Pickles or aachaars have been there in our country for centuries and they can be made in anyways, using any ingredient. Our grandparents have had so many secret recipes that were passed down to the next generation but have you ever wondered what is the reason they are there? According to the theories of some historians, pickles were originally a part of ancient Persian meals where they preserved fruits, meat, and vegetables in salt, vinegar, honey or syrup. As per some studies the preparation of these pickles goes back to BCE 2030 in the valleys of the Tigris River. In India, the pickle story is found in the Kannada text Lingapurana of Gurulinga Desika in 1594 CE where fifty kinds of pickles have been mentioned. This brings us to the benefits of these aachaars which we love so much. Celebrity Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar too says that homemade pickle is good for us and it should be had daily. Here is what she said.
"Make and eat homemade pickle daily", wrote Rujuta in her Instagram post. She said: "Pickle is the traditional art and science of preserving vegetables and fruits so they could be used throughout the year. Our dadis and nanis used everything naturally available around them - salt, spices and sunlight to ensure that not just the seasonal produce not go waste but also that their nutritional value is enhanced.
"So they used trial and error, patience and perseverance and gave us this priceless gift called pickle that are now valued by modern nutrition science as valuable sources of - Vitamin K (co-factor in absorbing Vitamin D), Vitamin A (eyesight and immunity), probiotic bacteria (live organisms that confer health benefits to the host).
Well, there are many more benefits too:
- They enhance the taste and flavour of food.
- They help in the digestive processes of the body.
- They are a reliable source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- They provide the body with healthy bacteria which makes it easy for the body to produce vitamins like B12.
- They ensure that your gut is not colonised by pathogens or the bad bacteria.
However, to make the most of pickle and its benefits, Rujuta wrote that "they should be homemade using the traditional recipes, just like dahi.".
"The right time to start making pickles and even papads is when the sunlight is optimal for these processes."
Remember without salt and oil in the right amount, the pickles are spoiled as the wrong kind of bacteria will grow. And if you are worried about BP - avoid biscuits & cookies, eating outside and not exercising, and not pickles. The healthy bacteria from pickle is especially useful in Diabetes and heart diseases too.
But you need to eat pickle like a pickle. Which you now know is a small part of your meal, not the main thing. A little pickle with dal rice or dahi rice provides your body with the right combo of pre and pro-biotic.
So what are you waiting for? Practice and pass on the unbroken chain of pickle making to the next generation. Have it daily in your meals to spice up your life.