A lot of people have lived for a long time with the impression that there are different species of trees for each olive color. Well, what if we told you that the actual color – green, brown or black – is determined by how ripe they are? In other words, the green olives are unripe and the black ones are extra-ripe!
Let’s find out a few more things about the differences between olives…
Which color is your favorite?
From a nutritional point of view, there are actually some serious differences between them. Basically, the more black/ripe they are, the richer they are.
Green olives, like any raw fruit, are bitter, due to a substance called oleuropein. In order to be eaten, green olives must be treated. Specifically, they are kept for 8 to 72 hours in an alkaline solution of sodium hydroxide, which neutralizes oleuropein.
Moving on, whether green or black, olives are placed in brine, since salt acts as a preservative, or in oil, so they can be stored for a longer time.
If green ones have a bitter taste, consider it normal and enjoy , since the oleuropein has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-cancer properties.
Antioxidants? All checked!
In contrast, black olives contain 3-4 times more phenolic compounds, so they have a stronger antioxidant effect than green ones. And by antioxidant we mean that they can neutralize free radicals, responsible for diseases and aging.
Finally, as a little secret, it’s actually recommended to consume olives just as they are. No matter the color, they are richer in antioxidants and poorer in calories than oil, not to mention having 4-10 times more hydroxytyrosole!
Olive oil, as a side note, is a kind of fat extracted from them, a spoonful being the equivalent of 25 of them!