Kalamata olives and their benefits will really delight you. They are one of the best olives in their composition, and their effect on our health.
We have all heard about the health benefits of moderate consumption of cold-pressed olive oil, primarily due to its mono and polyunsaturated fats.
But surely you are wondering if olives have a similar effect?
People have been growing olive trees for millennia because of their fruit – the olives. There are hundreds of types of olives and they are a very important part of the Mediterranean diet.
For all those who may not have heard before, the Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world.
In addition, something more about the nutrition and positive characteristics of Kalamata olives.
Origin of Kalamata olives
Kalamata olives originate from the Peloponnese, more precisely the city of Kalamata, Greece after which they got their name.
It may sound strange, but kalamata olives and all olives, in general, are considered fruit. It is also interesting that nutritionists count them among the healthiest foods that can be found.
Of course, this is not a coincidence, it is due primarily to the unique composition of healthy fats and powerful antioxidants.
Nutritional and value of kalamata olives
Kalamata olives are high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates. 40g or about 5 olives contain the following values:
- 6g fat,
- 5g protein,
- 5g carbohydrates,
- 3g fiber,
- but also 53% of the daily recommended sodium intake.
If we compare it with other types of fruits, olives are especially rich in fat. However, it is important to note that as much as 75% of these fats are monounsaturated or heart-healthy fats.
That is why everyone loves and enjoys both their taste and the healthy benefits of consuming them.
Kalamata olives are a rich source of minerals and fat-soluble vitamins such as iron, calcium, copper, vitamin A, and vitamin E.
This makes them suitable for reducing the risk of anemia, for strengthening bones, for improved heart, skin, and eye function, but it also makes them good antioxidants.
Benefits of Kalamata olives
Kalamata olives contain a very good percentage of different types of polyphenols antioxidants. The two main antioxidants in its composition are oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol.
Antioxidants are components that prevent cell damage from molecules called free radicals.
According to studies already done to maintain health, the body needs a balance between the amounts of free radicals and antioxidants.
An imbalance can easily lead to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the cause of chronic inflammatory processes, a major risk factor for most chronic diseases.
Given that the body constantly produces free radicals and insufficient antioxidants, the intake of antioxidants through food should also be constant.
That’s the main answer to why antioxidants are important, whether we consume olives through a cane or other foods they are important for our overall health and well-being.
Polyphenolic antioxidants have been linked to improved heart health. But let us not confuse the possible prevention of some neurodegenerative and malignant diseases.
Olives are good for heart health
Kalamata is a good source of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid. A 2016 study says eating more monounsaturated fatty acids reduces the risk of premature death.
Other studies have linked the effects of monounsaturated fatty acids to a reduced risk of atherosclerosis or fat accumulation in the veins.
Such conditions also increase the risk that leads to increased blood pressure and increased risk of a heart attack.
Therefore, several relevant health institutions around the world recommend moderate consumption of such fats in order to prevent heart disease.
Studies show that oleic acid from kalamata olives can also help with weight loss.
Specifically, oleic acid promotes the burning of calories in the body. And in this way, it indirectly affects a healthier heart, by preventing obesity.
In addition to monounsaturated fatty acids, the main polyphenolic antioxidants – oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol – are responsible for the positive effect of kalamata on the heart.
Indeed, a number of studies suggest that these 2 polyphenolic antioxidants may lower blood pressure. They can also significantly contribute to an improved lipid profile, they are major factors in cardiovascular health.
Potential anticancer effect of kalamata olives
Oleic acids and antioxidants in research have also shown some anti-cancer effects. Laboratory studies show that oleic acid may reduce the expression of certain genes associated with the transformation of a healthy cell into a tumor.
Similarly, oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol have shown antitumor activity. By blocking the growth and spread of certain malignant cells. In addition, they have shown some destructive effects on such cells.
Animal studies show the preventive effect of the mentioned antioxidants in relation to breast cancer, colon, lung, and some other types of cancer.
Protective effect on nerve cells by consuming kalamata olives
Many neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, are the result of chronic inflammation or persistent oxidative stress on nerve cells caused by free radicals.
Foods rich in powerful antioxidants, such as kalamata olives, and how it helps prevent such diseases.
Laboratory and animal studies show that oleuropein is an important neuroprotector or protector of nerve cells from oxidative damage.
In fact, it means a protector against the most common neurodegenerative diseases mentioned.
Possible side effects of kalamata olives
Be careful with the quantity!
Despite the stated positive effects due to its composition, kalamata olive, like all other olives should be consumed carefully in terms of quantities.
This is not just because of the rich fat content, which can contribute to obesity.
In addition to healthy fats and antioxidants, olives are usually stored in a solution with high concentrations of table salt.
The sheer amount of sodium we get from olives can further increase our daily salt intake. Which can be especially problematic for a long period of constant consumption.
Above all, the damage is at the expense of cardiovascular health and kidneys, but salt also creates other problems.
Kalamata olives are great for our health because of the benefits they offer us.
Kalamata olives are suitable for reducing the risk of anemia, for strengthening bones, for a better heart, skin, and eyes, but they also have good antioxidant properties.
Their composition is unique, it contains iron, calcium, copper, vitamin A, and vitamin E, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, and antioxidants.
Consuming olive kalamata is a healthy option that each of us should use and include in our daily diet.
The only thing you need to pay attention to is the amount, not to overdo it, because they have a lot of salt. Do not hesitate and immediately start consuming them and enjoying their taste and benefits.