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Pickles

Is pickle juice good for you?

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February 08, 2011 6:20AM

Answer

yes its high in salt and has lots of vinegar wich is also high in salt

^^^

I was taken back by how bad this answer is. I had to make an account to improve it.

Vinegar has no salt at all, unless salt is added to it, such as in pickle juice.

And with the insane (and increasing) amounts of salt contained in any food product that's not farm fresh, even adding a dash of salt for seasoning should be done with some mindfulness. But anything that's "high in salt" (or high in salt times two as this answer suggested) should set off alarms, not provide comfort in your dietary choice.

That said, pickles are a great food if you have one or two. They are low in calories, fat free, source of fiber and antioxidants, have all sorts of nutrients and count toward your daily veggie intake. A healthy snack, appetizer, topping, filler, or side. Made from cucumbers, they are also beneficial for digestion. They are preserved which means salt, but not highly processed.

The spices have excellent health benefits too, and the juice is infused with all their goodness. Garlic is a natural antibiotic. Dill also regulates bacteria. Mustard seeds help with digestion. And vinegar, which most pickles contain, is antibacterial, helps with the immune system, regulates digestive disorders, high blood pressure, weak bones, stiff joints, and more. Excellent for older people.

Sounds like a wonder food. And maybe it is, but anything made with a variety of natural ingredients and is not processed, usually is too. My rule is "if they didn't make it this way 100 years ago, it's not food." Watch out for chemical preservatives on the label. Great pickles have simple ingredients: Cucumbers, water, vinegar, dill, garlic, salt, spices, and very little sugar, in that order.

Pickles however are one of the few preserved food items that retain many benefits without introducing bad-for-you qualities. The salt is something you should keep a tab on though. Two pickles will give you about 10% of your daily salt intake. 4 tablespoons of the juice on a salad might add another 8%. By itself it's nothing to worry about, but combined with canned/processed foods and you're pushing 130-200% of the recommended dose of sodium in a day - that is if you never add salt to season your food.

The juice, specifically, is good for you as I mentioned. Many people like to take a few sips from the jar, which is also fine. But everything in moderation. Chugging a couple of gulps of pickle juice at each visit to the fridge can be bad for you. And drinking a cup of it in one go will probably make you feel sick for an hour unless you've conditioned your body to ignore the fact it doesn't like it when you do that. Dilute it by drinking 2 times as much water to flush it out.

The healthiest foods can turn against you when consumed in excess. And consuming too much of one thing means you're not getting the benefits from other things. Spread it out, change it up. There's a biological reason we get tired of eating the same thing. If you love pickles, have 1-2 a day. Have a sip of the juice to get the taste. But don't drink the whole jar.