They may not look or taste alike at all, but there are a surprising amount of similarities between breast milk and olive oil, especially in terms of the benefits they have for babies.
Extra virgin olive oil is known for containing high levels of Omega 3 and Omega 6. These levels actually come in very similar portions to the amounts found in breast milk fat. Olive oil also contains the same percentage of linoleic acid as breast milk, a substance that makes it an important food for nerve fiber myelination and the development of the brain.
Additionally, olive oil is an outstanding aid in vitamin D absorption and for helping babies and children grow because of the way it regulates phosphorous and calcium, and encourages the intake of certain minerals that are vital to ossification. This helps children receive additional protection against potential bone breaks in their early years, and guards against osteoporosis as they get older.
Recent research indicates the cholesterol levels in young children have been on the rise, which can lead to the onset of obesity earlier in life (between the ages of six and nine). Olive oil helps lower the total levels of blood cholesterol, as well as LDLs and triglycerides. Therefore, doctors have recommended replacing animal fats in various baby foods with olive oil to help prevent obesity.
For women who are pregnant, consuming olive oil throughout the pregnancy can also lower the risk of asthma for the mother, according to a variety of studies. Their babies, in turn, have a more highly developed immune system and are born with a lower risk of allergies and asthma themselves.
Finally, olive oil as a skin application can also be an effective means of curing “cradle cap,” a skin affliction often seen on baby heads. Olive oil has naturally hydrating properties, which is one of the main reasons why it is so often used in skin care products.
So according to all these studies and bits of information, olive oil is every bit as beneficial for very young children as it is for adults!