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Ever heard the phrase “cool as a cucumber”? It is a well known fact that cucumbers are cool and refreshing but that is not all. There are many benefits of cucumber but eating is not the only way to consume it. In fact cucumbers can be utilized in various ways other than eating and drinking their juice. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is essentially a fruit and not a vegetable as most people consider it. The plant is a creeping vine and the fruit is so named because it is in a cucumiform shape.
Cucumbers can be sliced and eaten directly or they can be pickled and put in sandwiches. Whatever be one’s preference, it always tastes good and is also extremely healthy. Cucumbers belong to the gourd family and are made up of more than 90% water. They are rich in various minerals and ions like: Magnesium, Iron (28mg per 100gm), Manganese, Potassium, Zinc, Sodium, Phosphorus. They are high in fiber too.
Cucumbers can also be involved in beauty routines as crushed cucumbers are added in face packs and hair pastes.
Health benefits of cucumber are many and here is a list of health benefits of cucumber:
Top 16 Heath Benefits of Cucumber
1. Detoxification and Hydration
As mentioned before cucumbers are more than 90% water. This water helps to keep the body cool and hydrated. It has about 96% water content and can produce similar hydration levels to twice the volume of water.
Cucumbers help liver to remove impurities, waste, accumulated toxins etc. by increasing the volume of urine passed.
Cucumber juices and beverages are very helpful in this process of hydration and detoxification.
2. Maintaining bone, teeth, and nail health
Lower vitamin K content is associated to higher risk of bone fracture. Cucumbers have a high content of Vitamin K which helps in absorbing calcium for bone formation. This also increases bone density.
Cucumbers are also rich in ascorbic acid and caffeic acid which strengthens body ligaments cartilage, tendon and bones. Cucumbers also have silica which helps in formation of connective tissue and strengthen weak bones.
Teeth and nails also need calcium which can be absorbed with the help of vitamin K.
Cucumbers are rich in potassium, magnesium, copper and help prevent osteoporosis and other age related bone disorders.
3. Improve resistance towards diseases
Cucumbers are rich in Vitamin C. This vitamin helps in the formation of White Blood Cells (leucocytes). These cells form the first line of defense against diseases. Various enzymes also strengthen the immune system. There are antioxidants present in cucumbers which help to remove free radicals produced due to oxidative stress.
Cucumbers have Potassium, Magnesium that improve neurological functioning and in turn blood pressure. There is also lignin present in them that is an anti-inflammatory substance. This helps in reducing risks of many cardiovascular diseases.
4. Bleeding issues and blood pressure
Vitamin K present in cucumbers help in blood coagulation and repair damaged tissues. Thus, cucumbers are recommended to people suffering from bloody noses, heavy menstruation, and hemorrhoids.
As mentioned earlier cucumbers are rich in fiber, potassium and magnesium which help in maintaining blood pressure. It helps to reduce pressure in arteries and keep them hydrated. Cucumbers are recommended to people suffering from hypertension.
5. Prevents cancer
Cucumbers can help maintain body pH in optimal range for daily metabolic activities. Optimal pH helps to eliminate free radical cells. These cells are acidic in nature and can cause symptoms of cancer. Thus by eliminating these cells cancer symptoms are treated.
Cucumbers also contain fisetin, caffeic acid, cucurbitacin, lutein. These are flavonoids and help reduce the risks of breast, ovarian, prostate, uterine and lung cancer.
6. Good vision
Cucumber has anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidative chemicals which help eyes stay clear of cataract.
Vitamin A is present in cucumbers that helps reduce macular degeneration of retina. Proper amount of Vitamin A is needed for normal vision. In normal cases, the requirement of Vitamin A is 700-900 microgram per day for people of age 14 and above. Cucumbers can work miraculous for people with low vision as 52g cucumber contains more amount of vitamin A than what is needed.
7. Good for Skin
You have often seen people putting slices of cucumber on their eyes in beauty parlours or at home along with face pack. Ever wonder why? The reason for this is cucumber is all in one remedy for puffiness, swelling, dark circles, irritation and wrinkles. Vitamin C and caffeic acid of cucumber works as soothing agents and can remove water retaining under the space of the eyes to removing swelling and can also lighten the skin around the eyes to remove dark circles. Moreover, there are many antioxidants in cucumber which can relieve people suffering from irritation under eyes and they can also help to remove wrinkles from the eyes by removing oxidants around the eyes.
