Cucumber is part of the Cucurbitaceae family of fruits—yes, cucumber is a fruit—along with watermelon, pumpkins, and many types of squashes. Cucumber is known for its many health and many nutritional benefits. It has been part of the Mediterranean diet for a very long time and has been cultivated in India for centuries both for food and medicinal use.
Cucumber is an easy food to incorporate into your diet, especially if you want to start eating healthier by adding more fruits and vegetables to your meals. It’s the kind of fruit that’s packed with nutrition and health benefits and has been used since ancient times because of these beneficial properties. They have been staples in spas and healthy recipes throughout the world. Even Filipinos see the benefits that cucumber provides to their body and are enjoyed especially because of its refreshing taste plus its cooling effects to the body.
Read further for health benefits of cucumber:
1. Can aid in weight loss
For a long time, cucumbers are popular ingredients to include in diet meals because of their low-calorie contents as well as their high water content that’s also full of wonderful nutrients. In other words, cucumber is a great food to snack on without the weight gain from too many calories. They also contain fiber that can help with feeling full without the added weight. Additionally, cucumber is a great alternative ingredient to replace otherwise high-calorie foods.
Check out this Cold Cucumber Salad Recipe
2. Are great for hydration
As said above, cucumbers have high water contents that are great for hydration. Cucumbers are 95.2% water and the fluids found in cucumbers are also full of health beneficial nutrients that like magnesium and potassium that helps us stay hydrated and are good for our system. So eating plenty of cucumbers in your diet will keep you from being dehydrated.
Adding slices of cucumber into the water we drink adds flavor and entices us to drink more, helping with our hydration. Staying hydrated is important because it aids the observation of the nutrients we put in our body by the foods we eat. Keeps our intestines healthy, prevents constipation and prevents the development of kidney stones.
See: 15 Healthy Native Filipino Food
3. Promotes bone health
Studies show that a nutrient that is a major promoter in bone health is Vitamin K. Cucumbers are a good source of Vitamin K that helps keep the bones healthy with steady consumption, especially for women. Low Vitamin K diets are proven to increase the chances of bone fracture, so it is important to eat Vitamin K rich foods like cucumber and add it to their diet. Additionally, calcium is also found in cucumbers that with the combination of Vitamin K can help strengthen the bones because of Vitamin K aids in the absorption of calcium in the body.
4. May help prevent cancer
There are promising studies that found cucumbers to contain nutrients that can aid in preventing different types of cancers. Particularly, the two compounds found in cucumber called lignans and cucurbitacins show promising evidence that they can inhibit the development of pancreatic cancer and estrogen-related cancers respectively.
The cucurbitacins found in cucumber helps in the prevention of cancer by stopping cancer cells from spreading and surviving, while lignans are shown to help prevent estrogen-related cancers by being converted into compounds that bind into estrogen receptors. This may help prevent the development of cancers such as ovarian cancer.
Check out this Basic Cucumber Salad Recipe
5. Very good for the skin
Cucumbers have been used in spas for centuries. You’ve probably seen promotions for spas with pictures of customers with cucumber slices on their lids. That is because cucumbers are shown to be very good for our skin when used topically. Cucumbers are proven to possess anti-inflammatory properties that help soothes and cools our skin from inflammation, irritation, swelling, and sunburns.
Additionally, when ingested, cucumbers can help brighten the skin and makes it look overall healthier because of their high silica content. Silica is an essential component that helps in the development of connective tissues in our body, including skin tissues.
Check out this Easy Cucumber Lemonade Recipe
6. May help protects the brain from neurological diseases
Cucumbers are rich in fisetin content which is an anti-inflammatory substance that can also be found in strawberries and grapes. Recent studies have shown that fisetin may help in protecting nerve cells and improve memory. This can help in reducing the risk of the development of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. Fisetin also shows promising evidence of helping reduce Alzheimer’s disease in mice and helping Alzheimer’s patients maintain cognitive functions. Cucumbers are also high in antioxidants that can help fight off free radicals in the brain that causes the development of neurological diseases.
7. Promotes cardiovascular health
Cucumbers have high fiber content, as stated above, especially in its skin. Eating more fiber can help reduce the build-up of cholesterol in the body and prevent cardiovascular problems that result in too much cholesterol. Cucumber is also rich in potassium that helps lower blood pressure. Studies have shown consuming cucumber can give the body its required daily intake with significantly fewer calories like bananas. The decrease in blood pressure caused by potassium can help prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases, strokes, and aneurysm. Additionally, cucumbers contain antioxidants called flavonoids which are proven to prevent the development of heart disease.
8. Can help manage diabetes
If you’re diabetic, cucumbers are an ideal food to add to your diet. Cucumber and other foods in its family contain the compound called Cucurbita ficfolia which can reduce and control spikes of blood sugar in the body, preventing diabetic symptoms from acting up. Cucumbers are also shown to have low GI content that makes it an ideal nutritional ingredient for them to eat and include in their diet.
Although more research is needed, it is theorized that eating cucumber can help in the stimulation of insulin release in the body through a compound called cucurbitacins found in cucumber. It is also theorized that cucurbitacins can help activate and regulate a key hormone that can help process the blood sugar and hepatic glycogen.
See also: Top 9 Worst Food for A Diabetic
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