Pickles Nutritional Value and 8 Benefits


Adding pickles to a sandwich or burger is more than just adding a crunchy, tangy bite. Besides being packed with vitamins and minerals, pickled cucumbers also have vinegary brine. In some cultures, pickles are preserved in fermented brine, which is rich in beneficial bacteria, therefore making them a food item that can enhance one’s health.

Fermented pickles have many health benefits. However, even unfermented pickles contain vitamins like vitamin K and vitamin A.

Perhaps you’ve heard about pickles and pickle juice and their health benefits. You may be able to lose weight by eating pickled cucumbers, controlling your diabetes, and even preventing cancer. In addition, sodium content and stomach cancer risk are also factors to consider.

Nutritional Value

Like most vegetables, pickles are mostly water and contain few fats or proteins. In addition to that, the salty brine draws out the water from the pickles, so they’re high in vitamins.

Depending on their type, they have varying nutritional values. The nutritional values for a whole dill pickle are approximate.

  • 20% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K
  • Calcium content: 6% of the daily value
  • Potassium: 6% of the daily recommended amount
  • Vitamin C: 3%-4% of the daily value
  • Vitamin A: 1% of the daily value

The benefits of pickles

In addition to their probiotic content, pickles may also contribute to your health in these additional ways:

1. Reestablishing electrolyte balance

For the body to function properly, it needs electrolytes. Electrolytes can also be lost when a person is dehydrated.

Due to their high sodium content, pickles contain a lot of electrolytes as well. According to this theory, pickle juice may be able to restore electrolytes to a person who is dehydrated, feverish, or vomiting.

The pickle juice helps athletes rehydrate after a workout by restoring electrolytes. Compared with water or electrolyte drinks, pickle juice does not offer any additional benefit. Nevertheless, pickle juice can be a good alternative for someone who enjoys it.

2. Removing muscle cramps

In 2010, some research suggested that pickles may relieve muscle cramps.

Electricity was used to induce muscle cramps in well-hydrated male subjects once and a week later. Pickle juice was found to quickly relieve cramps in participants who consumed it.

It was not possible to replicate the results with deionized water, which means just electrolytes and hydration level alone stood responsible. The water content and electrolytes in pickles may not be enough to alleviate muscle cramps.

3. Keeping a normal blood sugar level

Some pickles made from vinegar-based brine are known to lower blood sugar levels. Maintaining a stable blood glucose level can help keep hunger at bay. It’s also important for people with diabetes to prevent blood sugar spikes.

An observational study conducted by Harvard University in 2013 followed 14 healthy adults. A participant who consumed vinegar at mealtime had lower fasting blood glucose levels than another participant who did not take vinegar at mealtime.

Research is needed to determine how much vinegar is safe to consume and how many benefits it offers. Pickles or another vinegar-rich food with meals is an easy way to help control blood sugar.

4. Protecting against free radicals

In the same way as any fruit or vegetable, pickles have antioxidants. In lab studies, antioxidants were shown to be effective against free radical damage.

The body contains chemicals called free radicals that can contribute to several health issues. For instance, they can contribute to cancer, inflammation, and heart disease. In addition, they can promote aging.

5. Assist you in losing weight

Pickles may also aid in weight loss as a dietary benefit. The vinegar used in pickling is also likely to have contributed to this health benefit. Vinegar increases fat burning and reduces appetite, so even pickle haters have lost weight eating these relishes.

6. Immune system booster

A great source of vitamins is pickled, just as many fruits and veggies are. Due to their high sodium content, pickles probably wouldn’t be considered a healthy food, but they do contain vitamins K, A, and C. These vitamins also boost the immune system, making them especially useful during colds.

7. It’s good for your gut health

Fermented pickles, such as dill pickles, contain more health benefits from the fermentation process than other kinds. Most grocery store pickles aren’t fermented, but rather fresh-packed, where vinegar brine is used for storage. The fermented pickles made by homemakers are often high in probiotics. Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, are a popular choice because fermentation produces good bacteria that promote health.

The things to watch out for

Pickles have the drawback of being too salty. The sodium content in one large dill pickle is more than two-thirds of what an average adult should consume in a day. 

The consumption of too much salt can raise your blood pressure, increasing your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease. Excessive salt can also cause bones to lose calcium. As a result, it weakens your bones and increases the chances of breaking them.

Make your pickle at home

Pickles can be made in two different ways. They can be brined in vinegar. Another method involves fermenting the cucumbers with salt and water.

  • Fresh, firm, undamaged cucumbers are the best.
  • Salt for pickling or canning can be used. Salt from other sources complicates pickling.
  • Spices such as dill seed, horseradish, mustard seed, garlic, and others can be added.
  • To prevent the growth of bad bacteria inside your canned goods, follow the boiling and canning instructions carefully.
  • Eat them within several weeks after they are sealed in jars.


Multiple diseases and health problems cannot be cured by a single food. Pickles do not cure everything. But if you like their taste, they can be a great addition to a healthy diet.

For those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, metabolic disorders, or nutritional imbalances, it is recommended that they seek advice from their doctor or dietitian before making significant dietary changes.