Extending the olive branch

The olive tree has been cultivated for at least 5,000 years. In Ancient Greece, it was sacred to the goddess Athena. The olive branch is traditionally a symbol of both peace and fertility, while a crown of olive leaves is a mark of tribute to a victor.

Olives are a good source of vitamin E, and they supply natural antioxidants. Oil obtained from olives may help to lower blood cholesterol levels. They are not as calorific as many people suppose, but they are high in sodium. Best to eat them in moderation, therefore, if you have high blood pressure. They make a lovely snack!