3 Benefits of Olive Oil for Children

Are you aware of the benefits of olive oil for children? Keep reading to find out why it should be a regular part of their diet.
3 Benefits of Olive Oil for Children

Last update: 27 June, 2022

Are you aware of the benefits of olive oil for children? Olive oil produces a series of benefits, so it’s good for it to appear in their diet on a regular basis. It’s a natural food that provides several types of essential nutrients, which favor the proper functioning of the body in the short and long term.

Before we begin, it’s key to note that for many years fats were unfairly demonized. It was believed that their consumption could negatively affect cardiovascular health, without sufficient evidence. Today, we know that this isn’t true and that they’re fundamental quality nutrients, with the exception of trans fatty acids.

The benefits of olive oil for children

Here, we’re going to show you the main benefits that olive oil offers to children. Keep in mind, however, that it’s essential to introduce this foodstuff in the context of a balanced and varied diet. In the same way, you’ll need to control the dose of intake, as it has a high energy density.

1. Improves the functioning of the cardiovascular system

According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, one of the benefits of olive oil for children is that its regular intake is associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular accidents in adults. In part, this is due to the food’s concentration of omega-9 fatty acids, lipids that help control inflammatory mechanisms in the internal environment.

However, to get the most out of olive oil, it should be extra virgin and consumed raw. When fats are subjected to very high temperatures, they can be transformed into trans fats, which are unhealthy and increase the risk of developing chronic and complex diseases.

Although cardiovascular diseases are less frequent in children than in adults, you should know that the deposit of fat in the walls of the arteries begins at an early age. Therefore, instilling healthy habits from childhood translates into a lower risk of getting sick in the future.

An adult and a child holding a stethoscope and a plastic heart.
Cardiovascular health care should start early in life, as much of the damage caused by poor diet and sedentary lifestyle accumulates throughout life.

2. Prevents aging

We must mention that olive oil is a source of vitamin E, a powerful natural antioxidant. This element neutralizes the formation of free radicals and their subsequent accumulation in the body’s tissues, which translates into a lower risk of disease.

In addition, vitamin E itself contributes to muscle recovery after exercise. Because children maintain high levels of physical activity, ensuring optimal nutrient intake helps muscles adapt and regenerate efficiently.

3. Olive oil helps fight constipation

During the early stages of life, some evacuatory problems, such as constipation, are common. To improve this condition, the consumption of olive oil can be a viable strategy. It improves the lubrication of the fecal bolus, facilitates the descent along the digestive tract, and helps its subsequent expulsion.

In any case, to achieve a significant benefit, it’s also advisable to ensure adequate consumption of fiber, which between the soluble and insoluble portion, should reach 25 grams per day. This will ensure that the microbiota is maintained in a state of proper functioning.

A constipated toddler sitting on a potty.
Regular consumption of olive oil and fiber will help the child to have easier and more regular bowel movements.

Olive oil has several benefits for children

As you’ve seen, the benefits of olive oil for children are various when it appears regularly in the diet. We’re talking about a very high-quality food, which should be one of the main sources of lipids in the diet. Of course, it’s always necessary to choose the extra virgin variety, as it’s the best of all. The other alternatives have a higher level of refinement, so the fatty acids they contain aren’t as good.

Finally, keep in mind that you should incorporate other healthy fats into the diet of children as well, such as omega-3 oils present in avocado and oily fish. These nutrients control inflammation levels in the body and also offer many benefits for brain development in early stages of life.

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