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Health Benefits of Fermented Pickles

Raw, naturally fermented vegetables are enjoying both a cultural and scientific renaissance in recent years. Many studies are showing that including these foods in our diet can improve our health from gut to brain.

"One of bacteria's greatest tricks of all is to combine forces with other creatures,
taking up residence in or on their bodies, possibly even their cells,
trading various metabolic services for their upkeep." - Michael Pollan, Cooked

Healthy gut, healthy bodies

A young customer enjoys Real Pickles' Organic Dills

Research is demonstrating that improved health of our gut microbiota can contribute to our overall well-being. The "microbiome" of our intestines carries 100 times more DNA than the entire human genome. This complex community influences our health in many ways and is highly impacted by our diet. By consuming foods rich in probiotics, we can improve the health of this microbial community, as well as our general health.

Excellent source of probiotics (1,2)
Similar to those found in yogurt, probiotic cultures produced during lactic acid fermentation of vegetables are known to have many health benefits, such as
  • Improved intestinal tract health
  • Enhanced immune system function
  • Improved availability of nutrients
  • Decreased allergies
  • Inflammation relief
  • Protection against microbial infection
  • Maintenance of gut flora that may help to control weight gain and appetite (3,4)
Improved pediatric health and development
May reduce cold and flu symptoms and the need for antibiotics. Contributes to pediatric immune system development. (5,6)
Possible cancer risk reduction
Evidence shows that probiotics may reduce the risk of colon cancer. (1,7)
Improved mental health
Recent studies suggest that gut microbiota communicate with the central nervous system and positively impact brain function and behavior, including anxiety, mood, cognition, and pain. (8,9)
Fast gene evolution and adaptation
The gut microbiome acts as a "hot spot" for horizontal gene transfer between microbes. This increases the potential for adaptability of our intestinal health to both external and internal stressors. (10)

Beets and pickle brine for exercise

Some studies show an association between inorganic nitrate intake through beet juice and blood pressure reduction. Pickle brine has been shown to reduce muscle cramping. (11,12)

Increases nutrients, decreases anti-nutrients

Lactic acid fermentation produces important antioxidants and nutrients, such as folates, which are important for fetal development and blood cell production. It also degrades anti-nutrients, such as phytates, which decrease mineral bioavailability and protein digestibility. (13,14,15)


  1. Parvez, S et al., (2006) Probiotics and their fermented food products are beneficial for health. Journal of Applied Microbiology 100 (6), 1171-1185.
  2. Greer, R et al., (2010) Bridging immunity and lipid metabolism by gut microbiota. Clinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology 132 (2), 253-262.
  3. Turnbaugh, P et al., (2006) An obesity-associated gut microbiome with increased capacity for energy harvest. Nature 444 (7122), 1027-1031.
  4. Park, J et al., (2012) Anti-obesity effect of kimchi fermented with Weissella koreensis OK1-6 as starter in high-fat diet-induced obese C57BL/6J mice. Journ. Applied Microbiology 113 (6), 1507-1516.
  5. Leyer, G et al., (2009) Probiotic effects on cold and influenza-like symptom incidence and duration in children. Pediatrics 124 (2), E172-E179.
  6. Kaplan, JL et al., (2011) The role of microbes in developmental immunologic programming. Pediatric Research 69 (6), 465-472.
  7. Saikalai, J et al., (2004) Fermented Milks, Probiotic Cultures, and Colon Cancer. Nutrition and Cancer 49 (1), 14-24.
  8. Forsythe, P and WA Kunze, (2013) Voices from within: gut microbes and the CNS. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 70 (1), 55-69.
  9. Cryan, JF and TG Dinan, (2012) Mind-altering microorganisms: the impact of gut microbiota on brain and behaviour. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 13 (10), 701-712.
  10. Kurokawa, K et al., (2007) Comparative metagenomics revealed commonly enriched gene sets in human gut microbiomes. DNA Research 14 (4), 169-181.
  11. Siervo, M et al., (2012) Inorganic Nitrate and Beetroot Juice Supplementation Reduces Blood Pressure in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Nutrition and Disease 143 (6), 818-826.
  12. Miller, K et al., (2010) Reflex Inhibition of Electrically Induced Muscle Cramps in Hypohydrated Humans. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 42 (5), 953-961.
  13. Drosinos, EH et al., (2012) Nutritional attributes of lactic acid fermented fruits and vegetables. Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech 23 (5) 46-48.
  14. Preiss, U et al., (2002) Effect of fermentation on components of vegetable. Deutsche Lebensmittel-Rundschau 98 (11), 400-405.
  15. Hunaefi, D et al., (2013) Effect of fermentation on antioxidant properties of red cabbages. Food Biotechnology, 27 (1) 66-85.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Real Pickles products are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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