Salty foods are not commonly considered a healthy diet option. But, there are a few surprising exceptions! One of them is Kalamata olives, which originate from the eponymous city in Greece. Packed with health benefits, these olives are one of the best products offered by the Mediterranean region, which is known for its super healthy foods and products.
Kalamata olives are known for their dark purplish-brown, almost black-colored skin and are usually not pitted, retaining the complex fruity flavor. The olives are generally cured in salty brine, which cuts down their naturally strong bitter flavor through fermentation. These olives can be found in pretty much any grocery store at a fairly reasonable price. Kalamata olives are great for throwing in a salad, filling out a charcuterie board, or even snacking on anytime right out of the jar!
Nutritional Facts and Health Benefits
Salty Kalamata olives are technically high in fat. But, don’t fret! This guilt-free, mono-saturated fat is often referred to as ‘the healthy fat,’ which is also available in healthy foods like nuts and avocados. This fat is mostly made up of healthy oleic acid, which is particularly helpful in warding off factors related to heart diseases, like cholesterol and high blood pressure, by preventing plaque buildup in our veins. These olives are also jam-packed with two antioxidant polyphenols, which are helpful in fighting off chronic inflammation, retaining heart health, and protecting cells from cancer damage. One polyphenol, oleuropein, has another healthy perk! According to a recent study, it may help to prevent both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Obviously, you might now be tempted to snack on a lot of Kalamata olives to receive all these health benefits, but one fact should not be overlooked. Due to the salty brine, these olives also come with a hefty amount of sodium! So, it’s better to keep your urge in check and enjoy the olives within limits.