If you like olive oil and the occasional whole olive as part of a cocktail, you figure that olive juice wouldn’t be unpalatable to you either. Yet if you can tolerate the taste, will there be any benefits in it for you?
Olive juice is good for you in many ways, as the juice may possibly:
- Reduce cramps
- Cure hangovers
- Control blood sugar in diabetics
- Help your baby’s development when pregnant
If you want to learn even more about what olive juice can do, then we recommend you keep reading. Ahead, we’ll discuss the above benefits as well as the health perks of olive juice for your pets. We’ll even tell you how to make your own olive juice at home!
The Difference Between Olive Juice and Olive Brine
First, let’s be clear on what you’re adding to your cart at the grocery store. The terms olive juice and olive brine tend to get used interchangeably, which makes you wonder, is olive brine the same as oil juice? No, there’s definitely a difference between these two olive products.
Let’s talk more about that now.
What is Olive Brine?
Olive brine is the result of soaking olives in a mix of water, vinegar, and salt. The longer the olives remain in the liquid, the stronger the flavor of olives in the brine. The salty taste is due to both the sodium and the vinegar, which tends to come through loud and clear.
What do you use olive brine for? Many people cook with it. Here are some culinary suggestions for incorporating olive brine:
- Pour it into a sauteed chard or broccoli rabe or any kale dish
- Use the brine as dressing for slaw with jalapeno, carrot, purple cabbage, celery, apple, and fennel
- Combine orange zest and olive brine for a great-tasting aioli
- Add it to a vinaigrette with Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, grapefruit juice, and olive oil
- Include it in pizza sauce or marinara
Is olive brine good for you? It’s not necessarily great for your health due to the inclusion of sodium, but it’s not bad for you either if it’s consumed in moderate quantities. Due to the salty taste, olive brine is not something you want to drink on its own.
What is Olive Juice?
Okay, so that’s olive brine, but what is olive juice? When olives undergo pressing, you get olive juice. The juice will go into olive brine as well, but on its own, olive juice doesn’t taste salty. That can make its consumption more enjoyable for some.
Is olive juice always green? That depends on how ripe the olives are. When olive ripening first starts, the olives are green. Ripening makes them red, then purple, and later black. If your olive juice is black then, that means your olives are the ripest. If it’s green, the olives have just started ripening.
Ripe olives tend to have a flavor that can be buttery, sweet, or mild depending on the type(s) of olives used to make the juice. Green olives are far bitterer, making them a good addition to olive brine.
So is drinking green olive juice bad? Not at all! Olives are a great source of oleuropein, an antioxidant with anti-angiogenic, anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardioprotective properties. The greener the olives, the more oleuropein they contain.
Can you just buy olive juice? You can indeed, but it will take a careful eye and reading over the ingredients list to ensure the product isn’t brined instead.
Olive Juice vs. Olive Oil: How Are They Different?
Isn’t olive oil technically olive juice? Not exactly. To produce olive oil, the olives are usually first crushed, then mixed or kneaded, and finally extracted. Crushing them causes the olives to take on a paste-like consistency.
To extract the oil from the olive paste, it’s remixed to separate three parts, which are the solids, the water, and the oil. The latter is used for olive oil while the fluid from the extraction process goes into making olive juice.
Is Olive Juice Good for Cramps?
Now that you’re clearer on what olive juice is versus brine and oil, we can talk about whether olive juice is good for you. We’ll start by discussing cramps and whether olive juice can reduce their intense discomfort and pain.
Cramps can affect nearly any part of the body. Sometimes they’re milder and other times, they’re far more severe, such as Charley horses. Women have to deal with menstrual cramps about every month as well.
If you’re suffering through the pain of a cramp, sipping olive juice can make the cramp disappear. This seems to happen almost instantly according to People’s Pharmacy.
Why does olive juice work so well against cramps? A 2017 study in the journal Muscle & Nerve posits that activating your transient receptor potential or TRP channels in your stomach, throat, and mouth through ingesting olive juice is a big part of it.
The nerves in your TRP channels communicate with your spinal cord. Then, the report says, the nerves “overwhelm the hyperactive motor neuron responsible for the cramp,” stopping it immediately.
Is Olive Juice Good for Cats?
Our feline friends are a big part of our lives. Your cat is on a carefully monitored diet that usually doesn’t include olives. Yet you might have noticed that every time you open a jar of olives, your cat is eager to eat some. Why is that?
If your cat has ever had the good fortune of enjoying olives before, then their mood might have changed for the better. Olives contain nepetalactone, a compound that causes a reaction in felines that’s akin to them ingesting catnip. When consumed, nepetalactone kickstarts a cat’s vomeronasal organ, which is their throat.
Since cats use their vomeronasal organ to pick up on the presence of sex hormones called pheromones, the cat’s pheromone receptors come to life. This can change your cat’s behavior like catnip does.
If your cat usually has a good reaction to catnip, then feeding them olives is okay. Yet if your cat becomes agitated and even aggressive from catnip, then it’s not worth giving them olives. You’ll get the same kind of unwanted behavior.
If you’re hoping to make a viral video of your cat acting goofy from the nepetalactone in olives, do keep in mind that all cats react differently to the compound. For some cats, they have neither a positive nor negative reaction, but no reaction at all.
Is Olive Juice Good for Hangovers?
