You may not realize that sweet gherkin pickles have health benefits, but adding them to your diet can help you increase your intake of several nutrients. However, it is important to eat them in moderation because they are high in sodium, with 160 mg per large pickle. A gherkin pickle is prepared using a specific type of cucumber and is made with vinegar, sugar and spices. Homemade pickle recipes are available, but you can find sweet gherkins at supermarkets as well.
Low In Fat and Calories
A diet that contains a moderate amount of fat and calories allows you to control your weight, which reduces your risk of health concerns like heart disease and cancer. It can also increase your intake of important nutrients like vitamin A, folate, calcium and iron. One large sweet gherkin pickle contains 32 calories and less than 1 gram of fat. You can slice the pickle and add to salads and sandwiches; it's a low-fat and low-calorie way to add flavor.
One large gherkin contains 35 milligrams of potassium, a nutrient that aids in the regulation of a healthy blood pressure level. Potassium is also needed for the contraction of your muscles and bones and is important for digestion as well. The recommended daily intake for potassium is 2,000 milligrams. A deficiency could cause an irregular heartbeat, muscle problems and fatigue and stomach issues.
Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene
Vitamin A is a nutrient that supports healthy immunity by producing white blood cells, which in turn protect you from viruses and bacteria that cause illness. It is also important for reproduction, vision and bone growth. One large sweet gherkin contains 276 IU. Men should obtain 3,000 IU of vitamin A each day, while women need 2,310 IU daily. Beta-carotene is a nutrient that converts to vitamin A in the body, so including sweet gherkins is a good way to increase the health benefits of vitamin A. One large sweet gherkin has 114 micrograms of beta-carotene.
Adult females need 90 micrograms of vitamin K each day and adult males should get 120 micrograms daily. One large sweet gherkin pickle contributes 16.5 micrograms to this total. Vitamin K is important because it helps your blood clot; increased dosages can treat bleeding disorders such as liver disease and malabsorption. Adequate vitamin K intake is also important for the health of your bones; a higher intake will increase your bone density, which reduces your risk of osteoporosis presently and as you age.
- USDA Database: Pickles, Cucumber, Sweet (Includes Bread and Butter Pickles)
- The Nibble: Pickle Glossary
- Calorie Control Council: Low-Fat Benefits
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Potassium; Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD; May 6, 2009
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Vitamin K; Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD; June 18, 2009
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin A and Carotenoids