Pickles: a source of probiotics

Pickles: a source of probiotics

Pickles are foods that have been preserved in brine or vinegar, and are highly prized in various cultures around the world for their distinctive flavor and health benefits. In addition to their ability to transform a dish with their acidic and sometimes spicy flavor, pickles provide a number of nutritional properties that can contribute positively to the diet.

Most pickles are very low in calories/Photo: Unsplash

1. Source of probiotics

One of the most important benefits of some pickles, especially those prepared with natural fermentation, is their probiotic content. These microorganisms promote gut health, helping to maintain the balance of intestinal flora. Probiotics found in foods such as pickles and fermented sauerkraut can improve digestion, aid in nutrient absorption and strengthen the immune system.

2. Low calorie content

Pickles are generally low in calories, making them an ideal snack for those looking to maintain or lose weight without sacrificing flavor. An average cucumber contains barely 10 to 20 calories. However, it is important to note that some pickles can be high in sugar, especially sweet types like bread and butter pickles.

3. Antioxidants

Many pickles contain antioxidants, which are substances that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Vegetables used in pickles, such as cucumbers and carrots, provide vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin K, as well as minerals such as iron and potassium. These components are necessary to maintain various body functions and prevent diseases.

The acetic acid present in the vinegar in pickles can improve insulin sensitivity and thus help in controlling blood sugar after meals.

4. Control of Sucre la Sang

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Some studies suggest that vinegar, a common ingredient in pickles, can help regulate blood sugar levels. The acetic acid present in vinegar can improve insulin sensitivity and thus helps in controlling blood sugar after meals. This can be especially beneficial for people with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.

5. Moisturizing properties

Since pickles are prepared in brine, they are rich in electrolytes, especially sodium. This can be useful for replenishing electrolytes lost through sweat during intense exercise, although it is important to moderate their consumption due to the high sodium content, which can be counterproductive for people with high blood pressure or kidney problems.

Precautions and recommendations

Despite their benefits, it is important to consume pickles in moderation due to their high salt content, which may raise blood pressure and lead to fluid retention in some people. In addition, commercial pickles often contain preservatives and colorings that may not be desirable to all consumers.

For those interested in including pickles in their diet, choosing homemade or handmade pickles can be a good alternative to avoid additives and control the amount of salt and sugar. Additionally, choosing naturally fermented pickles can increase the benefits associated with probiotics.

In short, pickles not only enrich our meals with their unique flavour, but can also provide significant health benefits, as long as the right varieties are chosen and consumed in a balanced way within a healthy diet.

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