- Cucumbers ‘manage’ stress and anxiety
Cucumbers contain multiple B vitamins, including vitamin B1, B5, and B7 (biotin). B vitamins are known to help ease feelings of anxiety and buffer some of the damaging effects of stress.
- Cucumbers are a supporting pillar for your digestive health
Cucumbers are rich in 2 of the most basic elements needed for healthy digestion: water and fiber. Adding cucumbers to your main dish or salad or juice can help you meet your body’s need for the perfect amount of fiber— 50 grams per 1,000 calories consumed. If you struggle with acid reflux, you should know that drinking water can help suppress acute symptoms of acid reflux by temporarily raising stomach pH. So, it is possible that water-rich cucumbers may have a similar effect.
Cucumber skins contain insoluble fiber, which helps add bulk to your stool. This helps food to move through your digestive tract quickly. The more quickly your body waste gets out, the healthier you feel.
- Cucumbers maintain healthy pounds
Cucumbers are very low in calories, yet they make a stomach-filling meal (1 cup of sliced cucumber contains just 16 calories). The soluble fiber in cucumbers dissolves into a gel-like texture in your gut, helping to slow down your digestion. This helps you to feel full longer time and is one reason why fiber-rich foods help you to keep your weight in control!
- Most important, cucumbers support your heart health
Cucumbers contain potassium, which is related to lower blood pressure levels. A proper balance of potassium both inside and outside your cells is crucial for your body’s proper functioning.
Potassium is an electrolyte (that is a positive charged ion) that must maintain a certain concentration (about 30 times higher inside your cells than outside your cells) in order to carry out its functions. This includes interacting with sodium to help control nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction and healthy heart function.
Juicing cucumbers makes a great base for a vigorous day
You can enjoy cucumbers in many different ways, such as fermented or raw in vinegar-based salads. If you are looking for something quite different, cucumbers make an ideal base for your green juice due to their mild flavor and high water content. In fact, a simple juice of cucumber and celery is ideal for the novices in juicing!
From there you can work your way up to red-leafed lettuce, romaine lettuce, spinach, and escarole, along with parsley and cilantro. Juicing is actually an ideal way to consume cucumbers.
When you drink a cup of fresh-mixed green juice, it is almost like receiving an intravenous infusion of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes because they go straight into your system without having to be broken down. When your body has abundance of the nutrients it needs on a daily basis, your pH is optimally balanced, and you feel ‘red-bull energized’ in a natural way.
Organic cucumbers are worth your while
If you’re hesitant whether you should choose organic type of cucumbers over conventionally grown varieties, we’d suggest organic. Cucumbers were ranked the 12th most contaminated food and the second in cancer risk due to their pesticide residue, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Then, cucumbers are often waxed after harvest to withstand the long journey to market unscarred and to be protected against the many hands that touch it. While the wax is supposed to be food-grade and safe, there are different types used:
- Carnauba wax (from the carnauba palm tree)
- Shellac (from the lac beetle)
- Petroleum-based waxes
The natural waxes are far preferable to the petroleum-based waxes, which may contain solvent residues or wood rosins. Produce coated with wax is not labeled as such, but organic produce will not contain petroleum-based wax coatings (although it may contain carnauba wax or insect shellac).
The other potential problem is that wax seals in pesticide residues and debris, making them even more difficult to remove with just water. To reach the contaminants buried beneath the surface of your vegetables and fruits, you need a cleanser that also removes the wax. You could also peel the cucumber, but that is one of the most nutrient-dense parts of the cucumber (the other part is the seeds), so it is better to consume it if you can.
And… one more on cucumbers’ nutritional magic:
Flavonoids and tannins found in cucumbers have both free-radical scavenging and pain-relieving effects. Cucumbers also have a number of traditional folk uses as well.
As it was written in the Journal of Young Pharmacists: “Traditionally, this plant is used for headache. The seeds are cooling and diuretic, the fruit juice of this plant is used as a nutritive and as a demulcent in anti-acne lotions.”
As the fourth-most widely cultivated ‘vegetable’ in the world (cucumbers are technically a fruit), cucumbers are widely available, but seek to get them from a local farmer’s market if possible. Much better, cucumbers are very easy to grow, even if you only have access to a patio. They thrive in containers (provided they have somewhere to climb on) and yield ample produce from a small number of plants, so you just could try your hand at growing them yourself. You have nothing to lose, but a lot to gain. With cucumbers nothing is in vain!
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