The next time you are in your grocery store or supermarket, pick up a handful of firm, dark green cucumbers and pop them into your shopping basket. Congratulations! You have just bought yourself a fruit (yes, the cool cuke is fruit, not a vegetable) full of good health!
Because cucumbers are mostly water, they are low in calories — even a large cucumber contains less than 100 calories — but they still come loaded with nutritional value. Eaten either fresh or as a pickle, cucumbers have numerous health benefits, even though they may not be full of flavor. Add them to salads or slice them in spears to eat alone or with a low-fat dip.
Cucumbers are the fourth most cultivated vegetable in the world and known to be one of the best foods for your body’s overall health, often referred to as a super food. Cucumbers are often sprayed with pesticides so it is important to buy organic or even better, grow them yourself!
Here is a short list of the impressive health benefits that a cucumber carries:
- Keeps you hydrated. If you are too busy to drink enough water, munch on the cool cucumber, which is 96 percent water. It will cheerfully compensate!
- 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.
- Vitamin C serves as one of the many antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals, lowering the risk of various cancers and illness due to damaged cells. Vitamin C aids in collagen production and brain function, and it also helps your body process fat.
- Vitamin K – Like vitamin A, vitamin K plays a role in building bone, as well as other tissues of the body. However, vitamin K is mainly responsible for making some of the proteins the liver requires for blood clotting. This coagulation ability is important for people who suffer from bleeding disorders, reducing their chances of bleeding out after a cut or injury. Approximately half of the cucumber’s vitamin K content is found in its peel, so keep the peel on for maximal health benefits.
- Supplies skin-friendly minerals: magnesium, potassium, silicon. That’s why cucumber-based treatments abound in spas.
- Aids in weight loss. Enjoy cucumbers in your salads and soups. My favorite snack? Crunchy cucumber sticks with creamy low-fat yogurt dip.
- 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.
- Cuts cancer. Cut down your risk of several cancers by including cucumber in your diet. Several studies show its cancer-fighting potential.
- Stabilizes blood pressure. Patients of blood pressure, both high and low, often find that eating cucumber brings relief.
- Refreshes the mouth. Cucumber juice refreshes and heals diseased gums, leaving your mouth smelling good.
- Helps digestion. Chewing cucumber gives the jaws a good workout, and the fiber in it is great for digestion.
- Smoothes hair and nails. Silica, the wonder mineral in cucumber makes your hair and nails stronger and shinier.
- Soothes muscle and joint pain. All those vitamins and minerals in cucumber make it a powerful enemy of muscle and joint pain.
- Keeps kidneys in shape. Cucumber lowers uric acid levels in your system, keeping the kidneys happy.
- Good for diabetics. Patients of diabetes can enjoy cucumber while also reaping its health benefits: cucumber contains a hormone needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin.
- Reduces cholesterol. A compound called sterols in cucumber helps reduce bad cholesterol