Does eating pickles have any health benefits?
Do you know what's the absolute must-have for a delicious burger or sandwich? Those tangy, mouthwatering pickles! They add a beautiful blend of sweet, salty, sour, and hot flavors that elevate any dish to another level. But hold on, are you curious about whether pickles have any health benefits? Well, wonder no more, because this article has all the answers to your pickle queries!
What are pickles? Fermented Vs the Quick Pickles?
Packed with a plethora of essential vitamins and minerals, these tangy treats have a long and storied history. Originating in the Indian subcontinent, the art of pickling fruits and vegetables quickly spread to captivate taste buds worldwide. One of the most devoured pickle dishes is, “Pickled eggs”, where boiled eggs are pickled and served in bars.
The method of pickling greatly influences their health. There are two main types: Fermented pickles and Non-Fermented (quick) pickles. Non-Fermented pickles are made by placing cucumbers in an acidic brine to achieve a sour taste. On the other hand, Fermented pickles are prepared by packing cucumbers in airtight jars with a brine of salt and water. Among the two, fermented pickles offer superior health benefits compared to other types.
The Nutritional Profile of Pickles:
Dill cucumber pickles are a popular choice for their nutritional benefits. Dill pickles are low in carbohydrates (8 g) and fats (0.7 g), with just 0.4 g of fiber. One large dill pickle (44.6 g) contains the following nutrients:
- Abundant in sodium (326 mg) and potassium (46.2 mg).
- Contains 21.8 mg of calcium, making it the third most prominent mineral.
- Provides phosphorus (46 mg) and magnesium (2.87 mg).
- Trace elements like zinc, copper, manganese, and iron are also present.
Considering vitamins value, a single serving of pickle offers
- 848 micrograms of vitamin C, 81 micrograms of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), 44 micrograms of niacin (vitamin B3), 18.2 micrograms of beta-carotene, 6.87 micrograms of vitamin K, 48 micrograms of vitamin E, and 1.68 micrograms of vitamin A.
Do pickles hold any health benefits?
Pickles can be healthy for you in several ways, so we picked some of its major health benefits for you to look into:
- Aids digestion: Fermented pickles contain probiotics that promote gut health.
- Fights diseases: Cucumbers' high beta-carotene content turns into vitamin A, reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and respiratory issues.
- Eases muscle cramps: Pickle juice's electrolytes may help alleviate muscle cramps, though the evidence is limited.
- Regulates blood sugar: The vinegar in pickle juice can help maintain stable blood sugar levels, benefiting those at risk of diabetes.
- Promotes weight loss: Cucumber pickles are low in calories, high in water content, and contain vinegar, which curbs appetite, slows carb absorption, stabilizes energy levels, and reduces hunger triggers.
If you choose to indulge in pickles, be mindful of your overall meal. Adding protein can make this low-calorie food more satisfying. However, remember to monitor your salt intake for the rest of the day. Pickles add great flavor to various dishes but don't overdo it. As with any food, moderation is essential for a balanced approach.