Pickling is an ancient gourmet technique of preserving food in brine or vinegar.
Pickling has long been a part of all societies and cultures around the world.
In addition to being delicious, pickled onions have a number of nutrients that make them a healthy addition to any diet.
Pickles have been around for centuries and can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome.
Initially created as a way of preserving foods, many people now eat them for both their flavor and their health benefits.
Pickled food is stored in vinegar or brine with a high concentration of acid, allowing them to be kept for months or years without refrigeration.
- Vinegared pickles are ones that have been packed in vinegar or acetic acid, salt, and sugar to create different textures and flavors.
- Heat is usually used to pasteurize unfermented pickles.
- Salt-stock pickles use a concentrated brine of up to 16% salt for preservation rather than fermentation.
- Sour fermented pickles are made by immersing raw ingredients in a diluted brine of 2% to 5% salt. Over the course of 1–2 weeks, naturally occurring bacteria generate lactic acid, which inhibits the growth of food poisoning bacteria and other spoilage microorganisms. The amount of salt added determines the type and rate of fermentation.
- Lactic acid, sugar, and spices are used to preserve sweet fermented pickles.
Fermented pickles have a high potential for establishing probiotic strains in gastrointestinal systems.
Probiotics, or Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus acidophilus, are the trillions of healthy gut bacteria that reside in your colon and maintain a healthy digestive system.
In addition to having numerous benefits of probiotics, onions are a nutritional powerhouse often called a superfood.
- Onions are rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, crucial nutrients that control many essential functions in the body.
Potassium is important for transmitting nerve impulses and controlling blood pressure.
Calcium is necessary for strong bones and healthy heart muscles.
Magnesium helps to regulate blood sugar levels and promotes quality sleep.
- Onions are high in vitamin C, an essential nutrient for your body to stay healthy. It helps support the immune system, natural defense system, muscle function, and reduces the risk of blood clotting.
- Onions contain pectin, a plant-based substance that helps with digestion by increasing the production of certain digestive enzymes that break down food into smaller molecules.
- Onions are a natural appetite suppressant and can lead to weight loss. Some people find that they have a satisfying feeling after eating them, which leads them to eat fewer calories.
- Onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals that may lead to cancer, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.
Do pickled onions contain probiotics?
Probiotics are essential to enjoying good health.
The 100 trillion gut bacteria living in your colon are responsible for maintaining balance in the gut, supporting your immune system and fighting harmful invading bacteria off.
Fermented foods often have probiotic properties.
LABs, or lactic acid bacteria, are common in pickled food due to their ability to produce significant amounts of lactic acid and survive in a highly acidic environment.
The pickling process uses salt, vinegar, and at times, sugar.
They are high in sodium, meaning they are high in electrolytes.
Electrolytes are salts that the body requires to function properly.
When a person becomes dehydrated, they may lose electrolytes as well.
Pickled onions are not considered an ideal choice for someone who needs to limit their sodium intake due to a pre-existing health condition such as hypertension, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
Excess sodium intake has also been linked to stroke, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis.
The health benefits of probiotics are vast. They are known to help in:
- Improved digestion
- Reducing depression and anxiety symptoms
- Cavity and gingivitis treatment
- Managing diabetes
- Reducing symptoms of allergies
- Reducing cholesterol levels
- Treating constipation and bloat
- Reducing the risk of urinary tract infections
- Treat IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Reducing the risk of certain cancers such as colon cancer
Probiotics can be found in fermented foods such as:
- Sourdough bread
Probiotic supplements are also relatively easy to find in most health food stores.
Are pickled onions good for gut health?
Pickling can also help break down some of the cellulose in vegetables, making them more digestible.
Fermented pickled onions have been shown to protect the gut through the microbial and enzymatic processing of foods.
The colon, or large intestine, is home to trillions of beneficial bacteria called probiotics.
Although most probiotics are found in the colon, they can also be found in the skin, lungs, and mouth.
The key function of probiotics in maintaining a balanced gut. When harmful bacteria invade your body, your immune system is out of whack and you’ll feel sick.
The probiotic’s job is to fight off the invading bacteria and boost your immune system, helping you stave off illness.
Probiotics help your digestive system work optimally and line the cells in your gut to protect them from damage.
Fermented pickles work as probiotics, protecting the microbiome of the body and promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
What nutrients are in pickled onions?
The bacteria created has been found to create several other beneficial compounds such as:
The nutritional value of 100g of pickled onions are:
Calories – 23 calories, 87.5% from carbohydrates and 12.5% from protein
- Fiber – 7 grams
- Protein – 8 grams
- Carbohydrates – 4.9 grams
- Fat – 1 gram
In addition, pickled foods often contain Lactobacillus acidophilus, a type of beneficial bacteria called probiotics.
Probiotics are trillions of healthy bacteria that live in our colon. They are credited with numerous health benefits including:
- Helping with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Lower the risk of diarrhea
- Manage weight and prevent obesity
- Strengthen the immune system
- Reduce the risk of food intolerances like lactose or gluten
- Allow better absorption of other nutrients
- Increase metabolism
- Reduce constipation and promote healthy bowel movements
Pickled onions are a wonderful way to add flavor and crunch to any dish. They can be used as a topping for sandwiches, salads, and tacos.
Some common ingredients in a pickling recipe include:
- Vinegar or lemon juice
- Mustard seeds
- Bay leaves
- Black peppercorns
- Dried red chili peppers
Do pickled onions make you fart?
High FODMAP foods are unsuitable for people with a finicky gut, while a low FODMAP diet has been proven numerous times to help treat people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS.
FODMAP stands for:
These sugars can cause intestinal distress especially in people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS.
A low FODMAP diet has been known to help treat symptoms of IBS such as bloating, cramps, flatulence, or constipation.
Onions are known to be high FODMAP, containing high amounts of oligosaccharides that the probiotics in your colon will ferment.
In addition, onions have high levels of fructans, a type of oligosaccharide that can cause bloating and gas.
Fructan is commonly found in grain and wheat products, but can also be found in fruits and vegetables.
Fructans cannot be properly digested in the small intestine like other nutrients because humans lack the digestive enzyme.
Instead, the beneficial bacteria in your gut called probiotics ferment them.
While some people tolerate fructan-rich foods fine, they can cause serious gastrointestinal problems in others.
Bloating, pain, diarrhea, and constipation are common symptoms of fructan intolerance.
Pickles contain probiotics, beneficial bacteria in your colon that help maintain a balanced, healthy gut and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
In addition, pickled onions contain high amounts of sodium. Eating too many pickles can cause bloating and water retention, while high levels of sodium make pickles unsuitable for people with high blood pressure.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.