Kalamata olives only grow in Greece and are known for being the healthiest food on the Earth. The earliest cultivation of olive trees was probably over five thousand years ago, since Ancient Greek times. Despite being known as ‘Greek black olives,’ they are in fact deep purple in color, and compared to green and black olives, they are bigger in size and have a plumper, oblong shape.
Like most olives, they’re rich in antioxidants and healthy fats and have been linked to multiple health benefits, including protection against heart disease.
Unlike most fruits, kalamata olives are high in fat and lower in carbs.
A serving of 5 kalamata olives (38 grams) provides
- Calories: 88
- Carbs: 5 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 5 grams
- Fat: 6 grams
- Sodium: 53% of the Daily Value (DV)
Reduce Risks of Heart Disease
Kalamata olives may reduce your risks of heart disease. This is due to the presence of hydroxytyrosol in the olives.
Hydroxytyrosol is an antioxidant that has been shown to decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
High levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with increased risks of heart attack and stroke, while high levels of HDL cholesterol are associated with a decreased risk of heart attack and stroke. Eating foods, such as kalamata olives, that put your cholesterol ratios on track can benefit your overall heart health.
May Reduce Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
Kalamata olives contain a compound called gallic acid. A recent study showed that gallic acid can help repair nerve cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s Disease in rats.
Although more studies are needed to see if gallic acid would have the same effect on humans, these initial findings suggest that kalamata olives could be beneficial to people living with Alzheimer’s Disease or at risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.