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Health Benefits of Pickles, Uses And Its Side Effects

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2022

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The process of pickling is popular all across the world. In the traditional pickling, vegetables and fruits were submerged in brine or salted and shredded. Before transferring the food to vinegar, it may be soaked in brine to reduce the moisture content of the food. In the commercial pickling, preservatives like EDTA or sodium benzoate may be added. This increases the shelf life of the pickles, while in fermentation, the food used for pickling produces preservatives all by itself. Let check out the health benefits of eating pickles of vegetables. It has a lot many health benefits but pickles must be consumed in moderation as there are side effects also.

What is Pickles?

Pickling involves the method of preserving the food shelf-life by anaerobic fermentation in saline solution or vinegar. There are so many fruits and vegetables included in pickle brine. Pickling totally influences the food's texture, taste, and flavor. It enhances the taste of infused components. Because of using different fruits and vegetables, it is power-packed with a bulk of nutrients.

Summary- An infusion of fruits and vegetables in saline solution and left for fermentation are known as pickles. It offers several health benefits and some side effects too.

Nutritional Value of Pickles

According to NSDA, cucumber pickles comprise of energy, moisture, fat, protein, carbohydrate, sugars and dietary fibers. Apart from this, pickles are rich in minerals and mention must be made to iron, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium and potassium. Pickles also comprise of Vitamin C, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B-6, vitamin A, Vitamin B-12, niacin, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K.

As nutrients are there in abundance, pickles do have an array of health benefits. Cucumber pickles have a high nutritional value as cucumber is a rich source of fiber, and the best part is that picking will not impact the nutritional content of the fiber.

Summary- The nutritional value of pickle brine is very high as it contains several minerals, carbohydrates, dietary fibers, protein, etc. Additionally, it absorbs any additional fruits or vegetables' nutritional value.

Nutritional facts Per 143 Grams in Pickles

1251 mg
4 g
Total Carbohydrate
1 g

Vitamins and Minerals in Pickles

5 %
Vitamin A
2 %
Vitamin C
3 %

Health Benefits of Pickles

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Mentioned below are the best health benefits of eating Pickles. Here we check out how pickle juice are good, you add pickle in your diet plan and consume to refresh your taste buds.

Pickles contains antioxidants

Pickles are rich in antioxidants and it mainly holds true for ‘Decalepis hamiltonii’ or the Swallow Root. As unripe and raw vegetables and fruits are used for the making of pickles, its antioxidant content is kept intact.

Here the fruits and vegetables are stored raw without any cooking and so pickles are rich sources of antioxidants that tend to fight free radicals and reverse the aging process. Pickles foods that are rich in antioxidant can protect our health and save from impacts of cellular metabolism

Pickles prevents digestive problems

Eating pickles can save you from digestive issues. Probiotic bacteria or the friendly bacteria that form the part of the human digestive system help in food digestion. But, these friendly bacteria get killed due to invading bacteria or due to the use of antibiotics. Any decrease in the number of probiotic bacteria might lead to digestive issues.

Eating pickles that are made without the use of vinegar can help restore probiotics. Pickles prepared out of salt and the natural process can lead to the growth of probiotics. Fermented salt pickles can lead to the growth of friendly bacteria to aid digestion.

Vital minerals in Pickles

Pickles supply your body with vital minerals and vitamins. Fresh pickles, chutneys and dips are made from various beneficial herbs like curry leaves, coriander, parsley, spinach.

They taste of Pickles is awesome and may be given to kids to let them have their share of herbs and leafy vegetables. Freshly made pickles are rich in Vitamin A, C, K and Folate and essential minerals like calcium, iron and potassium. The best part is that pickles are even loved by kids, and thus they also reap health benefits of pickles.

Pickles boost immune system

Constituting vital micronutrients, pickles are rich in vitamins and minerals to protect the body from several diseases. It can strengthen the bones, immunity system, cure anemia, protect vision and prevent several other problems.

Pickles reduces sugar levels

Vinegar based pickles can help in reducing blood sugar level and improves blood hemoglobin in diabetic patients. Pickles directly helps to control diabetes. In fact, it is the presence of acetic acid which helps in the control of sugar. But, you must be careful of salted pickles as that can increase blood pressure.

Pickles Improves digestion

Amla and gooseberry pickles, that are so popular in India, improve digestion. When you talk about these two fruits in particular, they are loaded with health benefits. Amla Pickles has great usage in the preparation of ayurvedic medicines. Unripe amla pickles offer a variety of health benefits. In the Indian families, it is customary to have amla pickle as an appetizer before the main course meal

Pickles improves liver health

Pickles also have hepatoprotective feature that protects liver. Gooseberry and amla pickles mainly help in improving liver health.

Pickles prevents ulcers

Regular consumption of pickles prepared from Indian gooseberry and amla can reduce ulcers. Ulcers refer to internal wounds caused due to the interaction of acids on tissues and due to the sudden failure of mucus membranes.

