What are the Health Benefits of Eating Pickled Foods? Eating pickles of all varieties helps your body to digest food by directly “feeding” your digestive system. Pickled foods contain healthy bacteria (probiotics), native yeasts and digestive enzymes. These contribute to healthy gut flora. Here's a easy DIY pickled beets recipe that I developed! Not only is pickling great for gut health, but it also allows me to eat foods I otherwise couldn’t. Since I’m trying to maintain thyroid health and prevent goiters, I often avoid eating brassicas (kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.). But, I have found that I can eat them when I ferment them. Pickled brassicas provides me with the positive nutrients they contain while not aggravating my thyroid. While this has worked for me, you’ll want to test this out for yourself. I suggest working in tandem with your doctor as well as a health coach or nutritionist to help guide and advise you. In addition a healthier gut means that you’ll: - Be better able to fight off infections. - Break down meals easier, thus increasing the levels of nutrient absorption. - Have less heartburn, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and gas. - Experience less sugar cravings. - Balance vaginal health and have fewer yeast infections. - Have increased energy and positive mood. Various studies have shown that repeat use of prescription antibiotics and hand sanitizers can lower the natural flora in your gut. Additional research has demonstrated that we produce less digestive enzymes as we age. Other factors that may lower the biodiversity of your digestive system include being born by C-section, being bottle-fed instead of breastfed, some diseases, and eating a diet consisting primarily of processed foods. Including various pickles and ferments in my daily meals has been, I believe, a great contributor to the healing of my digestive system and reduction of other ailments. Plus, the depth and flavor they bring to a dish makes my taste buds happy! Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.