Fresh cucumbers are an incredibly delicious refreshment in the hot summer days, but apparently, they are also ones of the healthiest vegetables one can consume! They are full of water, electrolytes, and nutrients, and very low in calories.
Cucumbers belong to the Cucurbitaceae family, alongside squash, melons, and pumpkins. These veggies are native to the northern Himalayan plains of India but are nowadays grown all around the globe.
Cucumbers are rich in potassium, manganese, copper, potassium, vitamin K, B vitamins, and vitamin C, so they are a tasty way to correct the deficiencies of these nutrients. They are also loaded with unique polyphenols and other compounds that lower the risk of many chronic diseases.
Here are several good reasons to start consuming cucumbers on a daily basis:
1. It promotes hydration
Water is crucial to your body’s function, playing numerous important roles. It is involved in processes like temperature regulation and the transportation of waste products and nutrients. In fact, proper hydration can affect everything from physical performance to metabolism.
Cucumbers are composed of about 96 percent water, so they are especially effective at promoting hydration and can help you meet your daily fluid needs.
2. It prevents constipation and kidney stones
Cucumbers are a perfect blend of both fiber and water. Therefore, they help to protect your body from constipation and kidney stones. Cucumber is also a good source of vitamin C, silica, potassium, and magnesium; all of which have their own health benefits.
These fruits have an extraordinary amount of water that is naturally purified, thus making the water content much higher in quality than ordinary water. Cucumber skin contains high levels of vitamin A, so you will gain more nutrition if you eat the entire thing.
3. It regulates blood pressure
The American Heart Association (AHA) encourage people to eat more fiber, as this can help prevent a buildup of cholesterol and the cardiovascular problems that can result from this. Cucumbers are a good source of fiber, particularly in the skin. They also provide potassium and magnesium.
The AHA also recommends reducing sodium and increasing potassium intake to help prevent high blood pressure. The cucurbitacins in cucumber may also help prevent atherosclerosis.
4. It manages diabetes
Researchers have concluded that cucumbers may help control and prevent diabetes. Cucumber peel, too, has been found to help with symptoms of diabetes in experimental animals.
One theory is that the cucurbitans in cucumber stimulate insulin release and regulate the metabolism of a key hormone in the processing of blood sugar, hepatic glycogen. They also have a low score on the glycemic index (GI), which means they provide important nutrients without adding carbohydrates that can increase blood glucose.
5. It may aid in weight loss
Cucumbers could potentially help you lose weight because they are low in calories. Each one-cup (104-gram) serving contains just 16 calories, while an entire 11-ounce (300-gram) cucumber contains only 45 calories. This means that you can eat plenty of cucumbers without packing on the extra calories that lead to weight gain. Furthermore, the high water content of cucumbers could aid in weight loss as well.
6. Healthy gums and fresh breath
Cucumbers contain nutrients that heal and refresh the gums. Moreover, they are high in phytochemicals that fight bad breath and destroy bacteria.
7. Skin health
Doctors often recommend cucumber juice because of the silica content for a healthier and brighter skin. Cucumber’s high water content makes it naturally hydrating, and it is well known that moisture is the best friend to healthy skin, so why not acquire the hydration naturally! The extract of cucumbers is often used topically for treating various types of skin ailments like sunburn and swelling under the eyes.
You will be quite surprised to know that this squash also promotes healthy hair growth and can treat skin ailments like psoriasis, eczema, and acne.
8. Protects your vision
Moderate amounts of vitamin A (especially in the skin, in addition to other antioxidants found in cucumber, can help to protect our vision health as we age. Macular degeneration is caused by oxidative stress in the center of the retina, causing strain in vision, but cucumber can eliminate those free radicals before they can do serious damage.
9. Prevents cancer
Cucumbers contain polyphenols called lignans (pinoresinol, lariciresinol, and secoisolariciresinol), which may help to lower your risk of breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers. They also contain phytonutrients called cucurbitacins, which also have anti-cancer properties.
According to the George Mateljan Foundation: Scientists have already determined that several different signaling pathways required for cancer cell development and survival can be blocked by the activity of cucurbitacins.
10. Protect your brain
Cucumbers contain an anti-inflammatory flavonol called fisetin that appears to play an important role in brain health. In addition to improving your memory and protecting your nerve cells from age-related decline, fisetin has been found to prevent progressive memory and learning impairments in mice with Alzheimer’s disease.