe.

Olives that are harvested green are unripe, while the black ones are already ripe
Olives that are harvested green are unripe, while the black ones are already ripe.

The color also depends on the preserving methods. Green ones are soaked in lye and then fermented in brine.

The black ones are soaked in lye and then cured in brine to eliminate bitterness. The longer these fruits are left in the solution, the less bitter they taste.

In terms of preservation, green olives are soaked in lye and then brine-fermented. Black olives, on the other hand, are soaked in lye and cured in brine to remove their bitterness
In terms of preservation, green olives are soaked in lye and then brine-fermented. Black olives, on the other hand, are soaked in lye and cured in brine to remove their bitterness.

The taste of green and black varieties is also different. Green ones are more bitter than black ones.

There is more oil in black ones than in green ones. Also, the green variety tastes saltier. The reason is a difference in packing and preparation.

 

Health Benefits of Olives

They are incredibly healthy. Even though the green variety contains a lot of salt, they are low in cholesterol and contain nutrients and vitamins. Your body needs these to function healthily.

Here are just a few health benefits that you should know about:

  • They reduce chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is responsible for certain diseases, including psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. Eating them helps reduce chronic inflammation and manages the symptoms of those health conditions mentioned. That is because they contain such antioxidants as oleanolic acid and hydroxytyrosol.
  • They lower the risk of heart disease. According to numerous studies, people eating these fruits regularly are lesser prone to develop heart disease. Furthermore, the results of several studies have also shown that they can lower blood pressure, which is also important for a healthy heart.
  • They prevent cancer. They are consumed mainly in the Mediterranean, where cancer rates are very low. This can be due to its high oleic acid and antioxidant contents in these fruits. Several studies have shown that these contents are especially effective in preventing breast, stomach, and colon cancer.

 

Can You Eat Olives Every Day?

It is ok to eat them every day, but moderation is key. Even though they have a low-calorie density, they have high salt and fat content.

You can eat olives every day, but no more than 16-24 small-to-medium-sized ones as they have high salt and high-fat content
You can eat olives every day, but no more than 16-24 small-to-medium-sized ones as they have high salt and high-fat content

Eating no more than 16-24 small- to medium-sized ones is what health experts recommend you to take daily.

 

What Olives Are Healthier — Green or Black?

Both black and green are nutritious, but there are some differences between them. To boost your iron intake, you should eat black olives more.

One serving of black olives provides 3 milligrams of iron, about 40% of the daily amount needed.

And 18% of the amount women should have.

To boost your Vitamin E intake, consume more green ones. They contain twice the amount of Vitamin E. Also, if you want to limit your salt intake, it is better to eat black ones as they contain less sodium.

 

The Best Ways To Eat Olives

You can add olives to your salads, put them on top of pizza, put them in any type of sandwich, or eat them from a jar with cheese, dried fruit, and other snacks.

You can eat olives by adding them to salads, pizzas, sandwiches, or straight from the jar paired with cheese, dried fruits, and other snacks
You can eat olives by adding them to salads, pizzas, sandwiches, or straight from the jar paired with cheese, dried fruits, and other snacks

Also, both the green and black varieties go perfectly with wine.

 

Disadvantages of Eating Olives

Most olive producers preserve them in brine that has high salt content. Do not eat more than 16-24 olives per day.

Otherwise, excess levels of salt can lead to various health problems. Some are high blood pressure and heart attack and stroke risk.

In addition, eating too many can also offset your weight loss success. Limit yourself to a few ounces each day.

 

What a Vegetable is

Anything we consume the roots, stems, bulbs, or leaves off is classified as a vegetable. Some vegetables such as cauliflower are the flower of the plant.

Though most vegetables come from the roots, stems, bulbs, and leaves of the plant, the cauliflower is unique as it is the plant's flower
Though most vegetables come from the roots, stems, bulbs, and leaves of the plant, the cauliflower is unique as it is the plant’s flower

The culinary world defines what a vegetable or a fruit is by its taste and use. Everything that contains seeds and is pollinated can be described as a fruit. Fruits are generally edible.

A good example is a tomato. It is generally considered a vegetable. But it contains seeds and is produced from a flowering plant’s fertilized ovary. It, therefore, is technically a fruit.

Tomatoes are generally vegetables. But as it has seeds and is produced from a flowering plant's fertilized ovary, it is technically a fruit
Tomatoes are generally vegetables. But as it has seeds and is produced from a flowering plant’s fertilized ovary, it is technically a fruit.

As you can see, the classification, botanically speaking, is not always the same as our perception.

 

Fruit or Vegetable?

How you classify fruits and vegetables depends on the standpoint. Are you looking at it as a botanist or a culinary? Some vegetables are technically fruits.

The following are fruits from a botany point of view:

  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Peach
  • Green beans
  • Eggplants
  • Bell pepper
  • Okra
  • Zucchini

 

Fruits That Are Berries

Berries also develop from the ripened ovaries of a flower and contain a pulp, according to McGill University.

In botanical terms, these are berries:

  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Avocado
  • Citrus fruits
  • Pumpkin
  • Melon

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Olives Being a Fruit or Vegetable

 

Can Olives Be Considered a Vegetable?

Olives are part of the fruit group called stone fruits or drupes. But they’re considered vegetables in the culinary world. Therefore, you can consider them both fruits and vegetables.

 

What Other Fruit Is Similar to an Olive?

There is an Asian tree called jujube. This brownish or rust-colored small fruit resembles olives in structure, size, and shape.


 

Conclusion Are Olives a Fruit or Vegetable

Olives are fruits that grow on an olive tree known as Olea europaea. They are similar to mangoes, cherries, and pistachios. Black and green varieties have several health benefits. Consume them daily but in moderation. You can directly consume them as a snack or in salads, sandwiches, pizzas, etc.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli

Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.