Cucumis sativus or cucumber belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. These grow up as gourd fruits which are later used as vegetables.
Cucumbers could be used in many healthy recipes as they’re delicious and filled with many nutritional qualities.
Cucumbers can be eaten raw or taken as juice as well. Since they’re natural fruits used as vegetables, they’re extremely safe and nutritious.
People love eating cucumber slices as they’re extremely light and filled with vitamins that are excellent for your hair, skin, digestion and gut health.
No wonder cucumber products are widely available these days.
Constituents and Properties of Cucumber:
Cucumber is rich in Vitamin A, E, and C. It is famous for its watery and fibrous content.
Almost 78 volatile compounds related to flavour have been identified from cucumber fruits, including aldehydes, alcohols, esters, alkanes, furfurans, and others.
Cucumber contains a wide variety of biologically active, non-nutritive compounds known as phytochemicals, such as alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, phlorotannins, steroids, and saponins, among others. The seeds of cucumber contain many essential amino acids, histidine, and tyrosine.
Health Benefits & Uses of Cucumber:
Cucumbers are the favourite snack food for the summer season. When you feel like the sun is sucking the life out of your body, you can have a few slices of cucumber to keep yourself hydrated.
In a recent study conducted by Nutrition Data, it was proven how cucumbers are made of 95.2% of pure water and important amino acids.
This means if you consume about 5 ounces of cucumber, you will accomplish 26% of your daily water intake.
If you have a vitamin deficiency or do not eat a lot of nutritious foods, having just one raw cucumber could do. You get literally lots of nutrients in just one cucumber:
It is full of healthy Carbohydrates, Protein, Fibre, Vitamin C and K, Magnesium, Potassium, and Manganese. It has some healthy fats that are easily converted into energy.
You can avail more nutrients from a cucumber if you eat it with its peel.
Rich in Antioxidants
In order to prevent oxidation of your skin, bones, muscles, cells, tissues, and other organs, you need a lot of antioxidants that are not usually available in many foods today.
The flavonoids and tannins in the liquid component of cucumber can be very helpful in preventing the damage caused by free radicals.
Also, the antioxidants in cucumber are said to be more powerful than those of most fruits and vegetables. It can help prevent many chronic or fatal illnesses as well.
Cucumbers are vegetables that can be eaten raw like most fruits. However, many fruits contain lots of sugar and fats. Cucumber is a low-fat or should I say ‘fat-free’ vegetable!
You can hardly get 50 calories from a full bowl of cucumber slices. Since most of their content is water, including soluble fibres, you can easily digest them. They’re good for weight loss as well.
If you’re on a low-calorie diet, cucumbers can help you suppress appetite and lose some fat too.
Reduces High Blood Sugar
Since cucumber contains water content majorly, it can help flush out a lot of toxins from your body.
Including antioxidants from cucumber’s peel can not only detoxify your body but also reduce high blood sugar.
Research in PubMed explains how polyphenols, flavonoids and ascorbic acid contents of cucumber and its peels contain antidiabetic and antioxidative potentials.
Almost 80% of people could bring down their high blood sugar levels by consuming cucumber daily.
Constipation is often caused by toxin buildup and lack of hydration. Irregular Bowel Movements, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Piles, Diarrhea, Nausea, and Intestinal Diseases are often caused by similar reasons.
Consuming cucumbers daily can provide a lot of soluble fibres to your body.
It contains pectin, which is a very essential soluble fibre for the regularity of bowel movements. It soothes the intestinal muscles and lets the stool pass easily.
Refreshes Skin & Rejuvenates Skin Cells
Cucumbers are said to be extremely beneficial when used on your skin. Round slices of cucumbers are cut and put directly on your facial skin to ensure refreshed beauty.
Cucumber boosts the production of collagen that can help revive the cells and rejuvenate skin cells.
The anti-inflammatory properties of cucumber help reduce swelling, itching and inflammation of the skin.
It helps lighten the skin complexion and reduces fine lines and wrinkles too. Overall, cucumber is a great vegetable that helps your skin get plenty of anti sebum secretion, bleaching and moisturizing effects.
Gives a Cooling Effect to Eyes
Our eyes work tirelessly every day. We barely give any rest to the eyes. No wonder there are so many cosmetic products for eyes these days.
Keep slices of cucumber on your eyes for at least 10-15 minutes every day and improve eyesight and give a cooling effect to your eyes.
Cucumber slices can even reduce the puffiness around your eyes.
Improves Oral Health
Cucumber contains many phytochemicals in them which can help prevent oral health issues.
You may chew some slices of cucumber every day to prevent dental problems and bad breath.
Improves Hair & Nails Health
The silica content in cucumber may help improve the quality of your hair and nails. It helps the nails and hair become stronger so they don’t break easily.
The antioxidants help your hair remain young and strong too. As cucumber slices produce collagen, they’re really good for your hair.
Side Effects of Cucumber:
Cucumber is a commonly consumed food and generally recognized as safe. - By a study.
Although cucumbers are considered to be extremely safe for consumption, one should not eat too much as they may have some minor side-effects as well.
When you apply cucumbers on your skin, do not apply too much for the first time as it can have some allergic reactions on your skin too.
It is always advisable to consult a doctor before you eat any cucumber supplement.
Also, it is not advisable to buy random cucumber cosmetic products, you should consult a dermatologist always. Here are some of its possible side-effects as advised by WebMD.
- It may cause an upset stomach or diarrhoea.
- It may cause an allergic reaction in kids or pregnant women in rare cases.
- It may drop your blood sugar levels too low if you’re a diabetic.
- It may interfere with diabetes medicine.
- It shouldn’t be applied on the skin if you’re allergic to it. It may cause irritation of the skin.
Cucumber is everyone’s favourite as it can be used as a priority ingredient in a salad, dressings, pastes and a raw vegetable as well.
Make sure you include a little bit of cucumber in your diet.