Pickled vegetables are an essential part of our daily meals, we eat them as is, cook with them, add them to cocktails or juices. So, what are pickles?
Pickles are made of various vegetables, including asparagus, green beans, radishes, cauliflower, carrots, onions, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes. Not forgetting about the famous recipes of pickled cabbage.
Health benefits of pickles
No doubt, pickles are tasty. But they also have some health benefits. Pickles are low in fat, and in some cases, they have high concentrations of vitamins. For example, dill pickle contains:
- Potassium: about 6% of recommended daily amount of potassium, supporting nerve function.
- Calcium: pickles provide about 6% of daily recommended daily amount of calcium, supporting strong bones and teeth.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A supports the immune system and vision, and pickles contain about 1% of recommended daily amount of the vitamin A.
- Vitamin C: pickles contain about 3%-4% of the recommended daily amount of the antioxidant Vitamin C.
- Vitamin K: Vitamin K supports bone health and helps blood clot. And pickles contain about 20% of Vitamin K’s daily recommended amount.
Some pickled vegetables, such as peppers and carrots can contain other nutrients and vitamins.
Different types of pickling also can have different benefits.
Pickled vegetables can be fermented: leaving vegetables in saltwater, letting the healthy bacteria known as probiotics break down the vegetables’ natural sugars. Probiotics have several health benefits, including:
- Improve digestion,
- Support immune system,
- Lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Unfermented pickles also can provide health benefits. Due to vinegar contained in pickles, which has antimicrobial properties, pickles can help to reduce cholesterol, manage weight and control the blood sugar.
Next, pickles are made of vegetables, so they provide antioxidants and help prevent health conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
And a little history
Today, many of us just enjoy the homemade or store purchased pickles simply because they are tasty. But the original purpose of pickling was to preserve the food and survive. Pickling has more than 4000 years of history. Throughout history, pickling has been a method to preserve out-of-season food.
So, the next time you decide to have a snack, consider the pickled vegetables. They are a delicious, low-fat, and packed with health benefits snacks, tasting as great, as unhealthy alternatives.