Olives are popular as both a snack and an ingredient in salads, sandwiches, and stews. They have a chewy texture and a rich, salty taste.

People have cultivated olive trees for more than 7,000 years, and they have long associated its fruit with health benefits.

There are hundreds of olive species, and these fruits and their oil form an integral part of the Mediterranean diet, which may help people prevent disease and live longer.

Olives are low in cholesterol and a good source of dietary fiber, which the body needs for good gut health. They are also rich in iron and copper.

Olives are a good source of oleate, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid. A 2016 study found that eating more monosaturated fat reduced the risk of premature death due to disease compared with eating more carbohydrates.

Virgin olive oil is also high in a type of antioxidant called polyphenols, which can help prevent diseases relating to the heart and blood vessels.