You love spending time with your friends and enjoying a memorable night out drinking, but the hangover that always follows is no fun. Your head pounds and all you want to do is stay in bed all day and sleep it off.
If you need a quick hangover cure, is drinking olive oil juice the way? Not olive juice, but olive brine. Fill a shot glass of the stuff and then swallow it down in one gulp. If you have no olive products in your household, a shot of pickle juice will have the same effect.
The salt in olive brine or pickle juice can pick up your sagging electrolyte levels while the fluid will restore your lost hydration. Before you know it, you’ll feel a lot better and almost ready to take on your day!
Is Olive Juice Good for Diabetics?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, as of 2020, 34.2 million United States citizens have diabetes. Another 88 million have been diagnosed with prediabetes, which can lead to diabetes without management.
As a diabetic, controlling your blood sugar is crucial. Drinking olive juice and consuming olives in other ways such as olive oil can be one such method you use. It’s not just that olive juice isn’t inherently sweet, but more so that olives are adept at managing blood glucose levels.
In a 2008 publication of the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the researchers found that combining olive leaf extract with other plants could bring down the glucose of type 2 diabetics.
Is Olive Juice Good for Pregnancy?
When you’re pregnant, you can sometimes get some strange cravings, right? Olives might be chief among them. That’s what a lot of women posting on the Babycenter forum discovered! They were drinking olive juice when pregnant like it’s going out of style.
It could be that your baby is trying to tell you something, as olive juice and olive oil are very good for pregnant women to consume. Olives can maintain immune system health. When a mother is illness-free, so too will her baby be.
Olives also contain a lot of vitamin A that can support the development of a child physically, mentally, and cognitively.
Is Olive Juice Good for Heartburn?
If your diet revolves around high-fat or acidic foods, then heartburn usually follows after your meals. Taking certain medications like blood pressure pills or ibuprofen can also cause heartburn in some people.
Others still don’t necessarily get relief from their burning chest just by avoiding certain foods and meds. If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, stomach acid regularly comes up when it shouldn’t, which leads to your painful symptoms.
Medications can control GERD symptoms, but so can some natural remedies. One of these is called lemon zesty squash.
You’d need crushed oregano (1 ½ tablespoons) with fresh basil (1/4 cup), zucchini (2 cups), ground black pepper (1/2 teaspoon), lemon juice (1 ½ teaspoons), and olive juice (1 ½ tablespoons).
Then you’re supposed to zest the lemons and mix the pepper, lemon juice, and olive juice. For 10 minutes, steam your zucchini, drain it, and then pour the juices and pepper atop the zucchini. Garnish with oregano, basil, and lemon zest and eat. Your GERD symptoms will vanish or lessen.
How to Make Olive Juice
If you’re having a hard time finding olive juice at the store, why not make your own? You don’t need a lot of ingredients, and the whole process takes maybe 45 minutes. Here’s what you should have ready:
- Lidded jar
If you wish to make olive brine instead, you can follow the steps we’re about to discuss, but be sure to add vinegar and salt.
Step 1: Dry your olives and transfer them to a clean, empty jar. Don’t put the lid on the jar yet though.
Step 2: Pour water into a container. You’d need a half teaspoon of vinegar as well as water and salt to make olive brine. The consistency would be opaque, but with just water, the liquid should be clear.
Step 3: Add the liquid to the jar, ensuring the jar is full but not all the way to the top. About an eighth of the jar should be open. When including vinegar and salt, the particles should have shifted to the bottom of the jar.
Step 4: Tightly seal the jar with the lid.
Step 5: Begin shaking the jar. You don’t have to do this very long if you’re making olive juice, but for olive brine, shaking is crucial, as it distributes the ingredients.
Step 6: Put the jar in your fridge and let it sit for 30 minutes.
Step 7: When that time has elapsed, you can shake the jar again.
Step 8: Leave the olives in the jar for as long as desired to help them impart flavor. Then strain the olives when using the juice.
What Can You Do with Leftover Olive Juice?
You made olive juice with vigor, excited to experience the multitude of benefits we’ve discussed in this article. Now you have plenty of the juice leftover, so what should you do with it?
Well, we talked earlier about all the foods that are augmented with olive brine. You can always add some vinegar and salt to your leftover olive juice and take your cooking to the next level.
You can also bake some double olive bread. What is this? Double olive bread uses all the leftover ingredients you have from making olive juice, including the juice itself. Courtesy of Huffington Post, here are the recipe quantities:
- Warm water (1 ¼ cups)
- Olive brine (1/4 cup)
- Chopped olives (1/2 cup)
- Salt (1 teaspoon)
- Instant yeast (1 teaspoon)
- All-purpose flour (3 cups)
This recipe requires some patience, as the dough should be left to rise for around 18 hours. Yet the results are worth it, as the bread is full of olive goodness in every bite. After all, double olive bread uses not only olive brine but olive juice and whole olives themselves!
If you’re looking for a drink to sip on while enjoying your double olive bread, we’d recommend a cocktail that uses olives such as the tangerine and olive or the dirty martini, a classic.
Olive juice might be an acquired taste, but if you can stomach the stuff, your health will be better off for it. You can instantly treat cramps, control your blood glucose, cure hangovers, and even help your baby develop if you’re pregnant. Cats go gaga for olive juice too, so why not make some today?