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Pickles: The Sweet and Sour Treat

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Pickles are a crunchy snack and a spicy savory treat since 2400 B.C. They are the tasty and delicious outcome of preserving seasonal food items like green mangoes, chilly and cucumber in many cultures and continents. They are sweet, sour, spicy and definitely delicious. It is believed that pickles were first evolved in Mesopotamia and it didnít take long for this unique and mouthwatering recipe to spread through Asia, Egypt and Greece.

Pickles: The Sweet and Sour Treat

People since ages claimed different benefits of pickles on health. Cleopatra said that eating food that was pickled helped her to maintain her beauty; Aristotle talked about the positive affects of pickled cucumbers.

Its not just pregnant women who craved pickles, but great personalities such as Julius Caesar, Queen Elizabeth I, George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte, too, were big fans of pickles.

Modern science has unleashed the health benefits of eating pickles. Some of them are:

Lose Weight with Pickles: Pickles are very helpful in inducing weight loss. Pickles, especially dill pickles, add very little calories to the daily meal plan. Sweet pickles, however, contain more calories than the sour and spicy ones due to addition of sugar in them. But, none of them contain too many calories.

Nutrients in Pickle: According to the NutritionData, pickles are a good source of iron, potassium, calcium and manganese and vitamin A. They are also very good sources of dietary fiber and vitamin K. Some pickles contain B vitamins as well. For example, kimchi, a pickled cabbage dish in Korea, contains double the levels of vitamin B1, B2, and B12 and niacin found in non-pickled cabbage.

One serving of dill pickles provide 30.2 micrograms of Vitamin K.

Sweet pickles provide 36 micrograms of vitamin K, 5 percent of B vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, and folate, and 143 IU of Vitamin A.

Lemon pickles provide 312 milligrams of Vitamin C, 847 milligrams of calcium, 508 milligrams of Vitamin A and 6.4 milligrams of Iron.

Mango pickles provide 20 milligrams of total carbohydrates and 40 milligrams of Vitamin C.

Pickled foods are nutritious and easier to digest than their un-pickled counterparts. The downside, however, is that the food is very high in sodium, mainly from the salt used in pickling.

Pickles Kill Stomach Bacteria: Pickle juices are sometimes seen as the best remedy to cure stomach upsets and get rid of stomach bacteria. Pickles are made in vinegar, which is known to have antimicrobial properties thereby playing an important role in killing bacteria during food preservation. Vinegar inhibits the growth of E.coli, Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas in the food and stomach. Salt, another important ingredient in pickles, kills bacteria in stomach at a healthy dose. Potassium found in pickles and pickle juices help in reducing cramps and assist in metabolic processes, regulating fluid levels in the human body.

Pickles Are Good For Pregnant Women: Pickle juice helps to maintain the electrolyte balance in the body during pregnancy as it contains sodium and potassium. With the increased amounts of fluids in the body, the need of electrolyte balance increases a bit in expecting mothers. Hence, a little pickle juice that contains salt balances these needs and helps with the normal growth of the baby.

There are several benefits of pickles if the consumption is in moderation. Increased amounts of pickles in diet could cause rise in blood pressure and in some cases, can prove to be carcinogenic. Hence, it is important to monitor the intake of pickles to enjoy all the benefits of this mouthwatering food item.
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