There are plenty of incredible health benefits of cucumber. Most people think cucumber is a vegetable, but the fact is that it is a fruit! From food to beauty and many more, this amazing green fruit is a wonder fruit indeed. In this article, we shall explore the many health benefits of cucumber.
There are two main types of cucumbers. They are:
- Slicing Cucumbers: These are eaten fresh, often in a salad. They can be 12 inches or longer and usually have smooth skin. They usually have smooth skin and have no bumps. This variety of cucumbers has less amount of a plant substance called cucurbitacin. This gives them a milder taste since cucurbitacin gives a bitter taste. Another result of containing less cucurbitacin means that it may make you burp less after you eat them. This variety of cucumbers is also called “seedless cucumbers”, “English cucumbers” or “European cucumbers.”
- Pickling cucumbers: This variety of cucumbers is much smaller and is the type used to make pickles. They can be 3-7 inches long, and they usually have bumps or spines on their skin. This variety of cucumbers contains more cucurbitacin. This means that they taste slightly more bitter than slicing cucumbers. However, cucurbitacin accounts for one of the many health benefits of cucumber.
To better understand the health benefits of cucumber, let’s take a look at the nutritional composition.
|Nutrient||Value (per 100g)|
As seen in the table above, 100g of cucumber contains 95% water. This is one of the major benefits of cucumber. There is a popular saying that few foods are as cool as a cucumber. This applies in many ways. In addition to the many health benefits of cucumber, it contains plenty of water and can keep you hydrated in hot weather. Another very important health benefits of cucumber is the peel. The peel of a cucumber is very rich in dietary fibre. As such, eating this wonder fruit without the peel can deprive you of this very important nutrient.
The health benefits of cucumber are discussed in detail below:
1. Low In Calories, High In Nutrients:
As seen in the table above, 100g of cucumber contains only 15kcal, while is packed with plenty of nutrients. The many nutrients give rise to the health benefits of cucumber.
This amazing health benefits of cucumber is high on our list. As earlier stated, cucumber contains 95% water. It is said that we can get up to 12% of our daily water requirement from the food we eat. This can be seen in the case of cucumber. For people who do not like to drink water, eating cucumber daily can ensure that they get part of the daily water requirement. Eating cucumber in hot water or after a workout can also help you stay hydrated. Cucumber is one of the most hydrating foods. This particular health benefits of cucumber is also important in maintaining a healthy intestine, preventing constipation and avoiding kidney stones.
3. For Strong Bones:
As seen in the table above, 100g of cucumber contains 16mg of calcium. Calcium is a mineral most often associated with healthy bones and teeth, although it also plays an important role in blood clotting, helping muscles to contract, and regulating normal heart rhythms and nerve functions. Eating a cucumber every day can help to supply your body with some of its calcium requirements.
4. Rich In Antioxidants:
Antioxidants are chemicals that fight free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive chemical species that cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress caused by free radicals is known to cause chronic illnesses in the body, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, etc. Antioxidants control the formation of these free radicals. Cucumber contains flavonoids and tannins, two groups of compounds that are especially effective at blocking harmful free radicals.
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5. Anti-Cancer Properties:
Cucumbers contain cucurbitacin. Cucurbitacin is a bitter nutrient contained in cucumber. Research suggests that cucurbitacin can help fight cancer, by stopping the reproduction of cancer cells in the body. This awesome health benefits of cucumber make it very important to individuals that are at high risk of cancer. Oncologists or cancer specialists ask their patients to consume cucumbers to restore the damaged cells in their bodies!
6. In Blood Pressure Regulation:
Cucumber is rich in potassium, magnesium and dietary fibre. These nutrients are known to lower blood pressure and as result, reduce the risk of heart disease.
7. Hair Health:
Cucumber contains sulphur and silicon. These substances can help to strengthen and rejuvenate the hair. Silicon has been found to deliver essential nutrients to your scalp and hair follicles and may help prevent hair breakage. Human hair is made from a protein called keratin, which is high in sulphur content. Sulphur gives healthy hair strength and elasticity. Tip: you might want to consider adding cucumber water to your hair care routine, to enjoy this health benefits of cucumber.
8. Weight Loss:
Cucumber can help you lose weight. This is possible because cucumber contains dietary fibre. Also, since cucumber is mostly water, you will feel fuller easily. In addition to this, as earlier stated, cucumber is low in calories and high in nutrients.
9. Cucumbers Aid In Digestion:
The dietary fibre contained in cucumbers can help to promote digestion and prevent constipation. Dietary fibre increases the weight and size of stool and also softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing the chance of constipation.
10. For A Healthy Heart:
Another health benefits of cucumber is that it contains no cholesterol, rich in potassium and is low in sodium. This is important in managing blood cholesterol and promoting a healthy heart.
9. In Blood Sugar Control:
Cucumber has a low glycemic index and is known to help reduce blood sugar levels. The glycaemic index (GI) is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates. It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is consumed on its own. Consuming cucumber does not cause an increase in blood sugar levels. This health benefits of cucumber is helpful in the control of diabetes and its many complications.
10. For Healthy Skin:
Ever wonder why people place cucumber slices on their eyes to combat eye bags? You’re about to find out why. Cucumbers have a cooling and soothing effect that decreases swelling, irritation and inflammation when used in a localized part of the body. Cucumber slices can be placed on the eyes can decrease morning puffiness or alleviate and treat sunburn when placed on the affected areas. The application of cucumber juice on the skin causes the skin to glow and makes it soft. Cucumber also has anti-inflammatory abilities that naturally lighten and revitalize the skin and reduce tanning. This also reduces wrinkles and fine lines.
11. For A Healthy Vision:
The vitamin A content of cucumber is necessary for eye health. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in maintaining vision, body growth, immune function and reproductive health.
12. For A Healthy Gut:
The fibre content in cucumber helps to promote a healthy gut. Eating enough fibre can prevent or relieve constipation, helping waste to move smoothly through the body. It also encourages healthy gut microbiota.
13. For A Healthy Oral Cavity:
Although we are expected to brush twice daily to keep our mouth clean, sometimes germs and death can remain in the mouth. Cucumber is rich in vitamin C and also contains plenty of water. This can help promote oral health.
How To Consume Cucumber
If you want to enjoy the many health benefits of cucumber, there are various ways to consume the wonder fruit.
One of the most popular ways cucumber is consumed is in salads. Cucumber can be diced and incorporated into your salads to provide a cooling taste and of course, its many vital nutrients and health benefits.
Cucumber also stars as a garnish. Some people like to garnish their food with slices or cubes of cucumber. Cucumber also stars in drinks and cocktails. Cucumber pairs very well with mint to create a truly cooling and rejuvenating drink which is of course packed with nutrients and the health benefits of cucumber.
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In this article, we have explored the health benefits of cucumber. Cucumber is a nourishing fruit, packed low in calories and packed with nutrients with lots of awesome health benefits. The health benefits of cucumber can be gotten more from eating the skin of cucumbers. There are lots of health benefits of cucumber which include, keeping the body hydrated, it promotes the formation of strong bones, keeping the skin healthy, controlling blood sugar, controlling blood pressure and many more. From salads to garnishes to cocktails, this wonder fruit can be consumed in different ways to enjoy the incredible health benefits of cucumber.