The dark green, firm, cool cuke… cucumber which you just picked and put in your shopping basket is just miraculous for your health. This fruit is loaded with health benefits. Yes, I said fruit, because cucumber is not a vegetable but a fruit. I do know, that everyone knows well that cucumber is excellent for your body and is a must in salad. Heard this phrase, “Cool as Cucumber”. Probably Yes. So you can easily interpret the amount of freshness, cucumbers can deliever. Some may like it hot by baking or heating up in oil, but if not, then cool cucumber is for you, which can do wonders for you.
Do you know, the inside of cucumber, growing in the hot sun on a vine is about 20 degree Celsius cooler than air. Scientifically known as Cucumis sativus, it belongs to the same botanical family as melons, zucchini or squash. Being the fourth most widely cultivated fruit, with its mild, refreshing flavor, cucumbers are 90% water but still manage to give so many health benefits. Cucumbers are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, even bone building- managanese, potassium, magnesium, also possess infection fighting, vitamin C, anti-inflammatory Vitamin K. The fresh extracts of cucumber have been shown to have both antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. Also, the presence of unique polyphenols in plants with lignans, this health benefiting substance is research upon extensively in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and allium vegetables like onion and garlic. Cucumbers have three lignans which are known to have positive cardiovascular effects and reduces cancer risks, including prostate, breast, uterus cancers. They also contain an enzyme that breaks protein and helps clean the intestines and also are good for detoxification of body.
To choose from the whole lot of cucumbers, they are eaten green or under ripe. Choose the shorter, dark green cucumbers, which are firm and feel heavy, so always go for shorter, medium sized cucumbers. As, long cucumbers can be bitter and show that they are ripe. For getting the optimal nutrition and nourishment from your cucumbers while minimizing your health risk, you can choose organic grown cucumbers over conventionally grown varieties. Cucumber are mostly used in salads and eaten raw and very few people cook it like other vegetables. The cucumber is refreshing and gives crunch to the salad and is perfect diet snack and cucumber salads are prepared just before serving to retain the crispness. Eating raw cucumbers is what is known best by most of the people. However, they can be cooked, stuffed and mixed with herbs. Stuff cucumbers with feta cheese or cream by slicing it lengthwise. Though, most people prefer eating diced cucumber with some sprinkled salt and pepper. You can even grate the cucumber and add it in yoghurt with other veggies like onions, tomatoes, and sprinkle some salt and pepper and it will become a delicious raita with all the crunchiness. Have it with parantha or eat it as it is, as you like. For cooked cucumbers, you can google it and you’ll be surprised by so many recipes and suggestions. Now, let’s have a look on how cucumbers add value to our daily diet;
Keeps you hydrated: Drink enough water and munch on cucumbers, you daily dose of hydration is fulfilled. Moreover, detoxification is done automatically. They are the best substitute for water and are fully compensate if you are too busy to cater your drinking requirements. Just have some and you are healthy.
Awesome for skin and eyes: Cucumbers are just awesome for maintaining skin health. Obviously, when they are known to flush out toxins from body and have such a high water content, they will do all the good for skin. Also, having vitamins and minerals, they are good for eyes too. Moreover, not to mention, they are just too popular to remove under eye dark circles when used regularly and treats many skin and eye problems.
Helps in weight loss: For diet conscious and weight loosing people, cucumber and eating its sticks is favorite as a snack. Crunchy cucumber sticks dipped in creamy non-fat yoghurt is just too tasty and interesting. Enjoy cucumber in your salads and soups daily and enjoy the results.
Stabilizes blood pressure: Patients of high or low blood pressure, often feel that eating cucumber brings relief and helps in stabilizing the blood pressure to much extent. Also, it refreshes the mind and body and smoothen the blood flow, thus making the BP patients feel good.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits: Cucumber, loaded with so many nutrients and water content is very powerful antioxidant product and also possess anti-inflammatory properties. It includes Vitamin C, beta carotene, manganese and numerous flavonoid antioxidants.
Anti-Cancer Benefits: A group of cucumber phyto-nutrients known to provide anti-cancer benefits are its lignans, which is because the role of these plant lignans in cancer protection involves the role of bacteria in our digestive tract and therefore, there is reduced risk of estrogen-related cancers, including prostate, breast, ovary cancers, that has been associated with intake of dietary lignans from plant foods like cucumbers.
Love cucumber? It will love you back in all the ways. Just be regular with consumption or application of cucumber and see the difference in your life.
Healthy Eating. Happy Life.