I made this salad last night to accompany my crab & roasted tomato pie. It was light, delicious and full of flavor. The kids loved the dressing, which was exciting for me because they used to only want to eat ranch.
When you purchase your olives, it is a good idea to purchase ones in a glass jar to avoid BPA. The ingredients in the olives we purchase are: tree ripened olives, water, distilled and red wine vinegars, sea salt, olive oil. Make sure the olives do not contain sodium benzoate.
While commonly recognized as a high-fat food (about 80-85% of the calories in olives come from fat), olives are not always appreciated for the type of fat they contain. Olives are unusual in their fat quality, because they provide almost three-quarters of their fat as oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid. (In addition they provide a small amount of the essential fatty acid called linoleic acid, and a very small amount of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid.) The high monounsaturated fat content of olives has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. When diets low in monounsaturated fat are altered to increase the monounsaturated fat content (without becoming too high in total fat), research study participants typically experience a decrease in their blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and LDL:HDL ratio. All of these changes lower our risk of heart disease. Recent research studies have also shown that the monounsaturated fat found in olives (and olive oil) can help to decrease blood pressure.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of olives make them a natural for protection against cancer because chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can be key factors in the development of cancer. If our cells get overwhelmed by oxidative stress (damage to cell structure and cell function by overly reactive oxygen-containing molecules) and chronic excessive inflammation, our risk of cell cancer is increased. By providing us with rich supplies of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, olives can help us avoid this dangerous combination of chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
Research on whole olives and cancer has often focused on two cancer types: breast cancer and stomach (gastric) cancer. In the case of breast cancer, special attention has been paid to the triterpene phytonutrients in olives, including erythrodiol, uvaol and oleanolic acid. These olive phytonutrients have been shown to help interrupt the life cycle of breast cancer cells. Interruption of cell cycles has also been shown in the case of gastric cancer, but with this second type of cancer, the exact olive phytonutrients involved are less clear.
One of the mechanisms linking olive intake to cancer protection may involve our genes. Antioxidant phytonutrients in olives may have a special ability to protect DNA (deoxyribonucleic acids)—the key chemical component of genetic material in our cells—from oxygen damage. DNA protection from unwanted oxidative stress means better cell function in wide variety of ways and provides cells with decreased risk of cancer development. (Source)
That is probably more about olives than you ever wanted to know :). Anyways, I hope you enjoy the salad!
Real Greek Salad
1 head of romaine lettuce
1 tomato, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup kalamata olives
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried oregano
Himalayan pink salt & fresh ground black pepper
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1. Combine romaine, tomate, cucumber, onion and olives in a bowl.
2. Combine red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Toss salad with dressing and serve.
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