This summertime vegetable has a large amount of health properties and benefits for your body, especially because of its high amount of water. Its calorie content is very low, which is why people who are on diets often eat it. It is also refreshing and has a lot of nutrients. Find out the main health properties of cucumber in the article below.
This is a food with a low calorie content and low amounts of carbohydrates. It has a good amount of fiber, as well as vitamins A, B, C, and E. It is a great source of water and a 100 gram amount has only 13 calories and 97% of it is liquid.
In regards to minerals, cucumbers are a vegetable that is very rich in potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
You can eat them raw in salads, many people cut them into slices and sprinkled with salt to get rid of the bitter taste a little bit. It is also very common to eat cucumbers pickled in vinegar or oil. In salads, you can eat them grated, as well as an ingredient in sandwiches. For example, in Spain, cucumber is known as one of the ingredients that makes up a typical dish: gazpacho (with tomato, pepper, garlic, and olive oil).
They say its native to India, but this is uncertain. It has been grown in West Asia for 3 thousand years and it was probably brought to Europe by the Romans. It belongs to the same family as watermelon, melon, and pumpkin. Although people say its a vegetable, cucumbers are a fruit in reality.
What Are Cucumbers Used For?
The great nutritional value of cucumbers make it a “super food” and beneficial for your health in general. These are some of the benefits that cucumbers give you if you eat them frequently:
- Health properties of cucumbers for your skin: Cucumber skin is used in various esthetic treatments because this part of the vegetable is where the caffeic acids, ascorbic, and vitamin C are found in the highest concentrations. They help keep your skin healthy, relieve irritation, and reduce inflammation. For that reason, cucumber can be applied directly to your skin and is a “classic” in the collective image of spas and beauty treatments for your eyes. Cucumbers also help fight diseases like eczema and psoriasis. And not just cucumber skin is good when used externally, but it can also be consumed in a smoothie by grating it and adding a little bit of water and the juice from half a lemon to clean and cleanse your body.
- Properties of cucumbers for your tissues: One of the ingredients of cucumbers is silica, which has a lot of health benefits. This is a mineral with the ability to strengthen the connective tissues of your body or in other words, your muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and even your bones. It helps keep your skin healthy, which is why it is found in many creams for acne treatment and skin diseases.
- Properties of cucumber for the cardiovascular system: It has good amounts of magnesium, fiber, and potassium. These three components help reduce blood pressure.
- Properties of cucumber for digestion: If you have digestive problems like frequent acidity or stomach bloating, don’t hesitate to eat cucumber because it will give you fiber, water, potassium, and magnesium, which are all found in its skin.
The other advantages of eating cucumbers:
- It is an amazing diuretic because it is almost completely composed of water, which makes it recommended for getting rid of excess fluids, as well as fat, from the body
- It is good for balancing uric acid levels and recommended for people that have hypertension or fluid retention (which happens to your ankles)
- It is very rich in cellulose, which is why you need to chew it correctly to prevent indigestion
- It is a good repairer for the mucus in your intestines, which also makes it very good for protecting your stomach
- Has little energy in the form of calories, which helps you keep vitality and also lowers the amount of fat
- It helps get rid of toxins in the body
- It keeps your defenses in a good state because of its content of B complex vitamins (specifically B3, B5, and B9), carbohydrates, fat, and “good” protein
- It protects you from colds because of its vitamin C content. It also helps injuries heal
- It slows down skin and cell aging because of its A, C, and E vitamins
- It is a powerful protector of the toxins found in food and the environment
Contraindications of Cucumbers
We don’t recommend eating cucumbers, a fruit that is very healthy and with few risks, in some cases. For example, because it has an ingredient called cucurbitacin, it causes indigestion and stomach gas, which is why people that are susceptible to suffering from this disease should reduce their consumption of this fruit. Other people can also have allergies to some ingredients in the cucumber and their tongue, throat, or mouth can get swollen.
If you consume it in excess, cucumber can cause dehydration because of its powerful diuretic properties. However, there are not many cases in which this contraindication happened. You would need to eat a few kilos of cucumber in a day to suffer a shortage in the levels of water in the body.
Images courtesy of Stacy Spensley, Karen and Brad Emerson, Windell Oskay, Andy Melton, theilr, natalycolodi, Peter Oelschlaeger and liz west.