8. Bad Breathing
Reasons for bad breath are bacteria which feed on mucus and food left in your mouth and releasing sulphur compounds. These bacteria are removed with saliva and simply one slice of cucumber can boost the production of saliva in your mouth. This can also help reduce other health complications and gum diseases.
9. Optimal digestion
Since cucumber is mostly water and fiber, it can help in reducing the acidity of stomach and normalize the pH values and thus help in digestion of food. Insoluble fiber skin of cucumber can be helpful to ease the removal of stool from the body and healthier way. Eating cucumbers may help support regular bowel movements. Dehydration is a major factor for constipation, as alters the water balance of the body and makes defecation difficult. Cucumbers are high in water and promote hydration. Water can improve stool consistency, prevent constipation and help maintain regularity in bowel movements.
People with gastric issues should consume more cucumbers as cucumbers neutralize acidity of the stomach.
Next time when you eat salad, don’t forget to add more slices of cucumber in your plate!
10. Maintaining Weight
Cucumber is a nutritious fruit and contains many vitamins and minerals. It is rather calorific fruit, containing 16 calories with peel and 15 without, and none of these calories are from fat as it contains 0 gm fat and 0 gm cholesterol. Also, don’t forget about cucumber being 96% water. Hence, consuming cucumber will not only keep you fit but can keep you energize whole day.
11. Keeping Hair Healthy
Many people suffer from hair problems like hair fall, damaged hair, dry hair, dry scalp etc. Cucumber paste can be applied in hair and scalp before washing them. Hair and scalp can easily absorb the natural water present in cucumbers and thus stay hydrated. This helps treating dry hair, dry scalp and in turn dandruff and hair fall.
12. Prevents Diabetes
Not only the flesh of the cucumber fruit but also the peels are helpful in maintaining health. Cucumber peels have anti-diabetic properties. These help lower high blood sugar levels caused by oxidative stress..
A hormone present in cucumber helps pancreas to utilize insulin, which in turn converts complex carbohydrates into simple, thus degrading complex sugar molecules.
13. Antioxidant property
Cucumbers contain various antioxidants, including the well-known vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain antioxidant flavonoids, such as quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, and kaempferol, which have numerous benefits.
For instance, quercetin is an antioxidant that may prevent histamine release—making quercetin-rich foods “natural antihistamines.” Histamine causes allergic reactions. Thus, cucumbers help reduce risks of allergic reactions. Kaempferol, meanwhile, may help fight cancer and lower risk of chronic diseases including heart disease.
14. Balance Hormone Levels
Calcium is often related to bone and teeth health. Calcium also helps maintain hormones in the body. Now, the vitamin K from the cucumber juice helps absorb calcium which in turn helps in maintaining hormones levels of thyroid gland and pituitary gland.
15. Strengthening Nervous System
Fisetin, a chemical also present in grapes and strawberries as well, is an anti-inflammatory substance. This chemical has an important role in maintaining brain health. It may repair cognitive malfunctions related to Alzheimer’s disease. It may also reduce the impact of age-related neurological diseases.
16. Cure Hangovers and staying awake
- Cucumbers contain vitamin B, electrolytes, and sugar that can replace the nutrients absorbed by the alcohol. All one needs to remember is eating a cucumber before going to sleep.
People rely on coffee and other caffeinated drinks to stay awake. Eat a cucumber instead as they are full of vitamin B and carbohydrates that can provide energy.
- Cucumber is Mary Poppins bag with many essential nutrients and enzymes. There are very few fruits and vegetables that have so many uses. Cucumbers are healthy and delicious as well. When one consumes cucumbers in any way one receives an intravenous infusion of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. They go straight in the system and don’t need to be broken down.
- Cucumbers can be placed in a boiling pot of water. The nutrients and chemicals will be released in the steam and create a calm and comforting environment. This way it also helps reduce stress and anxiety.