Cucumbers belong to the same botanical family as squashes, melons, and pumpkins. It is probably one of the most commonly eaten vegetables around the world. It is mainly seen being used in fresh green salads and sometimes for garnishing. Yet, we are still unaware of the full potential and health benefits of this commonplace vegetable, and it is usually taken for granted.
Speaking from the commercial point of view, cucumbers are of two main types:
- Slicing type these cucumbers have a large size and thick skin, which is easy to peel off. This type is generally used for fresh consumption, such as in green salads.
- Pickling type These are relatively smaller in size as compared to the slicing kind and also have thinner skin. These are mostly used after processing as in pickles and fermentation.
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And because cucumbers are taken for granted, their overall nutritious profile has not been emphasized enough in comparison to are their healthy vegetables. This nutritional profile comprises of essential nutrients and minerals such as Vitamin C, B1, K, biotin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, and up to 73 different phenolic compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Now we will discuss the numerous health benefits of the cucumber, few of which you may already be familiar with but most of them will come as a surprise for you!
Water is the primary necessity for sustaining our life. Our body cells required a constant supply of water to function correctly. We fulfill most of this requirement by drinking water, and the rest is supplied through food. Hence, in this regard, cucumbers are very important as they contain about 95% water, which is more than any other vegetable.
For those of you who don’t know, antioxidants are chemical compounds that protect the body cells from damage caused by free radicals. Cucumbers are loaded with such chemicals that actors as antioxidants like Vitamin C, manganese, lignans, beta carotenes, triterpenes, and flavonoids.
In all the weight-loss oriented diets, cucumbers are a must component. The reason for this is that cucumbers are high in water and fiber. Both of these are correlated with losing and maintaining a healthy weight.
Cancer & Heart Disease
Cucurbitacin, a plant nutrient found in cucumbers, has anti-cancer properties. Moreover, there are certain phenolic compounds in cucumbers, such as lignans, that can reduce the risk of cancer and various cardiovascular disorders.
Cucumbers contain appreciable amounts of vitamin K, which function in the development and maintenance of bone health. When cucumbers are consumed along with vitamin D rich foods, these two complement each other very well, as vitamin D is responsible for the deposition of calcium from the blood to bones.
Brain and memory
Recent researches on cucumbers have shown that its flavonoids are associated with the improvement of memory, protection of nerve cells, plus they also decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. These flavonoids also have anti-cancerous properties and can prevent brain cancer.
Skin and aging
This health benefit isn’t actually in the category of diet, but rather, it falls in the cosmetic domain. Cucumbers are extensively used for skin, either as fresh or in the form of cosmetic products. This is due to the refreshing and anti-wrinkle properties possessed by cucumbers that are used to cope with the effects of aging on the skin.
Some further health-related advantages of cucumbers are that they play a role in boosting immunity, help in improving in maintaining good eyesight, they function to detoxify the body, and also have the ability to promote hair growth.