7 Incredible Benefits Of Pickles
Pickles don’t really look like the healthiest food you could have, wouldn’t you agree? At least it seems like that to most of us. However, it turns out that we couldn’t be more wrong. The long history of pickling vegetables is centuries long and actually preserves almost all nutritional values of fresh vegetables while adding some new ones too. This might surprise you, but pickled veggies actually keep all their nutrients simply because they haven’t been boiled or cooked.
Therefore, those pickles that you love snacking are actually full of minerals, antioxidants, probiotics and vitamins. But let’s see what are some more specific benefits pickles can bring to you.
1. Pickles Help In Controlling Diabetes
Pickles can be great for lowering blood sugar levels after a meal thanks to the vinegar-based juice that contains acetic acid which helps the production of hemoglobin. However, there is one kind of pickles you should avoid if you have high level sugars/diabetes, and that are salted pickles.
Salted pickles are high in sodium and can actually greatly increase blood sugar which is why they should definitely be avoided if you suffer from diabetes.
If you want some extra pickle benefits, drinking the vinegar based juice will also improve your heart and kidney health.
2. Reduce Muscle Cramping
Pickles can do wonders for your muscles too! If you’re an athlete, you surely experienced occasional to frequent muscle cramping.
This uncomfortable sensation is usually caused by dehydration. How can pickles help? Well, they help our bodies retain water for a longer period of time, leading to an increased level of energy that can be exerted without experiencing muscle cramps.
A research showed that active males stopped muscle cramps 37% faster when they consumed pickles and pickle juice compared to drinking water only. Apparently, one pickle or a 1/3 cup of pickle juice is more than enough to fight muscle cramping.
Also, keep in mind that since pickles help in water retention, drinking or eating too much of it can lead to swelling.
3. Improves Healthy Digestion
Pickle juice and pickles are great for digestion too. Although salt-based pickles are most powerful when it comes to maintaining healthy digestion, vinegar based pickles are healthy too.
These juices are known to contain great probiotic bacteria (over 100 strains of probiotics in the pickle acids were found), and are therefore often suggested to people with digestive problems.
Anyway, if you love pickles, feel free to enjoy your pickle portion and feel good about it. You are protecting your guts!
4. Soothes Nausea And Morning Sickness
There is a myth that if you’re a woman and have a craving for pickles that you might be pregnant. Although we really doubt the accuracy of this pregnancy test, it might simply be that our bodies know what we need in certain situations.
So, it was found that thanks to its tart flavor,pickles can reduce nausea and even boost appetite. So whether you adore pickles or not, if you’re dealing with morning sickness or just nausea, get loose on those pickles! (not too loose, you don’t want to swell to much)
5. Pickles Support Our Heart Health
Vitamin K is a very important vitamin that plays a crucial role in our cardiovascular health. This powerful vitamin moves away calcium away from the arteries and prevents calcified arteries that might lead to heart attacks.
It turns out that cucumber pickles actually contain up to 22% of the daily recommended value of this vitamin, which is why pickles are great for our heart too. If the pickle base is not salt, pickles could also decrease blood pressure thanks to the high percentage of Vitamin C.
6. Boost Immune System
As if it didn’t have already enough amazing health benefits, it looks like pickles have more to offer. Pickles also contain vitamin A, which is a powerful compound that boosts our immune system.
This vitamin helps our body prevent plenty of illnesses, from a basic flu to more threatening diseases such as cancer. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps our organism fight against foreign bodies and diseases.
7. Pickles Help Reduce Anxiety
Recent studies have tested the effect fermented foods have on our mental health, more specifically, how these foods affected people that are suffering from social anxiety. The test included 710 college students whose eating habits were researched. The researches collected data such as if they ate pickles, yogurt, sauerkratu, or any other type of fermented food, along with any symptoms of anxiety.
It turned out that students with a higher intake of these foods had actually fewer symptoms of anxiety of people that didn’t eat a lot of fermented foods. Scientists speculate that the reason behind it might be the fact that environment within the gut changes when a person regularly intakes pickles, yogurt or other types of fermented food.