One Major Effect Pickle Juice Has on Your Gut, Says Science
If you're a pickle person, you might confess that… yes, you savor the chance to down a swig of pickle juice on occasion. Turns out, this may be a good idea as science suggests a penchant for pickles (and the pungent juice they're soaked in) may actually provide some advantages to your health—especially for your gut.
Healthline recently highlighted the theory that some believe wholeheartedly: Pickle juice is a natural tonic for acid issues affecting the digestive system, like severe acid reflux. The site explains that, currently, research on this is rather inconclusive, as pickle juice seems to show benefit to some sufferers of acid and indigestion, while its effects aren't as remarkable for others.
Still, pickle juice may be a good pick for your gut health—continue reading for the scientific reason why. Also, don't miss This Popular Juice May Cut Inflammation, Science Says.
Pickle juice contains Lactobacillus.
Healthline says some research has found pickles contain Lactobacillus. Lactobacillus is a type of probiotic bacteria that's a natural component of a healthy gut microbiome.
These bacteria are also found in gut-friendly fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, and kimchi. Lactobacillus also form as part of the fermentation process that occurs with pickling.
So, consuming pickles, or pickle juice, could add to existing levels of good gut bacteria. Our source adds that for some people, they may also aid acid-related issues of the gastrointestinal tract.
Sign up for the Eat This, Not That! newsletter for daily food and wellness news you can use.
How Lactobacillus is good for your health
This 2017 study states that the "large amounts" of Lactobacillus species that form with pickle fermentation "are important for the digestion of grains and vegetables, and . . . help to enhance human nutrition by providing vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates."
The study also said pickles may possess antioxidants and other molecules that help fend off conditions like cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, and more.
Pickles may also prevent hangovers.
Consider picking up pickles.
OK, so this doesn't make pickle juice a substitute for whatever your healthcare provider might recommend to aid your tummy troubles. Healthline also points out that if you're shopping for pickles, most commercial brands put their product through a pasteurization process that removes much of the Lactobacillus from your pickle jar.
(And, in any case, beware that overdoing your pickle fix could be a serious source of too much sodium.)
However, if you're at the farmers market or grabbing lunch at a deli that ferments their own pickles—or if you've been thinking of finally taking up that canning hobby—all this may be a good reason to go for that spear.