On a gloomy day when nothing seems to go right, imagine this: a warm bowl of khichdi and some tangy Aam ka achar with it. Sounds comforting, right?
Be it with piping hot aloo paratha or some refreshing curd rice, a dash of pickles makes every meal extra special. Tangy, rich, acidic, and spicy pickles have been a part of Indian meals for centuries, adding a burst of flavour and a touch of tradition to every dining experience.
"If we like it, we will pickle it" is the perfect phrase that captures the essence of this country’s love for pickles. The love we Indians share for pickles is clearly evident from the fact that India has at least several dozen prominent pickle types found across the country. Each state has its own specialty that it claims to be the best.
Each pickle variety, a chapter in the epic saga of spice blending, soaking, and sun-drying, offers a peek into India's diversity. So, the next time you savour that perfect bite of pickle, remember that you're tasting diversity and rich history in a jar.
But how did pickles come to be such an integral part of our food?
It’s because pickles are not only good to taste, but there are numerous benefits to them. No wonder our grandmothers used to prepare fresh batches of pickles each summer.
Let's discover the secrets of pickles and how they can enhance your culinary journey and well-being at the same time. Let's jump into the tangy and delicious world of PICKLES!
Table of Contents
What are Pickles?
Tangy, sweet, and zesty – power-packed side dishes loved and savoured by people for centuries. That's what pickles are.
Pickles are the product of a process known as pickling.
Pickling is a process that involves preserving fruits or vegetables in a mixture of salt, sugar, and various spices. Oftentimes, vinegar or brine solutions are used for this fermentation process.
Pickling started as a technique to preserve the shelf life of perishable foods. That's why you can find pickles made from a variety of fruits and vegetables.
It takes months to achieve the perfect batch of pickles and reach your plate. During the pickling process, the ingredients undergo fermentation and other changes that enhance the taste and nutritional profile of the pickle. It can increase the availability of certain nutrients like vitamin C and antioxidants, offering significant health benefits.
Let's look into the rich nutritional profile of pickles and understand why pickles are such a great addition to your meals.
Nutritional Profile of Pickles
Pickles are not only bursting with flavour but also offer significant nutritional value. There are essential minerals and vitamins in pickles, allowing you to enjoy their mouth-watering taste guilt-free.
Pickles contain vitamin C, which supports the immune system, and they are a powerhouse of antioxidants like vitamins A and E. Some of the pickles are a source of capsaicin, aiding metabolism and providing pain relief.
Additionally, pickles are known for their probiotic properties, promoting gut health with their naturally fermented goodness. When eaten in moderation, the benefits of pickles, especially Indian pickles, can be a flavorful and nutritious addition to one's diet.
Here are some amazing benefits of pickles that come along with their tasty goodness:
5 Amazing Health Benefits of Pickles
Pickles are an efficient, easy, and tasty way of supplementing nutrition in your diet. Oftentimes, certain micronutrients that are essential for the body are not available through the normal diet. Adding pickles to your meals can help you with that.
Here are five health benefits of pickles, apart from being a delicious addition to your meals.
Rich Source of Antioxidants
One of the most important benefits of pickles is that they are a great source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are the components that help protect the body from stress and damage caused by free radicals.
During the making of pickles, the probiotic bacteria produce lactic acid, an antioxidant that acts as fuel when you are exercising or doing any physical work.
Efficient Source of Probiotics
Probiotics are the microorganisms present in pickles, also known as the "good" or "friendly" bacteria. They introduce beneficial bacteria into the digestive system, which improves the balance of gut microbes, supports digestion and nutrient absorption, and gives a protective layer to the intestinal mucosa, thus improving your immunity.
Helps Maintain Electrolyte Levels
In the hustle and bustle of life, especially in India's tropical climate, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can be common concerns.
