If your mumma told you to stay at bay from nimbu, mango, or mirch ka achaar, then make her read this. Apparently, eating pickles is good for you.
Achaars and pickles have always been ridiculed for not being a healthy fetch. And this eating pickle has always been accustomed to dollops of myths like your boobs may get bigger or you may gain weight, so on and so forth.
But do you know that pickle is a fermented food that is great for your health? And it’s not just us who believe in it! In fact, there have been studies that ratify the goodness of this humble food.
That’s why today we want you to go on a rendezvous with us as we are revealing how your favorite achaars are a must-eat.
But first, let’s bust some myths about pickles
You all must agree that pickle brings out the best in even the blandest of the food. A
nd there has been so much name-calling against it due to which numerous myths have mushroomed around it.
Do you know that the salt and oil in the pickle are very much needed by your gut? According to Dr Divya Dhawan, senior clinical nutritionist, Apollo Specialty Hospitals, Nehru Enclave, New Delhi, there are gut-friendly bacteria that fail to grow without oil and salt. And the fact is, you can very well vary the quantity of both if you are making it at home.
Let’s take a look at some of the myths
Myth #1: The higher content of salt in pickles causes high blood pressure
Fact: Only higher salt content does not lead to high blood pressure. There are other factors such as poor sleep, lack of exercise, eating processed foods, etc that can raise blood pressure. “Use kala namak or rock salt instead of the regular one in your pickle to tackle hypertension,” Dr Dhawan tells HealthShots.
Myth #2: Oil in a pickle is bad for your heart
Fact: Not only oil, but unhealthy eating habits can induce heart problems. Too much intake of junk food, no physical activity, obesity, and skipping meals can be the culprits. “While making a pickle at home, you can try healthier oils like mustard or til. This will help in improving your heart health,” says Dr Divya Dhawan.
Myth #3: Vinegar in pickle can lead to abnormal blood sugar levels
Fact: Vinegar contains good bacteria and is produced via a fermentation process. Moreover, the acid in it helps in managing blood sugar levels.
Another fact that Dr Dhawan shared with us is that pickles are a powerhouse of essential minerals, vitamins, and healthy bacteria. They have various health benefits like improving digestion, reducing cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and preventing constipation. The only trick is to eat in the quantity recommended by the doctor.
Now the question is, “Does your favorite pickle fall under the category of healthy?” Keep reading to know.
Here are the health benefits of some of the most loved achaars
Benefits of eating mango pickle
This pickle is dense in vitamin K, fiber, antioxidants. It can be taken in small quantities as it increases the food taste. But also, if taken too much, it can lead to gastric problems and weight gain because of oil content.
Relieves indigestion: You will be able to ease your digestion process with the help of this pickle
Benefits of eating lemon pickle
Antioxidant-rich and regulate sugar level: Lemon pickle is rich in antioxidants, it helps to maintain good blood flow and blood sugar levels.
“It contains zero fat and cholesterol and is a boon for your heart . But, do not go overboard on this. Along with that it is loaded with enzymes that ease digestion, detoxify the body, and help in fat loss. Not only this, but it also helps you boost immunity,” suggests Dr Dhawan.
Benefits of eating chili pickle or chili ka achaar
According to Dr Dhawan, eating chili pickle can help in weight loss and prevent infections too.
She says, “Green chilies, if made with vinegar, are dense in water and have zero calories. It can be a good weight loss option. It contains a high amount of fiber and helps you prevent constipation but too many chilies can lead to heartburns.”
She added, “It is healthy for your heart too. Beta-carotene, a powerful compound found in green chili, along with vitamin C supports a healthy heart and strengthens the immune system. Green chilies in the pickle contain Capsaicin, which is responsible for protecting the body from infections like the common cold.”
Benefits of eating carrot pickle
From controlling blood pressure to lowering cholesterol levels – carrot pickle has all this and more. “But you need to ensure that you eat it in limited quantities to get all these benefits,” says Dr Dhawan.
She also mentioned that eating carrot pickles helps with constipation. That’s because carrot is packed with fiber and eases bowel movements by preventing constipation, eases digestion. Another thing that is fascinating about carrot pickle is that it has high water content and that’s why it prevents dehydration.
Benefits of eating amla pickle
Amla is very rich in antioxidants and fiber which again helps in maintaining good heart health and also improve immunity
There are some more benefits of eating achaar
1. Pickles are rich in antioxidants
And fight free radicals in the body that are harmful as they damage the DNA.
2. Rich in essential vitamins and minerals
The vegetables in the pickles contain a number of essential vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K, and minerals like iron, calcium, and potassium which improve your overall well-being.
3. Boost immunity
Pickles also contain turmeric that is loaded with Curcumin. That has anti-inflammatory properties which help your body to fight against bacteria and viruses.
4. Eases digestion
Fermented Indian pickles promote the growth of good bacteria and help one combat digestive problems. Pickles are a good option and improve gut health.
5. Protect liver
Those pickles containing Gooseberry (Amla) have hepatoprotective properties in them which protect the liver.
The last words
After all that interesting trivia about pickles, now it is time to know the timing of indulging in pickles. According to Dr Dhawan, timing is very important. She suggests that the worst time to eat a pickle is during the night.
She says, “It is better to eat pickles in the morning.”
Another important thing that you should keep in mind is that those with high blood pressure should avoid it as pickles are jam-packed with sodium and can raise one’s blood pressure if eaten in large quantities.
So ladies, no more shying away from your favorite pickle.