Cucumbers, together with squash, watermelon, and pumpkin, belong to the cucurbitaceae family. It is 95 percent water and, thus, one of its foremost functions is to keep you hydrated especially in a hot, summer day. This is one of the main reasons why it is such a great ingredient for just about any kind of juicing recipe.
Beyond hydrating you, its health benefits to your body are a legion. It packs a full gamut of essential nutrients such as vitamin K, vitamin B, copper, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin C which can cushion you from conditions that arise from nutrient deficiencies.
There are at least nine reasons why you should include cucumbers in your diet:
# 1: Reduces your Risk of Cancer
Cucumbers are packed with polyphenols known as lignans that can significantly lower your risk of developing a wide variety of cancers: ovarian, prostate, uterine and breast cancers. In addition, they possess phytonutrients, the cucurbitacins that are rich in anti-cancer properties. According to the scientific community, the cucurbitacins’ activity blocks the many signaling pathways that are needed for cancer cell development.
#2: Cucumbers can also protect your Brain
Cucumbers are rich in anti-inflammatory flavonol known as fisetin that plays a critical role in brain health. It improves the brain’s memory as well as protecting the nerve cells from age-related decline. What is the evidence? Well, according to some study, fisetin was found capable of preventing progressive memory and learning impairments among mice that have Alzheimer’s disease.
#3: Fight Inflammation
Studies on animals indicate that cucumber extracts can reduce unwanted inflammation. Therefore, cucumber can also be useful to humans as it can reduce unwanted inflammatory responses in the body. Cucumber does this partly because it can inhibit the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes.
# 4: Antioxidant Properties
Cucumbers pack so many antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamin C. Cucumbers also possess antioxidant flavonoids: apigenin, luteolin, kaempferol, and quercetin. The antioxidant flavonoids benefit the body in a variety of ways. For example, the quercetin can inhibit the release of histamine while Kaempferol can combat cancer as well as lower your risk of developing chronic diseases including heart conditions.
# 5: Help Freshen your Breath
If you place a slice of cucumber on the roof of your mouth, you will effectively get rid of odor-causing bacteria. In addition, if you eat cucumber, it will help to release excess heat in your stomach which is often the primary cause of bad breath.
# 6: Support your Digestive System
Cucumbers are rich in water in water and fiber, elements that are essential to healthy digestion. Water-rich cucumbers can really aid those who manifest acute symptoms of acid reflux because the water can temporarily raise the stomach’s PH.
Cucumber skins possess insoluble fiber that helps to add bulk to stool, thus, helping food to smoothly and quickly navigate the digestive tract for healthy elimination from the body. Therefore, cucumbers reduce or prevent constipation.
# 7: Help Manage Stress
Cucumbers possess multiple B vitamins: vitamin B1, vitamin B7, and vitamin B5. The B vitamins are known for their help to ameliorate feelings of anxiety as well as reducing the damaging effects of stress.
# 8: Maintain a Healthy Weight
Cucumbers are low in calories, but they make a very filling snack. The soluble fiber in cucumbers turns into a gel-like substance in your gut that helps to slow down the process of digestion. This will help you to feel full for a longer time, and thus, prevent unnecessary snacking.
# 9: Heart Health
Cucumbers possess potassium. Potassium is often associated with low blood pressure levels. A balance of potassium in and outside the cells is key for the body’s proper functioning.
Whether you enjoy them in a salad or you drop them into your juicer, cucumbers can provide your body with tremendous health benefits that makes worth adding to your daily diet. Eating healthy is part of living healthy, and this fruit can be a major part of your overall health goals.