Pickles, with their combination of sodium from the salt used in pickling and potassium from some of the vegetables, form a dynamic duo of electrolytes that play a small but noticeable role in rebalancing these electrolytes, helping you stay hydrated and maintain optimal health amidst a fast-paced lifestyle.
Full Of Essential Minerals And Vitamins
In the tangy and sweet world of pickles, there is a small but noteworthy contribution to your daily nutrient intake. These tangy treats, particularly those crafted from Mango, Chilli, Lemon, and Amla offer small but significant quantities of essential minerals and vitamins in pickles. Among these, vitamin K stands out, playing a crucial role in both blood clotting and bone health.
Aids in Digestion
Fermented Indian pickles promote the growth of good bacteria and help combat digestive problems. During the process of fermentation, the pickles are enriched with beneficial bacteria that support a healthy gut microbiome.
Studies indicate that eating fermented foods leads to better digestion and increased nutrient absorption.
3 Easy Ways To Include Pickles in Your Diet
If you're not part of the pickle-loving club and want to add pickles to your meal, you’re in the right place.
If you're planning to expand your taste palate as well as enjoy the benefits of pickles, here are some easy ways you can start with :
- When you talk about pickles, the first thing that comes to mind is Mango, Chilli, Lemon, and rightly so, but apart from these pickles, there are many lesser-known ones like Indian Hog Plum Pickle, Imli Pickle, Haldi Root Lemon Pickle, Gur Kairi Chunda and Amla Murabba.
These pickles are not widely popular like others, but they taste equally good. You can use the Imli pickle as a spread and add it to your sandwiches and wraps for that tangy and sweet punch in between your bites. Add a spoonful of ginger pickle to your bowl of noodles next time and taste the difference..
- Pickles can be a great addition to your daily meal. Pickles like mango, amla, and lemon pair very well with the Indian staple -’Daal Chawal’. They elevate your food to a whole new level. The perfect zesty and power-packed addition to your meals. The health benefits of pickles are just a bonus that enhances the overall enjoyment of this traditional favourite.
- Besides being a tasty side dish, pickles are a great snack to munch on. Amla Murabba is a popular traditional delicacy enjoyed for its potential health benefits and delightful taste. Amla Murabba is celebrated for its rich vitamin C content and is consumed as a medicinal and tasty treat.Gur Kairi Chunda is a traditional condiment in Gujarati cuisine, and it is a favourite accompaniment to various dishes like thepla, dhokla, and snacks like fafda and khakhra.
You can add these pickles to our already diverse and rich range of pickles and enjoy the pickled goodness.
FAQ: 5 Amazing Health Benefits of Pickles
What are the benefits of pickles made organically?
The health benefits of organically prepared pickles include low sodium content, no artificial preservatives, reduced pesticide residues, and more environmentally friendly farming practices.
What are the healthiest pickles to eat?
Can pickles help with weight loss?
Pickles can aid in weight loss by providing a low-calorie, high-fiber snack option that helps control cravings and promotes a sense of fullness, but be cautious of their sodium content.
How many pickles can be eaten per day?
It's best to consume pickles in moderation due to their high sodium content. A few small servings a day should be fine for most people.
Does pickle contain vinegar?
No, Two Brothers organic pickles do not contain synthetic or natural vinegar. Instead, lemon juice is used to provide the required acidity in the pickles. Other brands of pickles might use vinegar to provide that acidic content.
Pickles are the perfect balance of flavours and health benefits, making them the best addition to your meals. This perfect combination sets pickles apart, making them more than just a side dish.
With a diverse range of tangy and spicy flavours, pickles are an amazing addition to meals of all kinds. Apart from their great taste, pickles also provide health benefits in the form of essential nutrients like probiotics, vitamins, and antioxidants. These nutrients play a role in supporting your immune system and improving digestion.
For a premium and organic selection of pickles, check out Two Brothers range of pickles. Whether you prefer classic or exotic flavours, you will find the perfect pickle for your palate and enhance your culinary adventures.
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