(NaturalNews) Traditional pickles are made by immersing vegetables such as cucumbers in salt water and letting them ferment.
While perhaps initially developed as a food preservation method -- the Lactobacillus bacteria found in pickles, sauerkraut and yogurt produce lactic acid, a natural preservative -- this process also produces a living superfood.
Lactobacillus is an important probiotic that helps regulate digestion and boost the body's immune system. This means that, just as with yogurt and sauerkraut, you should never buy pasteurized pickles!
Pasteurization is designed to kill all bacteria in a food, so it eliminates any probiotic benefits and potentially changes the chemistry of the food in harmful ways.
Because they contain live bacteria, raw pickles (and sauerkraut) must be kept refrigerated to avoid spoiling and can only be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. All other pickles are dead, and sometimes made with toxic additives to boot.
Not all refrigerated pickles are necessarily unpasteurized, however -- be sure to check the label before buying.