Since ancient times, pickles are being made at home for a flavour addition to our diet. And now, a variety of pickles are available in the market to choose from. The crunchiness and tanginess of pickle can compliment with almost every dish. From our mothers and grandmothers, we have also developed the taste of pickles. The spicy touch of pickles in the meal is found in almost every household. Along with its taste, pickles are also known for the many health benefits and nutrition. They are packed with healthy compounds and a lot of vitamins and minerals. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Priyanka Aggarwal, Consultant - Dietician, Max Multi Speciality Centre, Noida, about the benefits, side effects and nutritional facts of pickles. Read on to know about the details and the procedure to make pickles.
Pickles health benefits
Pickles have both disadvantages and benefits too. They are highly nutritious with vitamins like Vitamin A, D and K, along with minerals such as sodium, potassium, etc. Moreover, consuming pickle helps in digestion and fighting diseases. Pickles like cucumber, spinach, thyme, mango are rich sources of vitamin C. The main health benefits of pickles are:
1. Good probiotic food
Pickle is a fermented product so it is good in probiotic things. If we take pickle in little amounts, it helps with the probiotic benefits. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help the whole body and your brain. In fact, probiotic foods like pickles can even give better-looking skin and hair. It not just benefits our digestive system but can have an impact on the overall health.
2. Good for gut health
Pickles help in soothing the gut. In fact, all kinds of fermented food increase the nutrient contents as well as the good bacteria which in turn help the gut. Therefore, if your gut is clear, you will definitely have a good weight loss. Pickles contribute to your regime in this way too. But, the consumption should be in very small portion.
3. Can have in pregnancy
You can have a little pickle in nausea and vomitting feeling during pregnancy. Generally, pregnant women also have pickle cravings. They can have it but if they have it in excess amount, that can cause water retention and gastric issues too.
4. Boosts immunity
Pickles have many nutrients present in them that can contribute towards boosting your immunity. As mentioned above, pickle is a good source of vitamin A that helps in making your immune system strong and helps in fighting infection and other diseases. Pickle has a good bacteria and antioxidants that sometimes help in boosting the immunity.
Pickles side effects
The overconsumption of any food item can have several drawbacks too. We need to follow a portion control to have all the health benefits. It is also recommended to store pickle in closed jars to prevent staling. As per Dt. Priyanka, here are the main side effects of having pickles:
1. High in sodium
The amount of salt we consume from pickle might just be enough for an average human for the whole day. Pickles have very high content of sodium, be it any type. They are fat free and low in calories but can disturb your salt consumption of the day.
2. High in spices
People with high blood pressure are not recommended to have pickle. Except sodium, pickle even has high content of many other spices. In fact, it is also very spicy, so take only a small amount along with your meal.
3. Water retention
When the body fails to eliminate excess water, it is commonly known as water retention. Pickles have the tendency of weakening the water retention power of the body. Therefore, it is advised to consume pickles in very small amounts.
4. Not for liver patients
Dt. Priyanka said, "Patients with cirrhosis of liver or suffering from any kind of liver disease should not have pickle at all. It can be harmful for you and also result in swelling and bloating. In this case, doctors recommend the patient not to have pickles."
Types of pickle and healthiest choice
Dt. Priyanka said, "Pickled cabbage is really good for you. It is a good vintage cabbage pickle. In fact, Mango pickle and lemon pickle are also healthy and beneficial. Half a teaspoon is of pickle can be consumed by a normal human being on an average. It shouldn't be consumed as a curry/ dish, but just for a little taste. However, patients with blood pressure, hypertension and other such health conditions should consult a healthcare professional before consuming pickle." Moreover, it also depends on the preparation of pickle. If we talk about lemon pickle, there is less salt and spices so they can enjoy the pickle. Because sometimes, people make pickle just with salt and jaggery too and that is very heathy. Some pickles are crunchy and tangy, while some are known for the sourness or sweetness. The types of famous pickles available in the Indian market are:
As per Dt. Priyanka, every pickle has a different nutritional value. It depends on the type of pickle, but all types of pickles are very low in calories and high in sodium. Therefore, talking about the most common and favourite mango pickle, the nutritional facts are:
Pickle (100 grams)
- Calories: 17 calories
- Sodium: 1200-1300 mg
- Protein: 0.5 grams
- Vitamin C: 2%
- Iron: 3%.
How to make pickles at home?
There are certain pickles in the market which consist of a lot of preservatives. These are not good for health and can be avoided. Home made pickles are good for health and easy to make. From mango to ginger, almost every kind of pickle can be conveniently made at home. Here are 3 procedures to prepare pickle:
1. Cucumber pickle
- 4-5 cucumbers
- 3 tablespoon vinegar
- Seasonings according to taste
- Slice your cucumbers as per your convenience
- Mix water, vinegar and seasonings together
- Put the cucumbers into a jar and add some garlic
- Now, pour the brine in the jar
- Refrigerate it until the pickles taste tangy
- You can put a little in your sandwich too
2. Mango pickle
- Mustard seeds powder
- Methi seeds powder
- Raw mangoes
- Chilli powder
- Garlic cloves
- Take a bowl and put pieces of raw mangoes
- Then, add salt, chilli powder, methi seeds powder, mustard seeds powder and crushed garlic cloves into it
- Put heated oil and mix it together
- Keep it away for atleast 24 hours
- Mango releases moisture and juice so the dryness will go away with time
- Your mango pickle is ready. But remember, you can have it only after 3 days of preparing
These were the health benefits, side effects, nutritional facts and procedure to make pickles. It is good to have everything in small portions and so is pickle. Pickles have a tangy, sour and sweet flavour that makes it an all time favourite. We keep pairing it up with various food items to include it in your diet. You can even ask your dietician about the amount of pickle consumption. Try these home made pickle making methods, especially in this season.
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