Cucumber, popularly known as ‘khira/kheera’ or ‘kakdi’ in Hindi, cucumber is one of the oldest cultivated crops, believed to have originated in the Indian subcontinent particularly South Asia.
It is also known as ‘Dosakaya’ in Telugu, ‘Kakkarikkari‘ in Tamil, ‘Kani Vellarikka‘ in Malayalam, ‘Kakdi‘ in Gujarati, ‘Sosha‘ in Bengali, ‘Kakadi‘ in Marathi, and ‘Tar‘ in Punjabi.
Cucumber or Cucumis sativus is a creeper that belongs to the Cucurbitaceous family.
It has a light to dark green color, thin skin, moisture-rich flesh with tiny edible seeds inside, and is enjoyed best in salads, sandwiches, or as a juice. It has a high water content that helps keep your body hydrated, and the low calorie content makes it a great choice for a weight loss diet.
Cucumber health benefits includes reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, healthy weight management, detoxifying the body, enhancing the skin, supporting eye health, alkalizing the blood, and treating cancer.
Other benefits includes combating bad breath, supporting digestion, controlling blood sugar level, maintaining adequate blood pressure, supporting bones, repairing hairs, supporting nails and supporting dental health. The health benefits are:
Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: The ingredients in the cucumber play an important role in maintaining a healthy heart – with trace elements of potassium and magnesium; you can improve your body’s neurological function along with keeping your blood pressure under control.
Cucumbers also contain lignin, which is referred to as an anti-inflammatory element that helps boost your immunity and reduces the occurrence of all the risks associated with cardiovascular disease.
Healthy Weight Management
Cucumbers are a useful supplement to reduce weight. You can enjoy your meals by adding it in your diet you can either eat it in your salad or mix it in yogurt or eat it whole – the point is it will help you lose weight faster.
Cucumbers help the liver to remove impurities, waste, and also helps completely eliminate accumulated toxins from your blood stream and gut. It also helps the body to pass out more urine in order to remove toxins. Drinking cucumber beverages speed up the detoxification process.
Good For Your Skin
You can use it as a home remedy to nourish your skin by applying a thick paste on your face. The natural face mask will provide you with a soothing and cold effect. It also protects the skin from dryness, acne, skin irritation and other skin issues.
Good For Your Eye Health
It moisturizes all the skin around your eyes as it contains 95 per cent water. Vitamin E plays a crucial role in improving your skin, enhancing collagen production, acting as a natural, anti-wrinkle agent. Moreover, eating cucumbers on a regular basis helps enhance your vision as it contains several anti-inflammatory and antioxidants that can help steer you clear of cataracts.
Hyper-pigmentation forms dark circles around the skin of your eyes mainly due to restlessness, cucumbers are the best option for it. The antioxidant present in the cucumber eliminates skin irritation. As you know vitamin C in cucumbers lighten your skin tone, so you should incorporate cucumbers in your beauty routine as well.
Alkalizes Your Blood
Keeping your body’s pH level optimal can help eliminate free radical cells, which are acidic and cause symptoms associated with cancer. Drinking cucumber water on a daily basis can keep increase your body’s alkalinity.
Cucumbers contain fisetin, caffeic acid, cucurbitacins, lutein, which have the capability to reduce cancerous symptoms at the early stages. The phytochemicals in the vegetable have strong anti-cancer properties including antioxidants, which eliminate the free radical cells and boost your immunity.
Eating it whole or juicing the vegetable can reduce the occurrence of breast, ovarian, prostate, uterine and lung cancer due to the presence of flavonoids such as fisetin and caffeic acid.
Combats Bad Breath
Placing cucumber slices in your mouth can help you to get rid of bad breath by eliminating bad-odor causing bacteria along with eliminating the formation of microbes, which can also lead to oral health complications and gum disease.
Optimal Digestive Health
To keep your gut health, you have to incorporate foods that are fibrous, and cucumbers are one of those foods. The vegetable also contains an enzyme referred to as “erepsin”, which improves the process of digestion – and helps the body adequately absorb protein.
Pectin in cucumber facilitates the normal flora of the intestine. It also manages the bowel movement and softens the stool due to its high water content, which helps treat constipation, gastritis, ulcer and many other stomach related disorders.
Studies have found it effective against diabetes and medical scientists recommend eating cucumber peels, which helps maintain an adequate blood sugar level. Plus, eating its peels can also reduce oxidative stress. A hormone in cucumber helps the pancreas to utilize insulin that converts the carbohydrates into energy.
Maintains Adequate Blood Pressure
The rich amount of magnesium, fiber and potassium makes cucumbers useful in maintaining the right blood pressure – which should not be too high or too low. It also helps lower the pressure in arteries and keeps them hydrated. This is one of the main reasons why cucumbers are recommended to people battling hypertension.
Stronger Bones, Nails and Teeth
Cucumber contains ascorbic acid and caffeic acid, both of which help strengthen your body’s ligaments, cartilage, tendons and bones. The vegetable also contains silica in it, which helps in the formation of connective tissue, which helps strengthen weakened bones.
As it also contains protein, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, folic acid and silicon – it enhances the bone health.
If dry and rough hair is your problem then try making some cucumber paste, mixing it with water. Then just gently massage the concoction on your head and you will gradually see the difference on your hair and scalp health.
Also, you can easily juice cucumbers and add a mix of other vegetable such as carrots and beetroots to stay hydrated and at the same time enhance your metabolism.
Moreover, the seeds inside a cucumber contain magnesium, which is ideal for people who suffer from a deficiency of this nutrient. Consuming cucumbers with other fluid containing foods such as lime, avocado, celery, and fennel helps you to deal with stomach pain and abdominal tightening.
Conclusively, cucumbers contain a plethora of powerful nutrients and vitamins, which are essential for supporting your overall physical and mental health. Try to incorporate as much of the vegetable you can.
By Olabiyi Ololade