The high nutritional value of Chalkidiki olives

The main ingredient of the valuable Mediterranean diet, the olive, is rich in nutrients and flavour. The high nutritional value of olives makes them very important for a healthy diet.

διατροφική αξία ελιάς

Let’s talk about olives...

The olive is the fruit of the Olea europea olive tree. Although, more attention is often paid to olive oil, the olive is a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet. It offers unique nutritional properties and characteristics, whilst it is also a food of high nutritional value. This is due to the quantity and quality of the fatty acids it has, in combination with a series of nutrients, which, cumulatively, have a positive effect on the body and health.

Specifically, the green olive of Halkidiki is a variety that is grown almost exclusively in Halkidiki. The special climatic conditions of the area and the characteristics of the soil, give the fruit a spicy and slightly sour taste, combined with pleasant notes of fruity aromas. Also, the Halkidiki olive is often called “donkey olive”, due to the large size of its fruits, which range between 4-14 grams.

It is known that the benefits of olive oil and olives have been well known throughout history. The Mediterranean people are the proof of this is, who eat fruits, vegetables, limited amounts of red meat and their main source of fatty acids are olive products. These people had a longer life expectancy and a reduction in the incidence of chronic and degenerative diseases (cancer, obesity, cardiovascular diseases). This is largely due to the characteristics and composition of the olive.

The nutritional value of olives

Depending on the variety, growing, ripening and processing conditions, the nutritional content of table olives may vary. Usually, however, it consists of 60-80% water and contains mainly fatty acids (10-30%) and proteins (1-1.5%). The green olive of Halkidiki in particular, consists of 74% water and contains 1% protein.

The main fatty acid found is oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid. According to research, it lowers blood pressure and is associated with a reduction in inflammation, cardiovascular disease and has a potential anti-cancer effect. Also, olives contain a significant number of vitamins and minerals. These include vitamin E (a very powerful antioxidant), vitamin A (enhanced vision, reproduction, skin effect) and carotenoids, as well as small amounts of vitamins B1, B6 and B12. The nutritional value of green olives includes the equally important trace elements. These are copper, which reduces the risk of heart disease, and calcium, which has a positive effect on bones, muscles and the functioning of the nervous system. In addition, magnesium, zinc and sodium are included, mainly in olives preserved in brine.

Green olives contain polyphenols, which offer multiple benefits to the human body. The best studied polyphenol is hydroxytyrosol, which has anti-cancer and strong antioxidant action. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which attack the body’s cells and cause damage In that way, they accelerate the aging process or the onset of chronic diseases. Therefore, the antioxidants contained in olives strengthen the body’s defences. Also, the olive contains oleuropein, tyrosol etc. Polyphenols reduce the occurrence of inflammation, protect the body from cardiovascular disease and have a neuroprotective effect. Finally, it contains smaller amounts of non-polyphenolic ingredients that are just as beneficial as squalene and phytosterols.

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In conclusion

Regarding the effect of the nutrients of green olive in various diseases, its antioxidant properties have many benefits. Initially, they reduce the likelihood of inflammation and prevent the growth of many microorganisms. At the same time, they slow down aging and the development of chronic degenerative diseases. Consumption of green olives also increases the levels of glutathione, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants in the human body.

The effect on the function of the heart is positive. Olives and olive oil help lower blood pressure, mainly through the action of oleic acid. Oleic acid contributes to the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system and regulates cholesterol levels. The high content of oleic acid and antioxidants acts protectively against various forms of cancer, such as breast, intestinal and stomach cancers. Finally, in the Mediterranean’s low rates of osteoporosis are observed and it has been suggested that olive ingredients affect the condition of the bones.

The nutritional value of Chalkidiki olives is a great benefit for the entire body

In conclusion, the high nutritional value of green olives, with ingredients that are essential for the body, help protect against various diseases. It is very important to include green olives in your diet, not only because of their delicious taste, but mainly because olives are an extremely healthy habit with multiple benefits.