Cucumbers are an excellent source of probiotics.
By now we all know that probiotic products necessary for intestinal health, and we immediately think about yogurt or in kefir. But probiotics are also present in simple foods that have been consumed in Spain for a long time. We refer to pickles which usually accompany olives and remain on the plate most of the time.
When we talk about probiotic-rich pickles, we mean homemade cucumbers.
fermentation this is the method preservation food that has been used since ancient times. In fact, wine, beer, yogurt, cheese or pickles are the result of this age-old technique.
In particular, pickles are the result of the lacto-fermentation process, which converts sugars in food into acids and is activated in the presence of salt water (brine) and lack of oxygen.
When the bacteria and yeast of gherkins, carrots, cauliflower, radishes, or onions (any vegetable we want to cook in brine) undergo this process, they convert the vegetable’s carbohydrates into lactic acid producing probiotic strains (This is why the process is called lacto-fermentation, not because milk is involved) which gives the brine its characteristic taste. This acid inhibits the formation of pathogens and allows food to be preserved.
Pickles are eaten all over the world to improve digestion from cereals and vegetables. In addition, they are stored at room temperature, which is why they are so practical.
benefits of pickles
Although the health benefits of pickles have been known for a long time, a recent study confirmed the great probiotic and antioxidant potential of this genus. lactobacilli found in artisanally fermented pickles.
These lactic acid-forming bacteria associated with pickles produce a unique taste and are alternative to food supplements which preserve the nutritional value of vegetables and prevent spoilage.
Thus pickling is a natural form save vitaminscarbohydrates, minerals, and certain pigments such as anthocyanins, glucosinolates, lycopene, beta-carotene, and flavonoids from fruits and vegetables.
But they are not only a source of nutrients, pickles also functional products for the content of probiotics.
The impact of probiotics on health
Probiotics have the ability to colonize the gut microbiota and this has a very positive effect on health:
- They add variety intestinal bacterial flora.
- They strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. Probiotics improve immune system defense by increasing the amount of immunoglobulins and improving other defense mechanisms.
- Prevention of type 2 diabetes and obesity. A healthy microbiota fights the formation of metabolites associated with metabolic diseases.
- They improve digestive pathologies. Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria reduce intestinal inflammation in diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease. They also prevent and combat diarrhea.
- Reduce food allergy symptoms. A balanced microbiota reduces the body’s inflammatory response and therefore allergy symptoms.
- Prevention of vaginal infections and cystitis. They promote the restoration of the vaginal flora and reduce both vaginal and urinary infections.