Are Pickles a Healthy Snack?

It is not uncommon for pickles to be used as additions to meals. You can use them as an ingredient for a salad or use it to make a sandwich.  There are some people who love snacking on them during the day.  Whichever way you prefer to have your pickle, it is an amazing vegetable to indulge in.

Are Pickles Healthy?  

This is a question many pickle fans ask. This is down to the fact that pickles contain a juice that is acidic in nature. Many worry that this might be unhealthy for their body as it alters the pH levels and is also bad for the teeth. While this is true, pickles are some of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. It has many health benefits as explained below.

CAUTION:

  • Acidity

The acidity can lead to the erosion of your teeth enamel. The high levels of acidity can also cause receding of gums, which can lead to other health issues.

  • Sodium in Pickles

Depending on how much salt you put in your pickles, it is possible to obtain the daily recommended sodium quantities from eating one pickle. Using normal amounts of salt for pickles can mean that your pickle will contain more salt than you need. Too much sodium in your diet can lead to development of hypertension. Therefore, it is recommended that you consider making low sodium pickles. These types of pickles contain one percent of your daily dose recommendation for sodium. You will enjoy the flavor benefits while still adhering to daily recommended doses of nutrients.

Are Pickles Healthy – Benefits of Pickles  

  1. They Are Vegetables

A pickle in its original form is a raw cucumber. It undergoes pickling when it is soaked in vinegar or brine, spices and salt, and left to ferment. This pickling process allows the cucumber to absorb different flavors and also changes its nutritional composition. Even so, pickles are still categorized as vegetables since a cucumber is a vegetable. One pickle is equal to a quarter of your daily vegetable intake recommendation.

  1. A Source of Vitamins and Low on Calories 

Pickles are very low in calories and fat. One contains 4 calories and 1g or less of fat. Pickles are great sources of vitamin K with a single pickle offering up to 14mcg, which is equal to fifteen percent of daily vitamin K recommendation. This vitamin is important as it aids in blood clotting. This makes pickles a recommended healthy way of acquiring this vitamin.

  1. They Are Antioxidants

Pickles are known to be excellent sources of antioxidants. Since pickles are preserved in liquids in the raw form, the antioxidant properties of the vegetable used are preserved. Antioxidants are important to the human body because they prevent the body cells from attacks by free radicals. These free radicals can be described as unstable chemicals produced from cell metabolism. When the radicals allowed to interact with body cells, they can cause damage to one’s DNA and destabilize it. This leads to the creation of more free radicals.   

  1. Helps with Digestion

Are pickles healthy for digestion? The digestive system is home to probiotics bacteria which are friendly bacteria. These healthy bacteria are useful in the digestion process. When you use antibiotics over a long period, these probiotics are killed. Consequently, you are bound to suffer from digestive complications. You can solve this problem by consuming pickles that are made without vinegar. Fermented low sodium pickles create a good environment in your body for growth of probiotics. This increases their numbers and restores healthy gut bacteria.

  1. Good for Diabetes   

According to studies, consumption of pickles made from vinegar can improve a diabetic’s hemoglobin levels. This helps to control the effects of the condition. The acetic acid found in vinegar is responsible for this positive effect. Even so, it is recommended that the patient considers going for low sodium pickles as too much salt can lead to blood pressure, which makes the diabetes worse.

  1. Protects Your Liver 

The benefits they offer to your liver are some of the leading reasons why they are recommended. Pickles are found to have hepatoprotective properties. This means that they have healing qualities that help the liver to heal. This was discovered after pickle extract was used in lab animals to heal damaged livers.

  1. Significantly Reduces Ulcers 

Ulcers are wounds that occur internally. They form when mucous membranes and acid fail to interact with lining tissues. When you consume pickles that are not made with vinegar, you greatly reduce the effects of ulcers.

  1. Fights Cancer   

Because of their antioxidant properties, pickles help to fight free radicals as well as the buildup of bad bacteria and yeast. Free radicals lead to the development of cancerous cells. When you consume pickles, you help to fight cancerous cells and also prevent the growth of more cancerous cells by fighting free radicals. Their ability to fight free radicals also helps to prevent dementia later in life.  

Word of Caution When Consuming Pickles

Are pickles healthy? Now that you have found the answer to this question, you need to consume them with a bit of caution. Pickles are made from soaking vegetables in brine or vinegar. This means that they become highly acidic. You need to be mindful of the number of pickles you consume.  If you must consume pickles, you need to find ways through which you can balance out the acid levels. Cheese is an excellent accompaniment for pickles. This is because cheese helps to neutralize the acidity left in your mouth.   

Another way to neutralize the acidity from pickles is by drinking water. Alkaline water is recommended.

Another way to protect your teeth from damage is by practicing oil pulling. You need to find oil with a taste you like. You can sip a bit of this oil and let it stay in your mouth for at least half an hour. The oil will attract bacteria which cling to it and this reduces the acidity in your mouth. Spit out the oil making sure you do not swallow it. 

 
 
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