Cucumbers are related to melons and squashes and are divided into 2 groups: slicing and pickling. Slicing cukes generally have thicker skin and are larger than the thin-skinned pickling variety.
Cucumbers contain 3 beneficial lignans, which are associated with a reduction in cardiovascular disease as well as ovarian, breast, uterine and prostate cancers.
This under-appreciated vegetable is a Powerhouse of nutritional excellence. This Superfood packs almost all the vitamins you need each day, including B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K1, fiber, copper, potassium and manganese.
The following are just some of the benefits:
- Energy Boosting—Instead of drinking another cup of coffee, eat a cucumber instead. The special carbohydrates and B vitamins combine for an energy-sustaining boost.
- Helps Hang-overs disappear—Eat a cucumber before bed, after a night of drinking, and your morning routine will go much more smoothly. The B vitamins, sugar and electrolytes help hydrate your cells and reduce the morning nightmare.
- Reduce the sugar—Eat cucumber slices instead of sugary snacks. Sprinkle on sea salt, black pepper and drizzle with olive oil to satiate you between meals.
- Manage stress—Before a hectic day, boil a few slices of cucumber on the stove and breathe in the aroma. The good smells can relieve anxiety and promote calmness. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil for an extra boost.
- Freshens breath—Eat a cucumber after each cup of coffee or meal instead of sucking on sugary breath mints. Phytochemicals in cucumbers kill bacteria that can cause bad breath and cavities.
- End constipation—The American lifestyle promotes medications, highly processed diets and a high stress environment, all which can contribute to a backed-up digestive process. Cucumbers are high in fiber, which can keep you regular and the digestive system functioning properly.
- Detoxing—Cucumber contains mostly water, which assists in hydration, but it also detoxifies by removing accumulated pockets of old waste and chemical toxins. Eat a cucumber to prevent build-up of toxins on a regular basis.
- Immune Boost—Cucumbers can boost the immune system and treat the common flu and cold viruses. Credit anti-inflammatory properties in fighting those common illnesses.
- Reduce blood pressure—High levels of potassium in cucumbers help regulate blood pressure by increasing electrolyte levels and reducing the effects of too much sodium.
- Fights Cancer—Cucumber is high in anti-oxidants, preventing the multiplication of free radicals, which leads to premature aging and cancer.
- Rejuvenates skin—Cucumbers relieve puffy eyes and contains compounds that refresh skin both inside and out. Mash up cucumber and mix with lemon juice and apply directly to the face for a refreshing mask, or place slices directly over the eyes to reduce swelling in minutes.
- Improves bone health—High levels of magnesium, calcium and vitamin K1 help in increasing bone health. Eat regularly if you consume a low meat or low dairy diet.
- Improves brain function—Cucumbers have high levels of copper, essential for brain health. A 2014 study shows a chemical in cucumbers is effective in fighting damage caused by Alzheimer’s.
- Shiny hair—Cucumber has hair growth strengthening silicone, sulfur, phosphorous and calcium, reducing hair loss and creating stronger hair shafts. Massage cucumber juice into your hair after bathing and allow it to sit about five minutes before rinsing.
How to use:
Cucumber is best used fresh, with or without the skin. Slice, dice or cut into “sticks” for salads, dips and snacking. Great in salads or infuse into water for a refreshing drink.