Cucumber belongs to the genus Curcumis and is native to. South Asia. It is the fourth largest vegetable grown in the world. They are to be the best food for human health. This has made cucumbers known as “superfood”. They are cylindrical in shape and used as culinary vegetable round the world. It is mainly of three types or varieties: burp less, slicing and pickling.
Let’s have a look at the nutritional value of Cucumber
The nutritional breakdown of cucumbers: vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C and K), minerals (zinc, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and manganese), electrolytes (potassium and sodium) and dietary fiber. With so much of water, sugar, essential vitamins and minerals, electrolytes and fiber, both soluble and insoluble, cucumbers impart rewarding benefits to human health, some of the essential health benefits of cucumbers are discussed below.
Health Benefits of Cucumber:
- Anti-inflammatory – cucumbers help in inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes leading to unwanted inflammation. They help in cooling down the inflammation in the body and thus is considered to be one of the biggest advantage of cucumber.
- Antioxidant – cucumbers are rich in antioxidants (beta-carotene and vitamin C) and antioxidant flavonoids (luteolin, quercetin, kaempferol and apigenin), all of which are beneficial to health.
- Smoothens the nails and hairs – cucumbers contain silica, the wonder mineral, which helps in keeping the hairs and nails stronger and shiner.
- Treats skin diseases – cucumbers have a soothing and cooling effect. This will help in decreasing inflammation, swelling and irritation on the affected skin area. To remove puffiness under eyes, place thin slices of cucumbers on the eyes.
- Manages stress – the wide range of vitamins in cucumbers help in relieving from anxiety by easing the feelings and buffer the damaging stress factors. In today’s world which is full of hustle and bustle this incredible vegetable definitely proves to be a boon for getting rid of stress and this can be considered to be one of the biggest benefits of eating cucumber.
- Prevent dehydration – water, potassium and sodium in cucumbers serve as the best and perfect vegetable, especially for hot summers because they help in keeping the body hydrated. To increase water consumption, add water and cucumbers.
- Protects brain – cucumbers contain an important flavonol that helps in brain health called fisetin. It helps in improving memory and protects nerve cells from aging related decline process.
- Keeps cholesterol in level – cucumbers contain sterols that help in reducing bad and serum cholesterols.
- Supports heart health – due to high-potassium content, cucumbers are very good in maintaining a healthy heart. They help in nerve impulse transmission, lowering high blood pressure and muscle contraction.
- Prevents cancer – cucumbers are rich in phytonutrients called curcubitacins, which possess anti-cancer properties. They also contain essential polyphenols (secoisolariciresinol, pinoresinol and lariciresinol), which prevents the risk of developing cancers, especially ovarian, breast, uterine and prostate cancers.
- Freshens breath – cucumbers help in getting rid from bad odor in the mouth when kept at the roof of the mouth for some time. In addition, eating cucumbers help in releasing excess amount of stomach heat, which is the main reason of bad breath.
- Helps in weight loss – cucumbers are very low in calories and help in filling up the stomach easily. The soluble fiber in them turns into a gel-like texture inside the gut, thus slowing the digestion process. This keeps you full for a longer time. This is the main reason why all fiber-rich foods help in weight loss.
- Strengthens bones – reason for bone problems and fractures is lack of vitamin K in the body. Sufficient amounts of vitamin K in the body helps in calcium absorption for optimal bone health.
- Keeps kidneys in shape – cucumbers keep the kidneys happy by lowering the uric acid levels.
- Eases bowel movements – Cucumbers are rich in fiber and water, the two basic elements required for healthy digestion. The body’s fiber need can be easily met by adding cucumbers to salads and juices. They also contain insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to the stool. This eases the digestion by easy movement of food through your digestive tract and easily moves out of the body.
- Good for diabetics – cucumbers helps the pancreas in more insulin production.
- Cures hangover – Cut slices of a cucumber and have before going to bed. This will help in reducing and eliminating the morning’s headache or hangover. They are rich in essential nutrients and contain enough vitamins, sugar and water, thus reducing the intensity of the hangover.
Apart from cucumbers many helpful benefits, they can be enjoyed in varying forms: prepare pickles, cook with other vegetables, add to other fruits and blend to prepare a healthy juice, sliced out and consume with sprinkled salt and pepper, etc. This way you can easily add this valuable vegetable to your diet.