Cucumbers are among some of the most underrated vegetables that have never been used to their full potential. If used and eaten properly, cucumbers offer great nutritional value along with their refreshing taste. With high water content, they can be used as a substitute for water. They offer an exceptional balance of water content and other nutritional elements that provide a number of health and beauty solutions. From detoxifying the body to purifying the skin, cucumbers know all your needs.
For patients suffering from some serious diseases, such as blood pressure, cancer and kidney disorders, cucumbers can be used in various ways that can ward off these diseases. They also reduce cholesterol and aid in weight loss.
Following is a detailed description about the nutritional values and health benefits of cucumbers:
The Nutritional Value of Cucumbers
An amazing treat for dieters, a 100 gram serving of cucumber offers only 15 calories which makes it great food for those seeking to lose weight. With their cholesterol reducing nature, cucumbers contain no saturated fats. It is advised to eat cucumbers whole without removing their peel as it offers dietary fiber that reduces constipation and offers multiple medical benefits. With its detoxifying characteristics it removes all the harmful substances from the body.
A 100 gram serving of cucumber includes 147 mg of potassium and only 2 mg of sodium. Potassium eases up the blood pressure and makes the heart function up to its optimum efficiency. It also relieves the heart against the effects of sodium. Cucumbers are extremely beneficial for kidney function as they are rich in water content and have mild diuretic properties.
Cucumbers contain a striking balance and combination of anti-oxidants in ratios that complement each other. Some of these anti-oxidants include ß-carotene and α-carotene, vitamin-C, vitamin-A, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds have an active role to play in the process of aging and various diseases. The sum of cucumbers’ antioxidant strength is measured to be 214 µmol TE/100 g.
Cucumbers provide 17 µg of vitamin K per 100 grams. Such high amounts of this vitamin result in strong bones by enhancing the osteotrophic activity. Vitamin K is observed to be used in treating Alzheimer’s disease as it inhibits the damage caused to the brain cells.
The Surprising Health Benefits of Cucumbers
As a wonderful alternative to water, cucumbers not only compensate the need of your body to be sufficiently hydrated, they help detoxify your body from any harmful substances. Due to their detoxifying nature, they are an excellent source to flush out all waste matters from the body.
The fiber present in cucumbers aids the process of digestion and also enhances the function of the jaw. Sterols is a substance found in cucumbers which keeps the cholesterol levels in our bodies in check. Cucumber is also beneficial for those who are looking forward to reduce their weight. It satisfies the body and also cuts down the amount of bad cholesterol.
Cucumbers not only soothe your body from the inside, they are also an amazing solution for skin related issues such as sunburn. Just scrub a slice of cucumber on your skin and feel immediate relief from pain which results from sunburn. As cucumbers are rich in vitamins A, B and C, they enhance the immunity of the body and boost up energy levels. When combined with other nutritious vegetables, the benefits of cucumbers multiply.
Cucumbers are rich in magnesium, potassium, silicon and other minerals and are excessively used in beauty salons and spas for various treatments. These minerals and vitamins are also great to improve the quality of your skin, nails and hair, making them strong and beautiful. One of the most common beauty tips which involves cucumbers is placing cool slices of the fruit over your eyes to reduce dark-circles and redness around the eye.
Other than the beauty treatments and tips, cucumbers can control and prevent some serious health issues, ranging from muscle pain to fighting off cancer. All the vitamins and other nutritious components in a cucumber make it a handy and nourishing cure for muscle or joint pain. Cucumbers are rich in fluids and water, so they really complement the kidney’s function by lowering the levels of uric acid in the system.
Many studies have shown that cucumbers have the potential of keeping cancer away if they are regularly included in one’s daily diet plan. The good news for the diabetic patients out there is that cucumbers aid the growth of a hormone that enhances the production of insulin in the pancreas. Now insulin users have a natural alternative which is also refreshing and without any side-effects.
In case of either high or low blood pressure, consuming cucumbers stabilizes the body. Cucumber is also an effective cure for gum disease and leaves the mouth fresh and smelling great.
Other Health Facts
Apart from the above mentioned health benefits that cucumbers offer, here are some more:
If you generally wakeup in the morning with headaches, eating a few slices of cucumber before going to sleep at night is the solution you require.
Cucumbers are one of the ancient solutions to prevent hunger pangs – you can munch at them if you want to kill the hunger and enjoy the health benefits.
If you need to relax and ward off stress, cut up a cucumber and put the pieces in boiling water – the steam produced will act as a stress buster.
This method is used to cut down stress levels in new mothers and students with the prospect of exams.
A refreshing mask made from mixing half a cucumber with some rose water can be applied on the face to treat oily skin.
Mix bruised cucumber seeds with water. This solution will act against the swelling of mucous membrane, nose and throat.
Cucumber is great for nail care as it contains high amounts of silica.
Ideas about How to Use it
Thinking of incorporating cucumbers into your daily diet? Use following easy-to-make ideas:
Cucumbers make some of the quickest and great-tasting pickles, zest up your meals with them.
If your meal is never complete without a salad, you must try out a cucumber salad in combination with pears or you can be as creative as you want.
You can also make a refreshing base for a chilled soup with cucumbers; start by making a chilled cucumber-mint soup or try replacing mint with avocado.
Use cucumber in combination with nuts and grains as side dishes.