It is always at the table, whether at home or in restaurants, and is one of the most common ingredients in salads and pizzas.

Another clue: this food is seen as a villain of diets. However, contrary to the popular belief, when consumed in moderation, olives can be beneficial for health and for those who want to lose weight.

Each olive has between four and eight calories. Looking from another angle, six olives have less than half calories than peanuts or cashew nuts in portions of the same weight. There are 54, 131, and 140 calories, respectively.

Its use in diets has become especially popular in Spain. The magazine “Glamour”, for example, highlights the fact that this food helps to burn fat, thanks to its high content of adiponectin – a hormone that helps to control the food intake and, consequently, the weight.

In addition, olives help digestion and help to maintain a feeling of satiety. Maybe that is why a lot of people have made them the snack of the night. That is, they are the solution for when hunger strikes before dinner and you need to eat a lighter meal. But not only it.

As they contain calcium, magnesium, tryptophan, and vitamin B6, they also stimulate the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating the sleep cycle and sending alerts to the body when it is time to go to rest.

Olive oil and, consequently, olives are foods rich in monounsaturated fat – omega 9. Believe it or not, this is one of their great advantages. According to several studies, favoring this type of fat, instead of saturated, can help limit the amount of abdominal fat that you will gain in the future.

In fact, a study by the University of Illinois (United States), published in 2017, recommends that most of our fat, approximately 12 to 20 percent of its calories, is monounsaturated. It is that while diets rich in carbohydrates tend to increase the quantity of abdominal fat, those that are rich in this type of fat cause the fat to be deposited away from this area of the body.

In addition to all these benefits, according to nutritionist Mafalda Rodrigues de Almeida, their consumption is great for the skin and helps to lower bad cholesterol (LDL), while increasing the good one (HDL), preventing cardiovascular disease.

The author of the NiT blog “Loveat” insists on including this food in her daily diet. It can be in its natural form or through more elaborate recipes, such as avocado bruschetta with tomatoes and olives, or crispy sardines with olive humus.

Preserved in brine (water and salt), olives are also a healthy alternative as a seasoning, replacing salt.

But be careful: to take advantage of its benefits, it is essential that their consumption is moderate – the recommended amount is five to seven per day. This does not mean that the rest of the diet does not have to be taken care of or that you should stop exercising. Consider this food only as an extra. To lose weight, you need to eat well and train regularly, of course.

Now that you know everything about the olive, click on the gallery to discover five delicious recipes where you can include it.