Health Benefits of Pickles

For years, you couldn’t find pickle juice in my house. My youngest son, Joe, would drain the jar, slurping down all the juice and leaving the pickles to dry out in the jar. It was weird.

But Joe was on to something.

Turns out, pickle juice doesn’t just taste good, it’s good for you.

Pickle juice content varies, depending on who makes it, whether it’s Grandma or a factory. All have various levels of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and are low-calorie, ranging from 15 to 200 calories per cup.

Runners have known for a while that pickle juice works better than water at easing muscle cramps since the sodium and potassium in pickle juice are electrolytes that help them stay hydrated longer.

The vinegar in pickle juice can also help lower blood sugar levels. Chronically elevated blood sugar levels can lead to type 2 diabetes and other health problems.

Those are the proven remedies, but there are other home-grown anecdotes linked to pickles and pickle juice.

Drinking pickle juice is said to help with stomach aches, yeast infections, diarrhea, constipation, and menstrual cramps. Another anecdote says eating pickles and drinking pickle juice can help with skin issues like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and sunburn.

Since pickles are low-calorie eating them has been promoted as a way to feel full and still lose weight.

People have loved pickles for 4,000 years, but there are some side effects to all this goodness.

Eating too many pickles or drinking too much pickle juice can make you sick, due to all the sodium. That could mean higher blood pressure, stomach cramps, bloating, indigestion, water retention, diarrhea, or gas.

A little pickle juice goes a long way. Don’t leave your pickles stranded to dry out in the refrigerator.

By Amanda Rogers for Surepoint Medical Centers

Amanda Rogers is a freelance writer based in Fort Worth, Texas

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