Cucumbers, squash, cantaloupe, zucchini, pumpkin, and watermelon all these belong to the Cucurbitaceae family. Alike watermelon, cucumbers comprise of almost 95 percent water. Hence, it is suggested to eat them in scorching summers so as to stay hydrated. Consuming them throughout the year won’t do you any harm either; rather you would always stay fit and fine owing to the large amount of nutrients. Cucumbers, scientifically known as Cucumis sativus, are well-off in vitamin K, C and B, copper, potassium, molybdenum, sulfur, silica, folate, and manganese. In addition, the unique polyphenols present in cucumbers decrease the risk of various chronic diseases. There are two prominent ways to use them – as a part of salad or as pickle. This juicy pale green foodstuff has a lot of health benefits, read on to know them all.
Health Benefits of Cucumber
1. Brain Health
Cucumbers play a significant role in maintaining the health of the brain. It contains an anti-inflammatory flavonol called fisetin, which ensures proper functioning of the brain. Some other added advantages of having cucumber are that it sharpens memory and safeguards nerve cells even in aged people.
2. Decreases the Risk of Cancer
Cucumbers comprise of polyphenols called lignans (pinoresinol, secoisolariciresinol and lariciresinol,). It helps lower down the risk of various cancers like breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate. The phytonutrients / cucurbitacins in cucumbers have anti-cancer properties.
3. Combats Inflammation
As per the studies, cucumbers were found to have cooling properties, which is why they can be used to treat inflammation in certain conditions like arthritis, asthma, and gout. It inhibits the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes (including cyclo-oxygenase 2, or COX-2). Cucumber eliminates uric acids, thereby relieving inflammation in joints.
4. Antioxidant Properties
Cucumbers are packed with abundant antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene. Apart from this, they also contain antioxidant flavonoids, like quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, and kaempferol, which make it beneficial for the overall health.
5. Refreshes Breath
Put a cucumber slice in your mouth to get rid of bacteria that is responsible for bad odor. It is also considered to be great for releasing excessive heat present in stomach, which is claimed to be the chief reason behind bad breath.
6. Controls Stress
Cucumbers have abundance of B vitamins such as vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and vitamin B7 (biotin). B vitamins are famous for relieving anxiety and lessening the ill effects of stress.
7. Digestive Health
Cucumber is a miraculous foodstuff when it comes to digestion related issues as they are enriched with water and fiber – these two are the prime elements needed for proper digestion. Hence, it is often recommended to those suffering from constipation and piles. If you are troubled due to acid reflux, then have it in the form of salad. In addition, the skin of cucumber contains insoluble fiber, which makes your stool bulky along with easing the movement of food through the digestive tract.
8. Fights Intestinal Worm
The seeds of cucumber are useful to eliminate stomach worms. It is the easiest way to get rid of tapeworm from the intestinal tracts. These seeds also have anti-inflammatory properties which effectually heals the swollen mucous membranes of the nose and throat.
9. Manage Weight
The soluble fiber present in cucumbers converts into a gel in the belly. This not only slows down the process of digestion, but also keeps you fuller. That’s why all the fiber-rich foodstuffs are suggested when one follow up with strict weight loss regime. Also, they are very low in calories.
10. Heart Healthy
Cucumbers have a lot of potassium, which is related to low blood pressure. An appropriate balance of potassium is vital for the proper functioning of the overall body. Cucumber also helps control muscle contraction and nerve impulse transmission.
11. Hydrates the Body
It’s essential to keep your body hydrated if you want to maintain the correct body temperature. Cucumber fulfills the requirement of water in the body. Cucumber water also perks up the flavor of regular water.
12. Lower Blood Pressure
Raised blood pressure is very dangerous as it gives way to several diseases like stroke, kidney failure, vision loss, etc. So, you got another reason to replace normal water with cucumber-celery juice. This awesome drink normalizes the blood pressure due to sodium and minerals.
Drink a glass of cucumber water to trim down extra cravings. Generally, people confuse their urge to drink water with hunger. Most of the time, folks end up eating when it’s actually the water call. Cucumber water can help one recognize if it’s hunger signaling or thirst.
14. Stronger Muscles
Building muscles or not is a matter of choice. But, everyone should maintain stronger muscles. The silica content in cucumbers aids in strengthening tissues of muscles. So, have cucumber water for a healthy lifestyle along with complete nutrition, which will take care of your muscles.
15. Prevents Heat Stroke
Cucumber is great for those who experience extra heat and sweat during summers. Prepare a glass of cucumber and celery juice to prevent heat stroke and attain normal body temperature. It also provides relief from heartburn internally.
16. Boosts up Immunity
Surprisingly, this foodstuff has a bunch of vitamins like A, B, C which are essential for the strong immune system. Combine carrot, spinach and cucumber in a blender to make a fabulous juice. Cucumber juice provides you with instant energy.
17. Eases Joint Pain
All the vitamins and minerals that are present in cucumber make it efficient enough to combat ache in joints or even muscles.
18. Maintains the Health of Kidneys
Have cucumber in the form of salad to lower down the levels of uric acid in your body, which ensures the health and well-being of the kidneys. Cucumber juice is diuretic in nature and helps dissolve kidney stones.
19. Excellent for Diabetics
Consume cucumber in different forms like puree, juice, etc., if you are a diabetic. You are going to love it entirely. Cucumber contains a hormone that triggers the production of insulin in the body.
20. Reduces Cholesterol
A compound namely Sterols found in cucumber significantly lessens the amount of bad cholesterol in our system.
To counter hangover in the morning, have slices of cucumber at night. Since it contains sufficient sugar, electrolytes and B vitamins, it reloads you with all the required nutrients along with decreasing the severity of both hangover and headache.
22. Treats Ulcers
The alkaline nature of cucumber juice neutralizes the acidity and maintains pH of the blood. It keeps duodenal and gastric ulcers at bay.
Beauty Benefits of Cucumber
23. Soothes the Skin
Cucumber works the best for all your skin woes. Usually, it is used in beauty products like face packs or masks. Even though drinking enough cucumber water ensures the health of skin. Specifically, to heal acne prone skin, tanning or blemishes inwardly, put a few slices of cucumber on the affected areas. Besides, it is also helpful in case of eczema and psoriasis. The silica content in this foodstuff is intensely beneficial for the skin. Alternatively, you can also use cucumber water on the problematic areas.
24. Good for Eyes
It’s an age-old technique to place slices of cucumber on eyes whenever one feels eye strain. It lessens puffiness, swelling, dark circles, and irritation, thereby providing relaxation to eyes.
25. Nice Nails & Hair
The presence of mineral called silica and sulfur in cucumbers makes the appearance of hair and nails smooth and shinier. It also accelerates hair growth. You can mix its juice with carrot, spinach or lettuce.