Fun fact: Cucumbers contain Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc. Who needs a multivitamin?
A very refreshing and low-calorie fruit, cucumber is an all-time favorite snack by most people. It can be eaten raw or pickled. It is believed to be one of the oldest crops being cultivated and it is believed to originate from the northern area of the sub-Himalayan plains in India. Cucumber botanically belongs to the melon familysame with zucchini, gourd, watermelon, cantaloupe, and squash. It is scientifically known as Cucumissativus. Cucumber contains a lot of nutrients and vitamins that are good for the body.
As a member of the plant family Cucurbitaceae, cucumber is one of the richest sources of Cucurbitacins are triterpene phytonutrients and known to have an anti-cancer property. Cucurbitacins as well as vitamins A, B, C, D and E are rich in cucumbers.
Cucumber has adequate sodium, potassium and free water content thus explains its diuretic effect that counters weight gain and regulates blood pressure.
It a great source of potassium which is a very vital cellular electrolyte. A 100-gram of cucumber contains about 147mg or 3% of the daily-recommended intake of potassium and only 2mg of sodium. Potassium is good for the heart; it counters the effect of sodium and regulates the heart rate and blood pressure.
Anti-oxidants in tempered ratios such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, vitamin A, Vitamin C, Lutein and zea-xanthin are found in cucumbers. These nutritious compounds serve as protective scavengers that drive away oxygen-derived free radicals which play a major role in aging and several diseases. Cucumber skin also has a high amount of Vitamin C that helps get rid of diseases and keeps the body healthy.
Vitamin K found in cucumber is also essential to ensure bone strength. It is also an important component in blood clotting as well as in protein synthesis. Vitamin K contained in cucumber makes up 13.6% of its DRA.
Chemical compounds found in cucumber such as pinoresinol, secoisolariciresinol, and lariciresinol are known to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cucumbers are also used by a lot of people who are diet conscious. Cucumbers are known to have a very low calorie and it has no cholesterol or saturated fat. For every 100g of cucumber, there are only 15 calories. Cucumber also has high fiber and water content which aids in digestion. Sliced cucumbers placed on top of the eyes relieves puffiness.
Containing 95 % of water, cucumbers help in body rehydration as well as in toxin elimination.
The Important Health Benefits of Cucumbers
Regulates Healthy Digestion
Cucumber contains the two most essential elements in healthy digestion, water and fiber. Water balances the pH level in the stomach that prevents acid reflux and its horrible effects. Water also assures smooth digestive process because it acts as digestive lubricant. Food intake is properly carried forward in the digestive process if you indulge yourself in healthy foods containing water. Cucumber is also rich in insoluble fiber that has a vital role in the digestive system. It assures that food intake is properly breakdown and that digested food is accordingly moved through the digestive tract for elimination. Insoluble fiber contributes to the right structure of the stool for instant and proper bowel movement. Eating cucumber can help in protecting yourself from digestive issues such as constipation.
Aids Weight Loss
If a food is rich in fiber, the tendency is that it also contributes in maintaining a healthy weight. This is because fiber assures that food is digested and wasted properly. If you always experience constipation, it can result to gaining weight because fat storage in the body is increased. Fibrous foods also increase satiety that will make you feel full for hours. This will result to lower future food intake. You will be able to control the urge to eat because you will not easily get hungry. On top of that, cucumbers are also very low in calories. A cup of cucumber only has 16 calories. Adding cucumber to your diet will surely yield better and quicker weight loss results.
Keeps You Hydrated
As mentioned above, cucumber has high water content. This is good for the body because it keeps it hydrated. It is important that the body has enough water levels because water is needed by all body organs and parts to function appropriately. Dehydration can cause irregularities that can lead to organ failure. Water is very important for you to be completely healthy. Having cucumber especially on summer season will keep you hydrated. Cucumbers also are sources of electrolytes to maintain high energy levels. You can also add cucumber to water to heighten its consumption.
Promotes Healthy Bones
Cucumber has considerably high amounts of Vitamin K content. Vitamin K eliminates bone fragility. It is important to suffice the daily requirement for Vitamin K to lessen risks of having bone fracture. This is because Vitamin K regulates the bone’s calcium absorption ability. One cup of cucumber suffices up to 12% of Vitamin K daily demand. If you want to have healthy and flexible bones through the years, make sure to recognize the importance of regular cucumber consumption.
Nourishes the Skin
Aside from the hydration effects of cucumber consumption that makes the skin moisturized and glowing, cucumber also has soothing and anti-inflammation skin benefits. Cucumber consumption can help in treating skin swelling and irritation. Cucumber is an effective treatment to sun burn and morning puffiness. Putting sliced cucumber directly to the affected area of the skin will show instant results.
Good for the Brain
Cucumber is a great source of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant compounds. These compounds are very significant to the entirety of human health. Cucumber properties have shown to boost the functions of the brain. It is because of its richness in flavanol that maintains the nerve cells as well as protects them from damage and declination. Generally, nerve cells deteriorate as we age. It is important that we observe a diet that will help in the preservation of healthy nerve cells to avoid problems with memory, cognitive and motor skills. If you want your brain to function at its best even as you age, adding cucumber to your diet is of great help.
Protection Against Cancer
The remarkable presence of polyphenols in cucumbers is able to reduce risks of breast, ovary, prostate and uterine cancer. Cucumber also has strong phytonutrient anti-cancer properties called cucurbitacins. Cucurbitacins assures healthy cell formation. This compound also blocks cancer cell development. Studies have shown that daily consumption of cucumber can reduce risks of cancer up to 25%.
Kills Bacteria in the Mouth
Rubbing cucumber slice on your teeth and gums or directly placing it on your mouth can kill bacteria that cause bad breath. Cucumber has shown very positive effects in treating bad breath because of its strong anti-bacterial properties and its ability to stabilize normal heat in the stomach. Excessive stomach temperature is the main reason of bad breath. If you want to have a fresh breath always, using and eating cucumber can help.
Stabilizes Heart Condition
Potassium in cucumbers has blood pressure lowering effects. Intake of foods with potassium is very important to keep your heart healthy. It relaxes the veins, blood vessels, and the muscles for proper circulation of blood. It also avoids blood stickiness and blood fermentation that can cause blood clots. Blood clots are primary causes of stroke, heart ailments, and heart attack.