Acetic acid, the acid in vinegar, is anti-microbial, which makes it a great preserving medium. The cucumber pickles you buy on the shelf in the grocery store aren’t fermented like old fashioned pickles in salt water, but the health benefits still come from the vinegary brine. These pickles don’t develop the complex flavors that fermentation gives nor do they contain any probiotics. That’s why sugar and spices, like dill, are often added to the brine. It’s fun to make homemade pickles, and it also allows you to leave out the sugar. The brine, most importantly, thwarts the effects of carbs on blood sugar.
Elizabeth Keyser is an award-winning journalist who has written about food, health and nutrition for newspapers, magazines, websites and blogs. She is dLife’s recipe editor.
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Yang, H.J.1, D.Y. Kwon, H.J. Kim, M.J. Kim, D.Y Jung, H.J. Kang, D.S. Kim, et al.“Fermenting Soybeans with Bacillus LicheniformisPotentiates their Capacity to Improve Cognitive Function and Glucose Homeostasis in Diabetic Rats with Experimental Alzheimer’s-Type Dementia.” European Journal of Nutrition. February 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24700374
Marco, M.L., D. Heeney, S. Binda, C.J. Cifelli, P.D. Cotter, B. Foligné, M. Gänzle,et al. “Health Benefits of Fermented Foods: Microbiota and Beyond.” Current Opinion in Biotechnology. April 2017. https://capitalizemytitle.com/