You must be familiar with the preparation of cucumber which is usually served with local dishes such as fried rice or satay. Yes, pickles are known as complementary foods for some Indonesian specialties. But what are the health benefits of pickles? Or even dangerous to health? Here’s the explanation.
Difference between fermented and unfermented pickles
Not only in Indonesia, in America, New Zealand, Switzerland, and several other European countries, pickles are generally made from cucumbers and other types of vegetables soaked in vinegar. The difference with Indonesia is that the pickles you know or which complement the fried rice don’t go through a fermentation process. So the sour taste only comes from vinegar.
Most pickles that you find and sell freely are pickles made with vinegar and are not fermented. The manufacturing process is that the cucumber absorbs vinegar and other spices. This type of pickle is also easy to make at home.
Health benefits of pickles
Like vegetables in general, pickles are very high in water and have little fat and protein. Pickles are also high in vitamin concentrations because the vinegar and salt mixture draws water out of the vegetables that are the main ingredient.
Eating fermented foods can help with everything from insulin resistance to inflammation. In addition, here are other benefits of pickles for health:
1. Source of antioxidants
When raw fruit or vegetables are stored without being cooked first, the antioxidant content in them is maintained. Antioxidants are micronutrients that help the body fight free radical attacks.
Cooking any kind of food can strip heat sensitive nutrients including antioxidants. So, pickled fruit or vegetables store a lot of antioxidants.
2. Provides essential minerals and vitamins
Eating pickles is not only delicious, but also provides you with essential vitamins like vitamins C, A, K, folate and minerals like iron, calcium and potassium.
Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients that are needed by the body. The benefits of this pickle include protecting you from disease, helping to build immunity, strengthening bones, improving eyesight and various other diseases.
3. Improve insulin sensitivity
Studies have shown that eating pickles made with vinegar can help control blood sugar levels.
According to the American Diabetic Association, vinegar helps improve insulin sensitivity in people with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes, especially after they eat a high-carbohydrate diet. The benefits of pickles can be obtained because the acetic acid in vinegar can help people who have this health problem.
However, the level of consumption of pickles should still be maintained to avoid excess salt intake because it can increase blood pressure.
The risk of consuming pickles
The benefits of pickles are good for health, but that does not mean you can eat them arbitrarily. Holding the expiration date of food requires the role of salt. Because of this, pickles are full of salt.
Eating too much salt can increase blood pressure, which then puts you at risk for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and kidney disease. Sodium can also remove calcium from your bones. This causes brittle bones and increases the risk of fractures.
Research in 2015 found that a high-salt diet was associated with a risk of stomach cancer, along with beer and liquor