Pickles are excellent health foods- loaded with nutrients, low in calories.
What most people don’t realize however, is that pickles actually refers to a method of food preservation, using a variety of fruits, spices and vegetables. When we say pickles, most of the time the ingredient in question is the cucumber, though it is common for carrot, eggplants, cabbage, garlic…. and many other products to be pickled as well.
Excellent Sources Of Anti-Oxidants
In addition to vitamins, there are many bio active compounds found in fruits and vegetables that deliver anti-oxidant benefit, but which are sadly lost in traditional food preparation. This is because many of the compounds are temperature sensitive, being broken down or deactivated under the influence of high heat. However, the pickling process avoids this occurrence, since the fruits or vegetables are placed into the solution mixture uncooked, and hence retaining their complete anti-oxidant profile. Consumption of adequate amounts of anti-oxidant reduces the damage that free radicals can cause on the body, and helps preserve your well-being.
They may protect the heart
Cucumber pickles contain up to 22% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, which plays a very important role in maintaining cardiovascular health.
Vitamin K isn’t talked about too much, but it does wonders for the body.
One of the leading causes of heart attacks is due to artery calcification, and a strong amount of vitamin K has been proven to prevent calcified arteries by moving calcium away from the arteries before they become hardened and life-threatening plaque deposits.
The Vitamin K present in cucumber pickles has also been shown in many studies to reduce inflammation in the arteries as well as reducing blood pressure.
Boosts The Immune System
Pickled vegetables contain a very high amount of vitamin A, which is essential for immune health.
In fact, many immune system functions are reliant on a proper vitamin A intake, including the regulation of genes that are involved in immune responses. This leads to prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancer, and the basic head cold/flu.
Fight Muscle Cramps
Pickles are foods for both athletes and people who suffer regular muscle cramping.
Why? Pickles help your body with water retention, and with muscle cramps are very likely to be caused by dehydration.
Can Help Control Your Diabetes
Pickles are naturally low calorie and low carbohydrate, making them perfect foods for diabetics, but they also do more to help diabetics, and on a much larger scale. HbA1C, which is hemoglobin that has been bound to glucose, is an indicator of longer term blood sugar control, with higher numbers indicating poor glucose control over a long period of time. It is believed that acetic acid combined with the fruits or vegetables is responsible for this phenomenon of improving HbA1c levels, which equates to improved blood sugar control.