Pickles or Cucumbers? Both they come from a herbaceous plant family named Cucurbitaceae. They come from tropical regions of South Asia, from where it spread to Europe thanks to the Roman Empire. However, the Gherkin is not exactly the same as the cucumber: It is a smaller variety that has been pickled (through fermentation with brine) and is often marketed fresh or canned. In addition, while the cucumber is preferred for the preparation of salads, pickles are used in the elaboration of tapas, or as part of filling burgers and sandwiches, among others.
Cucumbers are a basic aliment inour everyday’s life, with big cucumbers that are very often eaten without any kind of cooking and little cucumbers, called gherkins, usually eaten in vinegar for long-term storage. Although the pickles are made of cucumber, differ slightly from the cucumbers with respect to its nutritional content. Gherkins offer more properties and benefits to our body than cucumbers, but also contain a big amount of sodium and sugar, lowering their nutritional value.
Cucumbers and gherkins are low in calories; a cup of sliced cucumber has 16 calories, while the same portion of pickles has 19 calories. The sweet pickles are high in calories, with 139 calories per cup, due to its sugar content. Both cucumber and pickles increase your daily fiber consumption. This fiber accelerates the movement of food through your gastrointestinal tract, fights against constipation, and helps reduce cholesterol levels in the blood too. A serving of 1 cup sliced cucumber provides half of one gram of fiber, while gherkins offer 1.7 grams of fiber per serving and sweet gherkins provide 1.5 grams of fiber for the same quantity.Gherkins have more Vitamin K than cucumbers. Vitamin K offers plenty of benefits for the human body. Also plays a role in elemental blood clotting because protect the loss of blood. A serving of 1 cup of sweet pickles contains more than 72 micrograms of vitamin K (58 percent of the daily intake of vitamin K needed for men and 80 percent needed for women in normal levels). The same quantity of sliced cucumber has more than 17 micrograms of vitamin K, when that quantity of gherkins offers 60.40 micrograms.
Opt for gherkin instead of cucumbers if you are looking for a good amount of vitamin A. The sweet pickles come filled with vitamin A. One cup of pickles hasmore than 1100 international units of vitamin A, representing 39 percent of the required daily intake of vitamin A for a man and 50 percent for a woman. A cup of sliced gherkins offers more than 250 international units of vitamin A, while cucumbers contain 109 international units per cup. The abundant vitamin A contained in gherkins helps in the development of red globules in the blood, also regulates the function of the thyroid gland and supports healthy vision.
Cucumbers offer great health benefits over pickles because they are naturally low in sodium and sugar. One cup of sliced cucumber contains only 1.7 grams of natural sugar and 2 milligrams of sodium, which is less than 1 percent of your daily limit of sodium. Gherkins, on the opposite side, contain a minimum of 1,300 milligrams of sodium per cup, 59 percent of your intake per day. For that, you should not eat of pickles in big quantities every day, or you could suffer the risk of high blood pressure or even a heart attack affiliated to a diet high in sodium. The sweet pickles are also high in sodium, with 700 milligrams in one cup, and have 28 grams of sugar for that amount too. The sugar contained in this pickles does not provide any nutritional value, but increases calorie consumption and can cause problems with tooth.
Cucumbers have most of their minerals in their skins, making important to consume it in order to take all its nutritional benefits. But you must be careful when consuming cucumbers’ skins, because it is its part that is exposed the most to pesticides, which are toxic for you. I think that, after all the benefits I have told you, you should have no doubts about going right now to the supermarket to buy all those pickles and cucumbers you want.