Indian meals are practically incomplete without achar – but apart from packing a flavour punch, pickles also come with health benefits. Here’s how you can get a good dose of health and nutrients with pickled foods.
Why and how pickling began
Common pickling methods around the world
Benefits of pickling
How to pickle your fruits and vegetables
Summer and winter pickles
Link between pickles and gut health
Hello everyone this is Lovneet Batra your health expert and clinical nutritionist and you’re listening to my podcast Nutrition By Lovneet.
Hi, guys today we are going to talk about pickling. Are there any benefits of eating pickles? Now Indian summer is incomplete without the tangy spicy taste of aam ka aachar, mango pickle from mangoes or during winter months. Having awala that is gooseberry and ginger pickle with green chilli just adds the flavour to our plate.
And pickling is no less than a culinary art. It requires years of practice and experience. Now traditionally, the older women even of the house, or grandmothers are responsible for carrying out the pickle making process be it slicing of the fruits sun drying and preparing that just the right masala mix for pickles.
The benefits of pickles it’s not just limited to the ingredients that are present there. But this whole process in itself was necessary in the early days to ensure food availability for months in case of shortage during famines, so different countries have their own version of pickles.
Now the most common method of pickling is saltwater brine or vinegar brine. And the health benefits of pickles come from the pickled water. During the process, lactic microbial organisms develop which turn the naturally occurring sugar in the vegetable and fruits into lactic acid. When the environment becomes acidic, it automatically prevents bad bacterias from multiplying, resulting in food preservation.
Now Indians have been pickling vegetables and meats by adding spices and oil. In addition to salt and vinegar.
The Koreans have kimchi while the Eastern Europeans have sauerkraut both of which are predominantly cabbage-based pickle the Middle Eastern and Italian forks because of olives and peppers among other vegetables. So it’s a very common practice. And definitely, we all recognize the health benefits that are associated with it. Pickles are a good source of probiotics.
We need both prebiotics and probiotics for healthy gut health to flourish the good gut microbes right. And we all know that gut health is interlinked to our emotional digestive mental health. It helps in building strong immunity. So the Pickles that we eat that our homemade help in improving the good bacteria in our bodies and also make the environment challenging for harmful bacteria to flourish. Now, this process definitely enhances the immunity and suppresses inflammatory issues.
Pickling process restores and preserves the antioxidative capacity of ingredients. The acid the content of pickle juice helps the body to absorb nutrients better. Now studies have shown that pickles contain antioxidants that counteract the effects of free radicals. Interestingly, pickles are also considered as a good hangover remedy, it is a good balance of electrolytes and restores sodium balance in our body post alcohol bench.
Athletes claim that pickle juice use helps with reducing muscle cramps and help with post-workout fatigue and loss of energy. This can also help in reducing PMS. In fact, if you have a good gut health it is directly linked to good hormonal balance, which definitely helps in regulating the mood swings regulating the pain, bloating digestive distress during your periods.
Now pickles being probiotics definitely strengthen our digestive system. What does that mean? The food that we are eating otherwise is well it’s better assimilated and utilized by our system. fewer things you need to watch out for before introducing pickles in your diet. Number one and most important, the benefits associated here are with pickles made at home. Not the commercial because that is actually borderline unhealthy can be very high in sodium and might not be using the best quality oil and spices. So it definitely defeats the purpose of having pickles for good digestive and probiotics in our system.
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