How healthy are pickles?

A jar full of veggies, flavours and more

Lifestyle

February 18, 2017

/ By / New Delhi



aachar

Traditional Indian jars crafted by potters for preservation of pickles

Part of various food cultures around the world, the good old pickle or aachar has more to it than flavours and fragrance. A bottle of preserved vegetables in oil or vinegar alongside salt and spices, aachar has a host of health benefits.

Big, cream coloured jars are lying in the sun, with their lid popped half open. It’s a jar full of fresh veggies, ground spices, lots of salt, a pinch of sugar, fragrance of clove and cardamom, hits of mustard oil and a dose of good health.

Someone is in the process of making pickles or aachar, an accompaniment consumed with staple meals to add an extra kick of flavours.

Made using various vegetables, which are preserved using natural ingredients, the good old aachar can be found on the shelves of any traditional Indian kitchen. Pickles, in fact, make an integral part of meals around the world but the Indian aachar is a dash of loads of vegetables, flavours and fragrances dunked in rich mustard oil or vinegar.

The aachar is made using just about any fresh veggie or even a fruit, in some cases; raw mangoes, ginger, lemon, onion, chillies, carrots, radish, turnip, cauliflower, aamla or Indian gooseberry are some Indian favourites.

This plethora of veggies and flavours, bottled in a jar, has some health benefits too which can be realised only when the aachar is consumed in moderation. All pickles are usually high in sodium content and thus, can be bad for blood pressure. So, enjoy a spicy dose, but, with balance and treat your body with its health benefits.

What does a jar of aachar have under its lid?

Pickles aid weight management, as they are characteristically low in fat and calories and thus, a good choice for a fat-free side to a meal in contrast to creams or creamy sauces.

They are also good for the gut as they contain pro-biotics which are believed to be healthy bacteria, thus, aiding digestion.

Pickles prepared in vinegar aid digestion as the vinegar which is a fermented food encourages growth of good bacteria in the gut.

The antioxidants present in fruits and vegetables are preserved as pickles are not cooked, thus, helping in fighting many diseases and lending the body several other benefits. Exposing food items to high temperatures take away some of their nutritional properties which does not happen in case of pickles.

So, stocking a jar of pickle at home and savouring it in tiny portions is a good idea. It’s good for you, but don’t go all in. Strike the right balance and relish.

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