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Interesting health benefits of cucumber

Published:Wednesday | April 13, 2016 | 4:00 AM

Did you know that cucumber is quite an amazing vegetable, loaded with nutritional benefits? Cucumber, or Cucumis sativus, belongs to the same family as melon and squash. High in water content, researchers have discovered that it contains three beneficial lignans (lariciresinol, pinoresinol and secoisolariciresinol), which have been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as several different types of cancer, including ovarian, prostate, breast and uterine.

 

NUTRITIONAL POWERHOUSE

Cucumber is a superfood containing almost all the vitamins you need each day, including B vitamins, vitamin C, fibre, vitamin K1, copper, potassium and manganese. Eat just one cucumber daily for your intake of multivitamins.

 

AN ENERGY BOOST

The carbohydrates and B vitamins in cucumber provide sustaining energy that can last for hours.

 

GREAT FOR HANGOVER

Eat a cucumber right before bed and your hangover pains will be lessened. Cucumber contains a mix of B vitamins, sugar and electrolytes that keep you hydrated and feeling great after too much alcohol consumption.

 

REDUCE SUGAR CRAVINGS

Reduce cravings by snacking on cucumber slices rather than reaching for sugary snacks. You can sprinkle them with salt or cinnamon or pepper if you like.

 

REDUCE STRESS

If you are having a very stressful day, boil a few slices of cucumber and breathe in the steam. The aroma of cucumber can promote feelings of calm and relieve anxiety. Even better, add a few drops of lavender essential oil. Lavender is known for its anxiety-reducing properties.

 

ELIMINATE BAD BREATH

If you suffer from halitosis, aka bad breath, you may want to consider eating cucumber instead of reaching for sugary breath mints. Phytochemicals in cucumbers kill bacteria that cause bad breath and cavities. Eat a slice after each cup of coffee or meal for breath that stays fresh all day long.

 

IMPROVES DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

If you are experiencing constipation, cucumbers can help. Cucumbers are high in fibre, which can keep you regular and keep your digestive system working properly.

 

GOOD FOR DETOX

Because of its high water content, cucumber is not only good at keeping the body hydrated, but it is also good for detoxifying. A study published in the journal Fitoterapia found that cucumber has a cleansing action within the body by removing accumulated pockets of old waste materials and chemical toxins. Eating cucumbers daily will help keep toxins from building up in the body.

 

BOOST THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

The blend of nutrients in cucumber is great for boosting the immune system and treating common ailments like the common cold and flu viruses. The anti-inflammatory properties of cucumber fight inflammation of the nose and throat when you are suffering from a cold.

 

REGULATE BLOOD PRESSURE

High levels of potassium in cucumber help regulate blood pressure by boosting electrolyte levels and mitigating the damaging effects of sodium overconsumption.

 

FIGHT FREE RADICALS

Cucumber, like melon, is high in antioxidants. This prevents the spread of free radical damage that can lead to premature ageing and cancer.

 

REDUCE BLOATING

The high water content and potassium in cucumber make it a mild diuretic that can fight bloating, so whenever you feel bloated, just eat a cucumber.

 

BUILD STRONG BONES

Cucumber is high in magnesium, calcium, and vitamin K1 - all essential for bone health. Eat cucumber regularly if you are on a low-meat or low-dairy diet.

 

BOOST BRAIN FUNCTION

Cucumber is naturally high in copper, which is essential for brain function. A study published in the journal Aging Cell found that the chemical known as festin, commonly found in cucumber, is effective at fighting the damage of Alzheimer's disease.

 

REDUCE PUFFY EYES

Nutrients in cucumber make it effective at relieving inflammation, both internally and externally. Place fresh cucumber slices directly on to swollen areas to reduce puffiness within just a few minutes.

 

REJUVENATE THE SKIN

Cucumber contains compounds that refresh and rejuvenate the skin from both the inside out and outside in. Create a pulpy mixture of cucumber and a few drops of lemon juice and apply directly to the face for a mask that is both healthy and refreshing.

 

FOR STRONG, SHINY HAIR

Cucumber contains silicone, sulphur, phosphorus and calcium, all necessary for healthy hair growth. Eating cucumber regularly can reduce hair loss and strengthen hair shafts. The compounds in cucumber also help hair look shiny and healthy. Massage cucumber juice into your hair after bathing and allow it to sit for about five minutes before rinsing away with lukewarm water.

So, try adding a few of these uses for this superfood to your weekly routine and soon you will feel energised, refreshed and stress-free.

yourhealth@gleanerjm.com