Pickles are a popular snack, side dish, and condiment. But did you know that pickles are also a healthy part of your diet? There are lots of different pickle recipes out there, but each version has its own wholesome benefits based on the components that went into the pickle and the method used for pickling, whether fermented or packed with vinegar. Pickles are amazing for most diets because not only are they low in calories, and low in fat or fat-free, many variations are also low in sugar.
Pickles are also a healthy edition to your diet for other reasons. Pickles, being made from cucumbers or other vegetables, are high in fiber which is vital for digestive health and fighting cancer. The cucumbers and other vegetables also contain antioxidants, which fight free-radicals, and depending on the cabbage, can be a good source of calcium, magnesium, and iron. The recommendation by most health professionals is to eat five servings of vegetables and fruit every day. Eating pickles is a great way to find a daily serving or two of your five-a-day!
The spices with which pickles are created are also healthy. For instance, dill and garlic, both of which are popular in pickles, both have the capacity to regulate bacterial growth.
Fermented pickles also have good bacteria which can control dangerous intestinal microbes. This acid will help to lower fat in the bloodstream, improve circulation, and reduced high blood pressure. Additionally, it helps to support a healthy digestive system, reintroduces good bacteria to the intestines, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, and is beneficial for diabetics. In fact, one study even found that eating fermented goods regularly contributed to lower rates of skin problems, asthma, and auto-immune ailments.
Many pickles are made out of vinegars. This healthy liquid has a lot of positive properties as well as its tangy taste. Vinegar is known to enhance the immune system, ease digestive disorders, and may break down calcium deposits in a person’s joints. Additionally, vinegar is known to decrease high blood pressure, and help treat urinary infections. It’s even thought to re-mineralize your bones, balance your blood pH, and fight infection. Vinegar is also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It inhibits the growth of the E.coli bacteria, and when used in conjunction with salt, which is normal in pickling, the anti-bacterial properties are amplified.
It has several additional health benefits as well.
Pickles can be a tasty snack eaten together with the confidence that you’re having something healthy at the same time – what could be better? Hey, even Aristotle, Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon, and Cleopatra believed in the health benefits of this pickle, and Hippocrates used it for one of the first medicines! So should you ever wanted a reason to eat more pickles, now you’ve got it.