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Wellness > Health


This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

At around four inches, in a glaring shade of green, packed with a potent stench and twangy taste, the pickle is iconic, yet sort of interesting, snack. Some people hate pickles, and some are obsessed with them. Yet the process of pickling has a long history that has been documented in numerous countries. In her article for History, “The Juicy 4,000-Year History of Pickles,” Sarah Pruitt explains that pickles “got their start” when “ancient Mesopotamians began soaking cucumbers in acidic brine” to preserve them. 

Since their creation, pickles have found their way into the hearts of many, mine included. I’ve always found that the overwhelming saltiness of a pickle is the perfect way to satisfy a craving for salt. As it turns out, pickles can serve many purposes, from being a preventative measure against scurvy to relieving cramps faster than water. Below are some reasons to eat pickles other than for the sake of pure enjoyment. 

1. Pickles have some nutritional value. 

In an article from WebMD titled, “What Pickles Can Do for Your Health,” Angela Nelson explains that in a whole dill pickle, there is vitamin K, calcium, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin A. All these nutrients help keep your bones strong, protect your cells and are important for your immune system. The only thing to bear in mind is that pickles are “brimming with salt. Just one large dill pickle has more than ⅔ of the ideal sodium an average adult should have for the whole day.” 

2. Pickle juice can soothe muscle cramps. 

In the Lifestyle article “7 Health Benefits of Pickles That’ll Make You Grab a Spear,” author Lydia Greene writes that “pickle juice is a well-known treatment for muscle cramps among athletes,” and that studies have shown “drinking pickle juice is more effective at relieving cramps than drinking the same amount of water.” 

3. They can also be used to cure a hangover. 

Rachael Link’s “Can Pickle Juice Cure a Hangover” for Healthline reviews the research determining whether pickle juice can cure a hangover. Alcohol is a diuretic, and diuretics cause your body to get rid of water and sodium, which “can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances,” both of which contribute to the symptoms of a hangover.  Proponents of pickle juice as a hangover remedy assert “that the brine” in pickle juice “contains important minerals that can replenish electrolyte levels after a night of heavy drinking.” 

So next time you’re battling cramps or facing the consequences of enjoying one too many Celia’s margaritas, maybe reach for a pickle. It could be exactly what you need to feel good again. 

Viveca Ganti

UC Berkeley '25

Viveca is a sophomore at UC Berkeley studying Molecular Cell Biology. In her free time, she loves producing funky music on GarageBand, writing silly short stories, and exploring restaurants at Berkeley with her friends!