Inflammation and high blood pressure are two extremely common health issues that Americans face. And those two conditions can ignite all kinds of disorders like arthritis, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and more.
The good news is that there are numerous ways to reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. And the easiest, most creative solution we found might be as simple as reaching into your pantry.
The Benefits Of This Salty Superfood
The Mediterranean is overflowing with super healthy food. One of the best and most popular food options from the region is Kalamata olives, which originated in the city of Kalamata, Greece.
This type of olive usually comes with pits inside. But what really makes them distinct is their dark purple color, which almost looks black. Kalamata olives are naturally bitter, but that strong flavor is muted due to the fermentation from being cured in a salty brine.
If you’ve ever looked at the label on a jar of Kalamata olives, you may have noticed they have a high-fat content. But, don’t let that scare you away. These olives are still very much a healthy, salty snack.
They have what’s known as monounsaturated fat, which is also called “healthy fat.” It’s the same thing you would find in avocados and nuts. And studies have found that the oleic acid in that fat is helpful at warding off heart disease, lowering blood pressure, and reducing inflammation because it prevents plaque build up in the veins.
But those aren’t the only health benefits of Kalamata olives. They are also loaded with two antioxidant polyphenols known as oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol that fight off chronic inflammation, benefit heart health, and protect cells from cancer damage.
A March 2015 study published in Molecules actually found that oleuropein may help guard the brain against developing the plaque that causes Alzheimer’s disease and could possibly prevent cell loss associated with Parkinson’s disease.
An Easy Way To Keep Inflammation Under Control
To get all of these health benefits from Kalamata olives, you don’t have to eat very many, which ultimately is a good thing because of the sodium content. All you need is about three to five olives daily to get those anti-inflammation perks while staying below the FDA’s daily sodium recommendations.
Simply add them to a charcuterie board, put them on top of a salad, roast them with chicken, or eat them directly from the jar! If only every healthy habit was that easy.