Pickles can be a very healthy snack. I am a huge fan of cucumbers! I even wrote an article about it. ( 10 Health Benefits to Cucumbers). Pickles are cucumbers that have been preserved. Pickling is a way of preserving foods for an extended period of time with or without refrigeration. It is a great way to store food from the Spring/Summer growing season for the winter. You can pickle just about anything: fruits, veggies, even meats and fish.
I just LOVE pickles! I love the crunchy, salty and vinegar taste! I grew up eating Clausen’s pickles. I loved every bite of them. As my consciousness in what I put in my body has developed I began looking into the foods that I include in my life. I went on a little investigation to see what ingredients are in the pickles that I have been consuming my entire life. I was really surprised to find out that the major brands of pickles contain dangerous ingredients. This is when I began to make my own pickles. It helps that I have an abundance of them growing in my garden 🙂
INGREDIENTS IN PICKLES
Naturally preserved pickles are an asset to any stomach. Cucumbers only really need vinegar to preserve them and turn them into pickles. They do not need any of the toxic ingredients that many store bought pickles contain. Using either a fermentation process or just simply using vinegar provides the pickles with their own health benefits, such as boosting the immune system and creating healthy bacteria for your gut.
Many store bought pickles are not only pasteurized which destroys nutrients but they also contain ingredients that are harmful to the body.
SO what is in your store bought pickles?
Here is a list of ingredients that I have found in some of the pickles that make up the pickle section at the grocery store.
- Calcium Chloride
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Potassium/Sodium Benzoate
- Natural Flavors
- Polysorbate 80
- Turmeric Oleoresin
- Yellow #5
This ingredient is a chemical compound added to maintain the firmness of the pickles. Long term exposure to Alum can cause problems with the nervous system and increase risk of cancer and brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. Alum cause irritation to mucous membranes and upset the balance in the bloodstream.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
High Fructose Corn Syrup is so toxic. Studies and research has shown that it can cause behavioral problems and reactions similar to those produced by drugs like cocaine. It also can cause increased weight gain, diabetes and hypertension. Also, most High Fructose Corn Syrup is made from GMO Corn.
These are said to improve the taste of the food. There are 1000’s of ingredients that fall under the “Natural Flavor” title. The FDA’s guidelines are, “the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or any other edible portions of a plant, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose primary function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.” Natural Flavor might be hidden under ingredients like, natural flavoring, autolyzed yeast extract, textured protein, MSG, etc. There are many convinced that they play a role in neurological disorders.
I found this ingredient listed on many pickle jars. This is used an emulsifier, helping to prevent the separation of ingredients as it site on the store shelves. Polysorbate 80 has been found to negatively affect the immune system. It can also cause infertility and other changes to the reproductive system. This toxic ingredient is often times found in vaccines and ice cream.
Potassium and+ Sodium Benzoate
This ingredients is an artificial color used to make food more visually appetizing. It is often added to sodas, pickles, olives, jams, dressings and syrups. Testing has shown that sodium benzoate causes sever damage to DNA. Always check your labels for this ingredient and never consume it
You might see this on the ingredient list and confuse it for one of the best spices in the world! However Turmeric Oleoresin is made by using volatile solvents for extraction and then concentration to remove the solvent. Studies have shown that when rats were administered turmeric oleoresin, they developed tumors. If the label says just Turmeric check in a little further to make sure that it is not Turmeric Oleoresin.
Yellow #5 or Tartrazine
Tartrazine can also be seen on ingredient labels as FD&C yellow 5, E102 or 19140. This ingredient is added to foods to change the color. As most dyes have now been proven harmful, Yellow #5 is included. It has been linked to be connected to ADD/ADHD, anxiety, migranes, vision issues, hives, depression, sleep issues, fatigue, skin rashes and thyroid cancer. These side effects and allergic reactions are as unnecessary as an ingredient in your food and even being phased out in European countries.
PICKLES To AVOID and any other with these ingredients
INGREDIENTS: Fresh Cucumbers, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Contains Less than 2% of Dried Garlic, Calcium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate (to preserve flavor) Dried Red Peppers, Natural Flavors, Polysorbate 80, Oleoresin Turmeric.
MT. OLIVE, KOSHER DILLS
INGREDIENTS: Cucumbers, Water, Vinegar, Salt, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Calcium Chloride, 0.1% Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Natural Flavor and Artificial Flavor, Polysorbate 80, and FD&C Yellow 5.
If you choose to buy store bought pickles look at the ingredients and make sure they don’t contain any of the ingredients above. Look for pickles made with Organic Cucumbers and basic ingredients that you recognize.
Yet! Making your own pickles takes 4 basic ingredients!!!!
Cucumbers, Water, Vinegar and Salt
There are different ways to make pickles. This recipe is the most basic recipe. I am sharing this one because really anyone can make these. It takes 4 basic ingredients. There are other recipes that require more effort and will allow the pickles to store for a longer length of time. There are other methods that require fermentation which turns the pickles into probiotic filled treats. Whichever way you choose, pickles and their brine are excellent for your health.
Simple Pickling Recipe:
You will need:
( for 1 pint jar of pickles)
- Organic Pickling Cucumbers (about 3 or 4 pickling cucumbers fills a pint jar)
- 1 cup Vinegar (Apple Cider Vinegar or White Vinegar)
- 1 cup Water ( Please use clean water!)
- 1 Tablespoon Himalayan Rock Salt or Sea Salt
- Glass Jar
- Optional: Garlic, Onions, Peppercorns, Dill, Basil, Red Pepper flakes, mustard seeds, etc.
- Cut cucumbers into desired size
- Pack cucumber slices into glass jar
- Add the spices , garlic, onions, and herbs if you want
- Mix the Vinegar and Salt in with the Water (Brine)
- Pour Brine mixture over cucumbers until they are submerged.
- Put lids on jar and let cool (the brine will still be warm)
- Can be eaten after 24 hours and can stay in the refrigerator up to a month
- The pickle juice can be consumed too and is incredible for you!
Making pickles could not be any easier. It is really inexpensive too. I find that when I am making my own foods, it tastes better and feels better going in. The best part is that I know exactly what is going in the pickles and therefore in my body. After learning about the harmful ingredients in some of the most popular pickles, I hope that you will think twice before buying and consuming these pickles again and remember to always check the labels!
Thank you for joining me on my journey to the truth.
10 Health Benefits of CucumbersCucumbers are the fourth most cultivated vegetable in the world and known to be one of the best foods for your body’s overall health, often referred to as a superfood. Cucumbers are often sprayed with pesticides so it is important to buy organic or even better, grow them yourself.
I love Sauerkraut! However, there are very few brands of sauerkraut on the market that are raw. Most commercially sold sauerkraut are usually pasteurized which means that most of the healthy probiotics are killed off. The ones that are raw are overly priced considering how easy it easy to make raw sauerkraut. When all of my cabbages finally harvested, I went on a mission to make the best raw sauerkraut. I consider cabbage a superfood with all of the high amounts of cancer fighting nutrients, enzymes and phytochemical that are stored within the leaves. When you ferment the cabbage it becomes even more nutritious and full of probiotics. Probiotics are so great for keeping your digestive system working at tip top shape and they are also good for boosting the immune system.
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