For as long as I can remember I have had nothing but love for cucumbers. Cucumbers have not received as much press as other vegetables in terms of health benefits, but this widely cultivated food provides us with a unique combination of nutrients. Originating from the same botanical families as melons such as watermelon and squashes such as pumpkin, cucumbers are known to contain ingredients known as ligans – high levels of which are strongly linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and several types of cancers. Fresh extracts from cucumbers have also shown both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
One of my top go-to snack foods for when I’m feeling down, cucumbers are a great source of Vitamin B. So when you are in need for some energy boosters put down your pop and caffeine and reach for a cucumber slice instead!
Hydration: If you are one of those people who do not drink enough water and need to add in some flavour as an incentive, add in some slices of cucumber for the perfect flavour. (Throw in some lemon wedges and mint too. So good.) Cucumbers are made up of 95% water and keep the body hydrated while simultaneously eliminating toxins.
Skin/Hair care: The skin of cucumbers can be used just as one would use aloe for sunburns and minor skin irritations. The anti-inflammatory properties promote faster healing and you can also place a slice over the eyes to reduce puffiness. In terms of hair care, research has shown that the sulfur and silicon found in cucumbers helps stimulate hair growth.
Say goodbye to bad breath: Bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath can be killed by phytochemicals found in cucumbers. Press a slice of cucumber to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for a few seconds. Goodbye, morning breath!
Home care: So I have never personally tried this one myself but apparently if you rub a cucumber slice along a mirror before you step into the shower, it prevents the mirror from fogging up. You can also rub a slice along a squeaky hinge to stop the squeaking.
Try it out and let me know if this is actually true!
Cucumbers contain many essential nutrients and eating a few slices before going to sleep reduces the intensity of headaches or a hangover after a night out. Cucumbers are also ideal for people looking to lose weight. Low in calories and high in water content, they also contain dietary fiber which is efficient in ridding the digestive system of toxins and promoting healthy digestion.
Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin which has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Researchers found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help reduce cholesterol levels. Cucumbers contain a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber, which work effectively for regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumbers good for treating both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.
Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promotes joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. They are also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels.
From skin care to health care, pick-me-up snack foods and even home hacks, the benefits and uses of this vegetable are endless.