I recently bought about 5 jars of green olives because they were on sale. I now Olives stuffed with peppers, olives stuffed with garlic, olives stuffed with onions, and then the regular pitted olives that I used in this salad.
Olives have amazing health benefits, and although the oil is usually what is concentrated on, recent studies have shown that olives help prevent bone loss because of a phytonutrient called Hydroxytyrosol. On top of that, olives are anti-inflamatory, having been used in traditional medicine (the fruit and the leaves) for centuries. They even help with allergies! “New research may help explain how olives work to provide us with anti-inflammatory benefits, especially during circumstances involving allergy. Olive extracts have now been shown to function as anti-histamines at a cellular level. By blocking special histamine receptors (called H1 receptors), unique components in olive extracts may help to lessen a cell’s histamine response. Because histamine is a molecule that can get overproduced in allergy-related conditions and can be a key player in the inflammatory process, it’s likely that the anti-inflammatory benefits we get from olives involve this anti-histamine pathway. It’s also possible that olives may have a special role to play as part of an overall anti-allergenic diet.” (http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=46)
Although olives are a high fat food, it is the good fat. Remember, it isn’t fat that makes us fat, its sugar! Olives are full of oleic acid, a monosaturated fat which reduces heart disease, and lowers bad cholesterol. Olives are really another one of nature’s gives, and along with the raw garlic, and the protein and fiber from the chickpeas, they lyposene from the tomatoes, and the vitamin A from the cucumber, this dish simply is amazing healthy. Not to mention its alkaline, and its filling, and its super fast to make.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad:
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and let to sit 5-10 minutes
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 12 green pitted olives, drained, rinsed, and diced.
- 1 tomato, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- pinch of salt (not too much, the olives are already salty)
- and pepper
Mix all ingredients in a bow well. Let chill for an hour in the fridge. Serve with an extra slice of fresh lemon. Enjoy!