The Kalamata Olive is a fruit (yes a fruit) that is mainly found in the breathtaking country of Greece. Kalamata trees have much larger leaves than any of the other olive trees and absorb more sunshine. It has been used by the ancient Greeks for its great taste and numerous nutritional benefits. It is a form of black olive that has a similar taste to that of other olives, with a briny and salty flavor, and a meaty consistency.
They are bitterer than the regular black olive but are soaked in water, salt, and red wine vinegar to counter the bitter bite and soften the flesh. These olives are generally packed in brine, but you can buy the low-salt version if you want watch your sodium intake.
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7 Must Know Health Benefits of Kalamata Olives for Children
Great source of Iron
These olives are rich in Iron. Iron helps the body carry oxygen from the lungs to all the other cells. One olive provides 2-3% of the iron requirement of your body. Iron also plays a major role in the production of energy in the body. It is a necessary part of numerous enzymes. Namely, iron catalase, iron peroxidase and the cytochrome enzymes. It plays a vital role in the proper functioning of the immune system. All of which is readily available in the Kalamata olive. Recipes such as Tapenade provides nearly ten percent of your daily recommended intake of iron. This recipe uses about twenty olives.
Calcium and Calories
It is important to not overdo it with these olives as three to five of them contain as much as forty five calories. However, they can be a very nutritious part of your diet and you don’t need to add too many to make a dish taste great. They are also a good source of calcium. Calcium is a basic necessity for any growing child as it keeps the bones strong. The body absorbs calcium best when consumed with potassium, magnesium and Vitamin C. Combining these olives with tomatoes and a serving of pasta can meet this requirement.
Kalamata olives being a form of black olives has is a great source of Vitamin E which has the ability to neutralize free radicals in body fat. Free radicals are a natural byproduct of cell metabolism. When processes such as mitochondria production is not protected, the free radicals can cause oxidization which can damage the cells mitochondria. The damage can mutate and become cancerous. However, adding olives to a child’s diet could lower the risk of cancer.
Vitamin A which is one of the main nutrients found in the Kalamata olive is a crucial part of eye health. It helps distinguish between light and dark, which leads to improvement in night vision and prevention of night blindness. One cup of these olives are equivalent to ten percent of the Vitamin A required by a growing child’s body.
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The Phenols found in drupes may be the reason that Mediterranean’s have lower incidents of heart disease. These are powerful antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals. When free radicals oxidize cholesterol, the blood vessels can be damaged and fat builds up in the arteries. This can lead to possible heart attacks. The nutrients in Kalamata olives help prevent this and lowers the risk of eventual heart disease. Although olives also contain certain amounts of fat, the fat found in them are the monounsaturated kind that produces good cholesterol (yes there is a good kind of cholesterol) which is an essential for the regular functioning of the body.
Most of the suffering while having osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis is brought about by free radicals. The anti-inflammatory abilities of the monounsaturated fat, Vitamin E and polyphenols found is these olives may help dull this.
Digestive tract function
As mentioned before Kalamata olives contain both Vitamin E as well as monounsaturated fats. Frequent consumption of both these nutrients can lower the risk of colon cancer by neutralizing the free radicals produced in the body of your child. It also has beneficial effects on ulcers and gastritis. A cup of Kalamata olive also contains 17% of the daily fibre requirement. Fibre helps move food through the digestive tract at a healthier pace. This helps keep the balance of chemicals within the digestive system as well as keeping any one part of the tract from having to work too hard which is required for a healthy digestive system.
All of the Kalamata olive nutrients show how important it can be in your child’s diet. Its countless benefits are the exact reason why you should be adding it into your child’s diet. Not only does it taste great by enhancing the flavour of any dish, it is also easy to cook with and isn’t time consuming. It can be considered as an ideal ingredient for any busy parent. With all this knowledge on Kalamata olives, what are you waiting for? Try it out yourself and reap the benefits.