Vegetables

Cucumber’s Health Benefits

The cucumber is the fruit of the cucumber ( Cucumis sativus ), family Cucurbitaceae, creeping plant and original climbing the mountainous regions of India and that has adapted well to Brazil, mainly in the South and Southeast regions, where there are the largest plantations precisely the climate seasoned.

Usually eaten raw in the form of a salad, cucumber is refreshing and has a crunchy texture. About 95% of cucumbers are water, low in calories, very nutritious and rich in fiber. It is also consumed cooked, in stir-fries, in hot or cold soups, salted or preserved. In addition, cucumber, as it aids in the digestive process, has been widely used in so-called “detox juices”, consumed to eliminate impurities from the body.

Because it has antioxidant and moisturizing properties for the skin, cucumber is a component of several cosmetic products. Raw cucumber is also commonly used in aesthetic treatments and applied to the skin or under dark circles, for example, to tone and refresh, since the cucumber’s rigid husk and the water present protect its interior and ensure an always lower temperature than than that of the environment in which it finds itself.

Cucumber is a long fruit with a greenish rind. There are several types of cucumbers that vary in shape and size, the most common in Brazil are:

  • Pepino Caipira: is the most common type, easily found in fairs and supermarkets, it is widely used in salads. It has a pale green bark with white streaks.
  • Japanese cucumber: more elongated and thin, has a shiny dark green skin and a firmer pulp. It is the type most used to make the traditional Japanese sweet and sour salad.
  • Cucumber Aodai: It is a mixture of country cucumber and Japanese cucumber. It has color and flavor similar to Japanese and the size close to the country. Used to prepare salads and preserves.
  • Mini:  is the smallest and most commonly used for canning and snacks.

CUCUMBER BENEFITS AND HARMS

Cucumber is a low calorie food, about 15 calories per 100 grams, made up of a large part of water and dietary fiber, conditions that make it a beneficial food for those looking to lose weight.

Cucumber’s properties of toning the liver, kidneys and gallbladder and cleansing the body are due to its high fluoride and silica content. Other important minerals for the proper functioning of the body that are found in cucumbers are calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B2, Vitamin C and Vitamin K.

Other benefits of cucumber are: hydrating the body, improving bowel function, improving heart health, preventing certain types of cancer, contributing to the health of eyes, skin and hair.

To obtain these benefits, consuming 1 to 3 units of cucumber per week is sufficient. Cucumber is bad when consumed in excess, just like any other food. It can be harmful especially if you consume a lot of pickled cucumbers, as they can contain a lot of salt.

CUCUMBER BENEFITS

1.Benefits of cucumber for the skin

Cucumber improves the health of the skin, nails, eyes and hair. As it is rich in natural antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin K and carotenoids, it helps to delay premature aging and also acts as a moisturizer, which is why it is a substance commonly used in cosmetics. Minerals such as silicon and potassium are also beneficial to the skin.

Cucumber slices are applied to the skin and dark circles to reduce puffiness as they contain ascorbic acid and caffeic acid.

2.Helps to prevent some types of cancer

As it is rich in powerful antioxidants such as flavonoids and lignins, especially lariciresinol, pinoresinol and secoisolariciresin, its consumption helps to stabilize free radicals and reduce the metabolism of cancer cells. Cancers such as ovarian, prostate and breast cancer may have their incidence reduced.

3. Good for the heart

Cucumber, being low in fat and rich in water and fiber, improves blood circulation by reducing cholesterol. The potassium present also helps improve heart health by controlling the heartbeat and lowering blood pressure.

4.Beneficial for people with Diabetes

Cucumber has a very low glycemic index and helps in the production of beta cells needed for insulin synthesis in the body. The consumption of cucumber juice is beneficial for people with diabetes.

5. Improves bowel function

Because it is rich in fiber, cucumber improves bowel function, combats constipation and helps eliminate toxins.

6. Moisturizes the body

By having about 95% water in its composition, cucumber helps to hydrate the body and eliminate toxins.

7.Beneficial for joint health

The silica present in cucumber favors connective tissues, thus helping joints and arthritis pain.

8. Assists in weight loss

Cucumber is low in calories, has plenty of water and dietary fiber. Due to these characteristics, cucumbers lose weight and can be included in the diet without harm, on the contrary, fiber and water help to eliminate toxins and improve the functioning of the intestine. Fiber also controls the absorption of fat and makes you feel full, making you consume less food and fewer calories.

What is cucumber and lemon for

Cucumber juice with lemon has an antioxidant action that helps the body eliminate impurities from the body and burn localized fat. This juice helps in the weight loss process, as it speeds up the metabolism, eliminates measures, reduces bloating and promotes satiety, making you consume less food and calories. For those who want to know how to make cucumber juice, here is the recipe:

CUCUMBER JUICE WITH LEMON

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon with rind
  • 1 cucumber in the skin

Preparation mode:

Wash the lemon and cucumber and cut them into slices without removing the skins. In a blender, beat the lemon and cucumber together with a glass of water for 5 minutes. Strain and help yourself.

If you prefer, add honey or a few drops of sweetener. For those who want to lose weight, you can consume this juice three times a day.

CUCUMBER RECIPES

Cucumbers can be added to your menu in a variety of ways, from the traditional cucumber salad to creative recipes and appetizers like Cucumber Rolls filled with Avocado Cream, Cucumber Chips.

To enjoy the benefits of Japanese cucumber, there is the traditional Japanese recipe for Japanese cucumber salad, also called sunomono, often found in Japanese food restaurants.

JAPANESE CUCUMBER SALAD – SUNOMONO

Ingredients:

  • 3 thinly sliced ​​japanese cucumbers
  • 1 cup (tea) rice vinegar
  • 1 cup (tea) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seed

Preparation mode:

Place the cucumber in a bowl, add rice vinegar and sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. Then drain and season with salt and sesame.

CUCUMBER, MINT AND YOGURT SALAD RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 2 japanese cucumbers
  • 1 cup of natural yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 15 mint leaves

Preparation mode:

Wash the cucumber and cut into thin slices. Separate the mint leaves and wash, cut into thin strips. In a bowl, add yogurt and oil, season with salt and pepper, add cucumber and mint leaves.

HOW TO PLANT CUCUMBER

Cucumber is a highly cultivated vegetable that is best suited to areas with climates ranging from mild to warm. The cucumber is a climbing plant, whose branches can reach 1 to 3 m in length.

Planting should preferably be done directly in the soil, in holes 1.5 cm deep, as the seedlings do not support transplanting well. As they do not germinate well at temperatures below 20°C, cucumbers can be grown in greenhouses in regions with frost.

The most suitable soils are those rich in organic matter, fertile and well drained, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Choose a location that receives direct sunlight for at least a few hours a day and water frequently so your roots never dry out, but don’t overly soak the soil.

The cucumber harvest starts between 30 to 70 days after planting, depending on the growing conditions. Cucumbers intended for canning are harvested earlier when they reach 3 cm to 9 cm in length.

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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