There are so many reasons to eat cucumbers all year long. With vitamin K, B vitamins, copper, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese, cucumbers can help you to avoid nutrient deficiencies that are widespread among those eating a typical American diet.
Cucumbers belong to the same plant family as squash, pumpkin, and watermelon. Like watermelon, cucumbers are made up of mostly (95 percent) water, which means eating them on a hot day can help you stay hydrated.
Cucumbers contain unique polyphenols and other compounds that help reduce risk of chronic diseases and much, much more.
There are many ways to enjoy cucumbers, such as fermented or raw in vinegar-based salads. If you’re looking for something different, cucumbers make an ideal base for your vegetable juice due to their mild flavor and high water content.
When you drink fresh-made green juice, it is almost like receiving an intravenous infusion of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes because they go straight into your system without having to be broken down.
Here is a breakdown of some health benefits of cucumber;
Protects the Brain
Cucumbers contain an anti-inflammatory flavonol called fisetin that appears to play an important role in brain health. In addition to improving your memory and protecting your nerve cells from age-related decline, fisetin has been found to prevent progressive memory and learning impairments in mice with Alzheimer’s disease.
Reduce Risk of Cancer
Cucumbers contain polyphenols called lignans (pinoresinol, lariciresinol, and secoisolariciresinol), which may help to lower risk of breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers. They also contain phytonutrients called cucurbitacins, which also have anti-cancer properties.
Cucumbers may help to “cool” the inflammatory response in your body, and animal studies suggest that cucumber extract helps reduce unwanted inflammation, in part by inhibiting the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes (including cyclo-oxygenase 2, or COX-2).
Cucumbers contain numerous antioxidants, including the well-known vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain antioxidant flavonoids, such as quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, and kaempferol, which provide additional benefits.
Placing a cucumber slice on the roof of your mouth may help to rid your mouth of odor-causing bacteria. According to the principles of Ayurveda, eating cucumbers may also help to release excess heat in your stomach, which is said to be a primary cause of bad breath.
Cucumbers contain multiple B vitamins, including vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and vitamin B7 (biotin). B vitamins are known to help ease feelings of anxiety and buffer some of the damaging effects of stress.
Supports Digestive Health
Cucumbers are rich in two of the most basic elements needed for healthy digestion: water and fiber. If you struggle with acid reflux, you should know that drinking water can help suppress acute symptoms of acid reflux by temporarily raising stomach pH; it’s possible that water-rich cucumbers may have a similar effect.
Cucumber skins contain insoluble fiber, which helps add bulk to your stool. This helps food to move through your digestive tract more quickly for healthy elimination.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Cucumbers are very low in calories, yet they make a filling snack (one cup of sliced cucumber contains just 16 calories). The soluble fiber in cucumbers dissolves into a gel-like texture in your gut, helping to slow down your digestion.
Supports Heart Health
Cucumbers contain potassium, which is associated with lower blood pressure levels. A proper balance of potassium both inside and outside your cells is crucial for your body to function properly.
Other benefits include;
• Fights heat, both inside and out. Eat cucumber, and your body gets relief from heartburn. Apply cucumber on your skin, and you get relief from sunburn.
• Flushes out toxins. All that water in cucumber acts as a virtual broom, sweeping waste products out of your system. With regular use, cucumber is known to dissolve kidney stones.
• Lavishes you with vitamins. A B and C, which boost immunity, give you energy, and keep you radiant. Give it more power by juicing cucumber with carrot and spinach.
• Supplies skin-friendly minerals: magnesium, potassium, silicon. That’s why cucumber-based treatments abound in spas.
• Aids in weight loss.
• Revives the eyes. Placing chilled slices of cucumber on the eyes is a clichéd beauty visual, but it really helps reduce under-eye bags and puffiness.
• Stabilizes blood pressure. Patients of blood pressure, both high and low, often find that eating cucumber brings relief.
• Smooths hair and nails. The Silica mineral in cucumber makes hair and nails stronger and shinier.
• Soothes muscle and joint pain.
• Keeps kidneys in shape. Cucumber lowers uric acid levels in your system, keeping the kidneys in good shape.
• Good for diabetics.
Please feel free to share your experience on cucumber and comment on any other value and health benefit not mentioned.
Article prepared and Edited by; Agro News Nigeria’s Fruits & Agro Herbal Remedies Desk.