People often reach for their cucumber salad in hot summers. With 95% water content and a temperature that is almost 20 degrees cooler than the outside atmosphere , it is one of the healthiest options to cool yourself. And it is not just effective when taken inside; it is as good when applied topically too. It is common knowledge that cucumber soothes irritated skin and is an excellent remedy for tired eyes and dark circles. Apart from these age old beauty secrets, there are a lot more to cucumbers.
Cucumbers are believed to have originated in India. Today we get several varieties of cucumbers such as Persian, English and Pickling cucumbers. Persian cucumbers contain edible seeds and English cucumbers are seedless. English cucumbers are also called ‘burpless’ as they remove the susceptibility to burping.
Nutritional value in Cucumbers
Cucumbers contain a unique combination of nutrients which includes a substance called phytonuturients. Phytonutrients are found to have valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. The major phytonutrients found in cucumbers are cucurbitacins, lignans, and flavonoids. Cucurbitacins A, B, C, D and E are all present in fresh cucumber
Health benefits of cucumbers
Cucumber as a beauty secret : Cucumber is a great beauty aid that has been recognized from time immemorial. Be it for your skin, hair, or eyes, cucumber works. This highly hydrating food is great for glowing skin. Also, the flesh, juice and skin all are equally effective depending on how you use it. Its usage for various skin ailments such as dark circles, swelling and sunburn is widespread.
Benefits against cardiovascular diseases and cancer : According to recent research studies, cucumbers contain certain lignans- substances which proven strong connection with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease as well as several cancers such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer
Benefits against ageing : Certain substances in fresh cucumber extracts can help in flushing out the free radicals produced in the body. Free radicals are the substances responsible for ageing of the skin. These cucumber extracts help in improving antioxidant capacity and inhibit the activity of some pro-inflammatory enzymes. Nitric oxide which is a substance that can cause severe inflammation is restricted by cucumbers. Several conventional antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese are all present in plenty in this vegetable . Presence of these antioxidants makes cucumber an anti-ageing remedy.
Benefits in Diabetes : Cucumber benefits for diabetic people is very well know. This is because the carbohydrates present in cucumber are easily digested by diabetic patents and it does not increase their sugar levels.
Benefits to kidneys and pancreas : Cucumber is highly effective when it comes to curing kidney and urinary bladder diseases. It is known to act as a diuretic. Cucumber also helps in curing liver and pancreatic disease.
Benefits to Stomach and Digestion : The digestive system also benefits from its ability to soothe gastritis and ulcer. It also contains erepsin, an enzyme that is helpful in digesting protein. Cucumber peel is a good source of dietary fiber and hence the intake can help to reduce constipation
Because of the nutritional content and on account of being light, it is popularly considered as an excellent weight loss food. Salads are always easily associated with cucumbers. It is also known to be a detox food.
Ensuring general body health : Cucumber is known to be beneficial in healing illnesses of lung, kidneys, and stomach. Drinking fresh cucumber juice helps to reduce heartburns and to soothe acidity in stomach. Similar to the adage, a glass of cucumber juice a day can also help keep the doctor away by controlling conditions like eczema, gout and arthritis.
Other benefits : Cucumber is high in potassium which is beneficial in the treatment of hypertension as well as hypertension. Studies by various organization such as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, have indicated that food items with high potassium negate Sodium's impact on blood pressure. It is also an excellent source of vitamin K and this vitamin has been found to have an important role in developing bone strength by promoting bone mass building activity.
It has been observed that Cucumber is beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease patients as it helps in controlling neuronal damage in their brain.
The best thing about eating cucumbers is that when taken as such, it doesn’t contain any extreme flavors and hence can appeal to almost anyone’s palette. At the same time, when combined with different spices and juices, it can be consumed in a variety of tastes.
Every part of a cucumber is edible and healthy. Even the skin can be eaten and in fact it is a storehouse of a multitude of nutrients. Since it comes packed with water content, it easily fills you up and can be easily digested too. This in turn means that it doesn’t really tire your body. You remain fresh and full and not sleepy and tired.
Storage and use
The most popular use of cucumbers is in salads. They can be pickled as well. In order to keep them fresh, they should be refrigerated and used within a week. If they are peeled, cucumbers must be tightly wrapped in plastic to prevent loss of moisture.
Including Cucumber in your daily diet
- One of the best ways to have cucumber is in form of salad. It virtually fits in any kind of salad possible.
- Cucumber lemonade, is easy to prepare and a great refreshing drink Cucumber soup.
- Cucumber can be part of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian soups! Sour cucumber soup is recommended for diabetic patients
If you want to stay fit and healthy, cucumbers are among the most inexpensive means of attaining it. Significance of Health benefits of cucumber becomes multifold because it is cultivated worldwide. Again, it is one of those things which taste really good when eaten fresh and raw. You can even save your time for cooking.
Next time when you hear someone say ‘cool as cucumber’, you know why the cucumber is a really cool vegetable!