Crunchy, refreshing, and easy to eat, the simple cucumber is a delicious and nutritious veggie!
Cucumbers contain flavonoids, triterpenes, and lignans that are antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties and provide various nutrients but are low in calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
Cucumbers are 96% water. Consuming cucumbers, adds to the daily requirement of water by the body, thus keeping us hydrated. This is helpful, especially during summers when we tend to get dehydrated easily. Cucumber also acts as a coolant, providing us relief from the summer heat. Also, the high content of water in cucumber makes our stools soft, prevents constipation and keeps our bowel movements regular.
Detox water made using cucumber and mint, effectively eliminates toxins from the body, improves hydration and thus results in innumerable health benefits. Cucumbers are a good source of potassium, magnesium, and dietary fiber These nutrients are known to lower blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of heart diseases.
Research has also proved that regular consumption of cucumber juice was helpful in reducing blood pressure, in elderly people with hypertension.
Cucumbers can help balance blood sugars. As a member of the Cucurbitaceae family of plants, cucumbers contain high levels of bitter-tasting nutrients known as cucurbitacin which can help regulate insulin release and the metabolism of hepatic glycogen, a key hormone in the processing of blood sugar. According to a study published in the International Journal of Health Services, cucurbitacins may help prevent cancer by stopping cancer cells from reproducing.
FUN FACTS ABOUT CUCUMBERS
- Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
- The water content of Cucumber acts as a diuretic. It encourages the elimination of waste products from the body through urination. Regular intake of cucumber helps to dissolve bladder or kidney stones.
- Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
- Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
- Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
- Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!
- Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!
- Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
- Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
- Out of WD-40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
- Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.
- Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
Cucumbers are safe for most people to eat, but there are some points to consider. Some people are allergic or find some types of cucumber are hard to digest. Cucumber is relatively high in vitamin K. Eating too much cucumber could affect how a person’s blood clots. People who use warfarin (Coumadin) or similar blood-thinning drugs should consult with their doctor. If you don’t fall into these categories, then add cucumbers to your life and enjoy!
Jane Jansen Holistic Practitioner
Host Holistic Healthline Radio
Tree of Life Wellness Center Seekonk, MA, 02771