What is Chinese black olive (Canarium pimela), and what are its benefits? Let’s take a quick look at this black fruit, which is a key ingredient of many delicious Chinese food.
What Is Chinese Black Olive
The Chinese black olive (Canarium pimela), is a native olive that originated from southern China but can also be found in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
The trunk can grow up to 30 meters in height and has a maximum diameter of about 90 centimeters.
When ripe, the fruit is black and elliptical in shape with a slender head, about 3 centimeters long, and comes with thin and smooth skin, which resembles a black olive.
However, Chinese black olive is more slender and longer than the black olive and is popularly used in their canned or pickled in salt form for cooking.
Chinese Black Olive Is Not the Chinese White Olive
Though they look similar, many people usually mistake it to be the same thing as the Chinese white olive.
Both plants are in the same family but are or different species. The most prominent difference is that the Chinese white olive fruit is rounder in shape and green in color.
What Are the Benefits of Chinese Black Olive?
Besides being used for cooking, it is also medicinally useful as it contains antioxidants. Though not famously outstanding. It can be consumed safely and has no side effects.
• The fruit and leaves help relieve diarrhea and are known to also alleviate rheumatism.
• The fruit itself can also be used to assist in detoxifying the effects of alcohol, as well as help relieve sore throats.
Other Beneficial Nutrients
Chinese researchers have found that it contains several other nutrients, such as:
• Flavones, are antioxidants that can be found in many plants. It helps in reducing the risks of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
• Kaempferol, are also antioxidants that possess an anti-bacterial effect that helps in reducing the risk of cancer and heart diseases.
• Phytochemicals, is a taste and aroma compounds commonly found in plants that help boost immunity and reduce the risk of cancer, as well as anti-inflammatory attributes.
• Quercetin, is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which reduces the risk of cancer and heart diseases, as well as control blood sugar levels.
• Shikimic Acid, is a substance with antiviral properties that can be used to prevent and treat influenza.
• Ellagic Acid, is known to help in the treatment of cancer, diabetes, and melasma, and is also necessary for memory and thinking. However, there are no clear studies on its true benefits.
• Stigmasterol, an antioxidant found in several types of plants, and is known to help protect against cancer, inflammations, diabetes, boost immunity, and protect the nervous system.
Although there are no definitive studies on the health benefits of this fruit, but at least it’s delicious.
If you have not tried it, keep in mind to try order a menu item that also includes Chinese black olive in its ingredient. Who knows, you may love it as I do. ^^
BearDuck, is a game designer and illustrator, who started out on a daring journey, interested in mindfulness, self-improvement, and street food. It currently has over 160,000 followers on Facebook.