Pickling is one way of preserving foods by either using a strong acid like vinegar or a salt brine that encourages fermentation.
Aside from cucumbers that are often soaked in vinegar, there are many types of pickled foods, especially fermented pickles. These include kimchi, traditional dill pickles, and sauerkraut.
According to experts, fermented pickles are loaded with vitamin B that helps the body convert food into energy (metabolism), create new blood cells, and maintain healthy skin cells, brain cells, and other body tissues. Aside from this, they are also loaded with vitamin K which is beneficial for blood clotting as well as vitamin A that is needed for healthy vision, immune system, and cell growth.
Listed below are some more benefits offered by fermented pickles.
Help Treat Restless Legs
Pickle juice has been used traditionally to help treat restless leg syndrome. Experts believed that this effect is mainly due to the presence of concentrated electrolytes like potassium and sodium that are needed by cells to maintain stability, produce energy, and function properly.
Helps Provide Relief From Muscle Cramps
According to studies, drinking pickle juice can help provide quick relief from muscle cramps. It works by rapidly restoring electrolytes and stopping the firing of alpha motor neurons in cramping muscles, therefore, providing instantaneous relief from muscle cramps.
Helps Control Blood Sugar
Thanks to the vinegar-based brine used in making pickles. It can help manage blood sugar levels thus helping prevent diabetes as well as curbing intense feelings of hunger.
Studies revealed that adding vinegar to meals helps reduce postprandial and fasting blood glucose levels in adults at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Therefore, researchers recommended to add fermented pickles in one’s daily diet to prevent diabetes.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that offer various health benefits from better skin to cardiovascular health. Cultured foods like pickles are crowded with these lovely little bugs. To enjoy this benefit, opt for pickles fermented in a brine of salt and water instead of those pickles fermented in vinegar (they don’t have probiotic effects).
Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LD/N, and nutrition consultant for RSP Nutrition says:
“Your gut is home to trillions if not more beneficial microbes that aid in various digestive processes, so theoretically, introducing more numbers and species of these probiotics should be beneficial.”
A Rich source of Antioxidants
Present in pickles is natural antioxidants that are found in fresh fruits and veggies. The fermentation process preserves its nutritional profile and antioxidant power. Meanwhile, cooking can break down some of these heat-sensitive nutrients. Its juice (brine) in particular, is loaded with the free radical-fighting and immune boosting antioxidants C and E.
May Help Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer-related death around the world. According to studies, consuming a healthy diet rich in probiotics has the potential to help prevent colorectal cancer. Consumption of fermented pickles can use as a preventive method for the possible prevention of cancer.