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The Do's and Don'ts of Pickle Consumption

By Brandi Goodman 

July is National Pickle Month. Though many people enjoy the sour food, it isn't always ideal to eat. The preserved cucumber does have health benefits, but it can also prove dangerous for some. Understanding the do's and don'ts of pickle consumption will help you to see when you should be fine to eat them and when you should stay away for a while. 

Do

You want to find a pickle that isn't quite so high in sodium. Just one medium pickle contains up to 785 milligrams. Consuming an excessive amount of sodium is bad for the heart and body, so do be sure to find an option that contains far less than the average amount. Look for reduced sodium labels to cut down. 

Do choose a pickle as an occasional snack. A medium pickle has just 7 calories. Eat it slowly and you'll satisfy your hunger. Whole pickles are thick and have a satisfying crunch that make them worthwhile to eat. 

You also might consider making your own pickles. This will reduce some of the sodium content and ill effects caused by ones sold in stores. You can find a recipe that suits you and know exactly what is going into the process. Start with organic cucumbers. You can add whatever seasonings you want, such as dill, garlic, pickling spices, or chili. Just one teaspoon of salt per every cup of water you use is all that's needed. 

Don't

Don't eat so many pickles at once, or eat them every day. The high sodium content is bad for the heart. The acidity of pickles can also be harsh on the stomach. Don't eat pickles if you have an ulcer. They can cause further damage. It is also possible for foods rich in salt to cause stomach cancer. Steer clear if you already have other risk factors, such as a family history of cancer or you are a smoker.

Whether it's National Pickle Month or any other time of year, enjoy your pickles with caution. They can make great snacks or additions to meals as long as you limit your intake. Pickles can help to reduce inflammation in some cases and drinking the juice may ease muscle cramps. There are both worthwhile benefits and cautions to consider, so just think about it before you take your next crunchy bite. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Rock Hill, S.C.

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