`Olive Oil Works Wonders for Babies

Health

Olive Oil Works Wonders for Babies

Jan. 12, 2015
Sarah Parker

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They cer­tainly don’t look alike or taste alike for that mat­ter, but olive oil and breast milk are sur­pris­ingly sim­i­lar.

Extra vir­gin olive oil con­tains omega 3 and omega 6 in sim­i­lar por­tions to breast milk fat and the same per­cent­age of linoleic acid mak­ing it an indis­pens­able food for the myeli­na­tion of nerve fibres and brain devel­op­ment. It is easy to digest and helps gas­tric func­tion­ing, pre­vent­ing the phe­nom­e­non of con­sti­pa­tion and colic.

Olive oil helps in the absorp­tion of vit­a­min D, impor­tant for grow­ing babies and chil­dren because it reg­u­lates cal­cium and phos­pho­rus and encour­ages the intake of min­er­als that are essen­tial to the process of ossi­fi­ca­tion. This gives chil­dren added pro­tec­tion against bone frac­tures in their ten­der years and the risk of osteo­poro­sis in old age.

In recent find­ings there have been a rise in cho­les­terol lev­els in chil­dren, a great con­trib­u­tor to obe­sity that affects one out of three chil­dren between 6 and 9 years of age. Since olive oil low­ers the lev­els of total blood cho­les­terol, LDL-cho­les­terol and triglyc­erides, doc­tors have rec­om­mended replac­ing ani­mal fats with olive oil to help com­bat the ris­ing obe­sity in chil­dren.
See more: Olive Oil Health Ben­e­fits
There has also been a report­edly lower risk of asthma in moth­ers who have con­sumed a con­sis­tent amount of olive oil through­out preg­nancy. Their babies have been found to have a more devel­oped immune sys­tem, lower risk of rhini­tis and aller­gies.

Olive oil is even said to be effec­tive in cur­ing cra­dle cap. Applied to the parts of the head affected by cra­dle cap before nor­mal cleans­ing, olive oil’s hydrat­ing prop­er­ties can act as a nat­ural rem­edy.

In Italy doc­tors strongly rec­om­mend using olive oil in solids for babies that are being weaned off breast milk. They even rec­om­mend adding it in a baby’s bot­tle of expressed or even for­mula milk to gain the ben­e­fits of the sub­stance; espe­cially for babies suf­fer­ing from colic. This is because olive oil can facil­i­tate the nat­ural gas­tric process and it con­tains oleu­ropein, a nat­ural anti-inflam­ma­tory sub­stance that repro­duces the nat­ural effects of ibupro­fen, the active ingre­di­ent widely used in the pro­duc­tion of pain med­ica­tion.

This was dis­cussed in more depth by Dr. Save­rio Pan­dolfi, from the Ital­ian Insti­tute of plant Genet­ics. The researcher said olive oil is the most sim­i­lar food to breast milk for babies and he rec­om­mends start­ing with a tea­spoon-full of high qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil in every meal pre­pared for the baby.

Olive oil is not only pleas­ing to every child because it reminds him of breast milk, but even to those who have never had oil in their diet,” said Pan­dolfi, such as Eski­mos or Africans.

Plas­mon, one of the most pop­u­lar baby food com­pa­nies in Italy pro­duces olive oil exclu­sively for wean­ing babies. It is made with olives pro­duced and pressed in Italy only and using tech­niques that the com­pany says ensures the oil main­tains more of its health ben­e­fits.

The Mediter­ranean diet starts young in Italy.

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