It is mainly gastric ulcer which is caused by the failure of hyperacidity and failure of mucus membrane. If consumed regularly, amla and gooseberry pickles can reduce the chance of ulcer.

Eating pickles good for pregnancy

Pregnant women do have pickle cravings for good reasons. Nausea and vomiting which is so common in the first trimester of pregnancy can be relieved by consuming pickles. Morning sickness may be done away with the consumption of pickles. The tart, tangy and sour flavor of pickles tingle taste buds while reviving appetite. This cures nausea and curbs vomiting.

Drinking pickle juice for muscle cramps

Pickle juice is well known for curing muscular cramps. It can fabulously resolve cramping. As per the studies, the one who consumes 1 ml serving of pickle recovers from muscular cramping much faster than the one drinking a glass of plain water.

Pickles Boosts immunity

Suguki or Japanese Turnip Pickle can boost the activity of immunity system to help one avoid Spleen Cancer. Certain special kinds of pickles may prevent cancer diseases.

Pickles controls glucose level

To keep the blood glucose level under control, you may consider putting 1ml of pickle in your burger piece. By doing so, you may prevent the blood sugar from rising after the meals.

Benefits of Pickles in Muscle cramps

Pickles are known to be beneficial for muscle cramps because the pickle juice is believed to set off a reaction in the nervous system to stop cramps. Athletes often use pickles to alleviate their muscle cramps. Leg cramps have been treated with it for many years.

Summary- Muscle cramps can be tackled by the consumption of pickle brine. However, it may not work efficiently in some cases.

Pickles as an Antioxidant

There are many studies proving that pickle brine is high in acidic content and they contain a significant amount of minerals too. It also possesses an abundance of antioxidants and this depends on the types of fruits and vegetables added to the pickle brine.

Summary- Due to the presence of antioxidants in the pickle, it is beneficial in relieving digestive issues.

Uses of Pickles

Pickles can be used to meet various demands, such as-

  • Eating low-sodium pickles is a great way to add more nutrients to the diet.
  • Pickles are made from fruits and vegetables and have a number of health advantages.
  • Pickle juice is a solid workout booster.
  • If you have a hangover tummy, pickle is an outstanding way to get over the hangover.
  • It helps to replenish the depleted levels of sodium and helps in rehydration as well.
  • In most parts of the world, pickle brine is consumed just before stepping out of the sun because it helps to avoid sun strokes.
  • Pickle brine is also a post-workout drink as it assists in workout recovery or exercise recovery.
  • The juice of pickles can be used in soups, salad dressing, and any recipe almost.
  • It also cures heartburn.
    • Summary- Pickles can be used to serve various purposes. It acts as a workout booster and post-workout energizer too. It can be incorporated into numerous recipes.

Pickles Side-Effects & Allergies

Some of the well-known side effects of pickle consumption are-

  • Pickles are good for health but only when consumed in moderation. Pickles raise the risk of stomach and esophageal cancer, and this is especially true for Asian pickle use.
  • Pickles have a high salt content, which raises the risk of heart disease and hypertension. There is no doubt that eating pickles will raise your blood pressure.
  • It is better to avoid commercial pickles as they are prepared by using different chemicals that are harmful to health.
  • If there is too much oil content, it can increase cholesterol in the blood.

Summary- Pickles when consumed in unlimited quantities, it leads to some health issues, like indigestion, hypertension, or even cancer too. Commercial pickles contain harmful artificial chemicals.

Origin And Cultivation of Pickles

The cycle of pickling began around 4,000 years prior when the ancient Mesopotamians began to soak cucumbers in acidic brine to preserve them. Since then pickles are a staple in cultures around the world. Pickle was introduced to America by Christopher Columbus.

Pickling is probably one of the most established techniques to preserve vegetables, organic products, meats, dairy, eggs, and fish. Pickling is done to protect the nourishment for a long journey or to consume it in another season.

In the process, fruits or vegetables are put inside the sterilized jar with the vinegar or brine along with the other spices and then the mixture is allowed to rest until the actual taste is obtained.

Summary- The origination of pickles is traced back to ancient Iraq around 4000 years ago. Nowadays, different fruits and vegetables are incorporated into the brine and commercial pickles are available too.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it OK to eat pickles every day?

Pickles can be eaten daily but in moderate quantities only.

Are pickles good for losing weight?

Yes, the consumption of pickle brine aids in weight loss as they improve digestion.

Are pickles good for your skin?

Yes, pickles are good for the skin as they possess antioxidants.

Who should not eat pickles?

People who are suffering from certain health disorders, like hypertension or cancer should avoid pickle consumption.

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    Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
    Reviewed By
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    Reviewed ByDt. Ms. Shilpa MarwahB.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health NutritionDietitian/Nutritionist

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