Are you hungry, thirsty or in look for something refreshing? Fresh cucumber comes right in for the save! This vegetable is not only incredibly rich in nutrients and properties that bring a great variety of amazing health benefits to the table. This fresh delicacy will be a tasty and refreshing addition to any dish you make!
To start, it is important to note that, just like watermelon, cucumbers are mostly (approximately 95%) made of water, so they’re a very refreshing aliment. They keep us hydrated while also being low on calories. They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals that can improve the quality of our lives, such as iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, and iodine.
Cucumbers are the 4th most grown vegetable in the world. Quite popular in salads nowadays, their use goes back to India about 3000 years ago. They’re still going around today for very good reasons!
Apart from the minerals mentioned before, the nutritional composition that makes cucumbers so beneficial to our health is the following (the sample being one average cucumber):
- Water: 95%
- Proteins: 0.69 grams
- Calories: 20 Kcal. / 100 gr
- Carbohydrates: 2.7 gr
- Fats: 0.13 gr
- Vitamins: A, E, B6, C and Niacin.
Let’s talk about vitamins. One cucumber fills approximately 10% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C, a total of 60 mg. However, this essential vitamin is only found in the outer crust of the vegetable, so we shouldn’t avoid eating it.
Cucumbers are also very rich in vitamins K and B. These help us avoid any nutrient deficiency in our organism that may come from an unbalanced diet. This is the reason why doctors always recommend the consumption of this vegetable. These vitamins fill our bodies with energy and lend a strong hand to our immune systems.
Benefits and Properties of the Cucumber
Now you know the awesome composition of the cucumber, all of its healthy and nutritive properties. But the discovery has barely started. Let’s go into detail about the reasons why cucumbers are so beneficial to our bodies:
1. Weight Loss
We need to start with this reason since it’s probably the most important one, and it’s also likely that this is the reason why you’re reading this article. Cucumbers can be of great help to losing weight!
Since this is a vegetable low in fat and mostly made of water, it’s perfect for weight loss diets. The soluble fiber of the cucumber turns into a gel-like texture inside the stomach, giving us a sensation of satiety that lasts for a longer time.
2. Brain Protection
Cucumbers have an anti-inflammatory flavonol denominated fisetin. Fisetin is one of the flavonols that contribute to brain health. They can improve our memory and even protect the nerve cells from the deterioration caused by old-age. This is why eating cucumber on a daily basis is often recommended to patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, or simply to people who are getting old.
3. Reduction of Cancer Risk
Another one of the important properties of cucumbers is that they may reduce the risk of cancer. This is due to their content of polyphenols denominated lignanes (pinoresinol, lariciresinol and secoisolariciresinol), which help to reduce the risk of cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer. Cucumbers also possess other phytonutrients such as cucurbitacins which have anti-cancerogenic qualities.
4. Irritation Relief
Cucumbers have a high content of caffeic acid and ascorbic acid. These two acids are very important to our diets since they help a lot when it comes to skin health. Caffeic acid and ascorbic acid have been proven to relieve skin irritation and inflammation, and if it comes from a cucumber it will also help keep the skin hydrated. It’s amazing!
5. Skin Health Benefits
Within the medicinal qualities that have made cucumber as popular, the skin related benefits that it brings are the most noticeable. It is something that has been used and tested in the old Rome and Greece because there even is a version saying that even Cleopatra used cucumber to take care of her skin. Cucumber is remarkable for being used to prevent pimples, to get a shiny skin, to erase spots on the face and to combat eye bags. That’s why it’s used a lot in masks against acne.
6. Digestive health
The high amount of water and fiber that cucumber contains collaborates with a healthy digestion, lowering the levels of sugar and cholesterol in your blood and helping to reduce the symptoms of acidic reflux. The cucumber also acts as a protector of the gastric and intestinal mucosa since it contains erepsin, this means that just by adding cucumber to your diet, you could get a better bowel movement in no time!
Cucumber is one of the best natural diuretics that you will ever find, working just as good as any pharmaceutic one while also giving you all the benefits that it brings. Not to mention that it tastes better and you can add it to any meal you wish, without worrying about any secondary effects.
And all of this is only due to its high presence of water, silicon, and sulfur, which are all ideal to stimulate the activity of the kidneys, working as a natural medicine for liquid retention.
8. Improves the articulations
Like I mentioned before, cucumbers have silicon, and natural silicon has demonstrated to contribute to the strengthening of our articulations, bones, nails, and corporal tissue.
Likewise, the presence of manganese in it helps to develop and reconstruct the bone tissue, so if you have a bone fracture or your kid is in a developing stage (Growing taller and such) consuming cucumber would be greatly recommended.
9. Help to our Hearts
Cucumbers contain an average of 147 mg of potassium, depending on their size. Potassium has been proven to be related to lowering excessive arterial pressure. This means that the presence of cucumbers in our meals is vital for people that suffer from high blood pressure, since it helps to normalize our condition in a good, healthy and natural way.
10. Antioxidant Properties
I can’t finish this list without talking about the amazing antioxidants that cucumbers have.
Cucumbers are famous for their high content of antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, as well as luteolin, quercetin, and kaempferol.
They help as well in the treatment of gum conditions like gingivitis and the alveolitis. They help dissolve kidney stones, hydrate the body due to all the presence of water in them, combat inflammation, reduce stress levels, refresh our breath, stimulate the growth of hair tissue, help eliminate toxins, relieve painful sunburns, work as a laxative, and are also a very good remedy for throat aches, headaches and hangover.
Now that you know the impressive benefits of cucumber that cucumbers can bring to our diets, I will share one of the most popular ways of consuming it. And it is the delicious, very refreshing and super nutritive cucumber water. The ultimate detox and weight loss drink!
- One big and long cucumber
- One half of a lemon
- One liter and a half of water
- Wash the cucumber and the lemon thoroughly with cold water before using them.
- Peel the cucumber
- Put the cucumber in a blender and mix it until it becomes juice
- Take the liter and a half of water and put it in a jug, then add the cucumber juice in it.
- Cut the lemon in half, squeeze it, then add the juice to the cucumber water. You can add the other half of lemon if you want.
- Let it sit in the fridge until it gets cold.
- Enjoy a delicious and refreshing cup of this amazingly nutritious juice!
After seeing all of these benefits and taking a peek at one of the various creative ways we can consume this fresh and delicious vegetable, make sure to include it in every meal you can! Get creative with your salads and add some of this sublime vegetable to your life. I will surely be using it in my personal diet!