They taste refreshing, but do you know about the benefits of cucumber?
What makes cucumber an ideal fruit to have all year long?
There is nothing more nourishing for the skin to have than the liquid juice from the cucumber. The nutrition-rich water that it contains, when taken into the body, adds lustre to the hair, sparkle to the eye, color to the lips, tone to the skin, and spring to the step. – -Paul Bragg
Summer has bowed out after making us feel like we were trapped in a sauna with no way out. Of the things that kept me from losing my sanity in the heat was the good ol’ cucumber. They don’t say ‘cool like the cucumber’ for nothing.
I thought, now that the summer is over, I wouldn’t really binge on cucumbers until the next heat wave. I am sure that is the case for most of us. But here is the deal- once you know what this fruit is capable of, you will definitely make this a staple!
But before we delve into the details about the benefits of cucumbers, let us get to know the humble cucumber better.
Yes, cucumber is a fruit
This question whether the cucumber is a fruit or a vegetable trumps many of us.
So is it a fruit or a vegetable?
While the answer to this is simple, there is a reason why we get confused. This is due to the reason that while from a botanical standpoint, it is fruit; from the culinary standpoint, it can be used as a vegetable.
To put it in simpler terms, cucumbers are just like tomatoes!
Cucumbers are the members of the gourd family. The scientific name of cucumber is Cucumis sativus. The cucumber plant is a creeper. Cucumbers can be broadly classified into 3 types* –
- Ones suitable for slicing
- Ones suitable for pickling
(* There are subtypes amongst these)
40 Benefits of cucumber that will change the way you look at it:
Now let us delve into what I promised to tell you about – cucumber benefits and uses. Cucumbers features prominently on weight watchers’ menus, but this fruit is good in a lot of ways. The benefits of eating cucumbers is a lot more than weight loss. It helps our bodies both internally and externally. And not just the bodies, there are two other uses of cucumbers that you wouldn’t have known about. So let us take a look at the benefits of cucumber.
Let us start with a no-brainer. Consuming cucumber helps in keeping you hydrated. This modest fruit contains 96% water! So if you are averse to drinking water then chomp on some cucumbers to ensure that you can supplement your meagre water consumption.
#2. Cools the body
If you want to cool your body without raking up a huge electricity bill then cucumber is something you should try. They happen be one of the top food options that cools the body while being super healthy.
#3. Helps to control fever
Feeling feverish? Rather than gulp down a Paracetamol, have some cucumber juice instead. As mentioned above, cucumber can help in bringing down the body heat.
#4. Refreshes the body
Apart from cooling the body, cucumber can also revitalize the body. Cucumber contains vitamins and minerals that help to recharge our batteries without having to reach for a cuppa.
#5. Helps in alkalizing the body
For our bodies to function well, we need to keep the body slightly basic. If it becomes acidic, then we are opening the doors to maladies. Cucumber helps to keep the body alkaline.
#6. Fiber rich
Cucumber is not only rich in water, it also contains a lot of fiber.
#7. Curbs stress
Cucumber helps to relieve stress. Yes, it does!!! The vitamin B present in cucumber can help in ensuring that the adrenal glands are able to do their work properly. You know what that means, hormone levels stay optimal and the ill effects of stress are negated.
If you feel stressed out, boil some water and drop some slices of cucumber in it. Inhaling its steam will help to calm you down!
Cucumber is known for its anti-inflammatory qualities. Inflammation can be countered by the topical application of cucumber juice. You can even have a few slices for more effectiveness. The flavonoids present in the cucumber helps to reduce inflammation.
#9. Pain relief
Apart from containing anti-inflammatory properties, cucumber also helps in providing pain relief. Partly due to the cooling action and partly due to the flavonoids in the cucumber.
#10. Keeps the brain healthy
While cucumbers might not make you smarter, it can help to keep Alzheimer’s treatment, say tests. The Vitamin K in cucumbers will help to minimize the damage brought on Alzheimer’s.
Not just that, cucumber contains copper, which is required in making neurotransmitters. This is required by the brain to communicate with the body.
#11. Heart healthy
Cucumber contains potassium and manganese that is responsible for stabilizing the blood pressure. This is done by maintaining the electrolyte balance in the body. It also helps to bring down the heart rate.
#12. Good for cholesterol
Cucumber contains sterols that help to bring down the bad cholesterol significantly. If you feel you are a potential candidate for high cholesterol then a cucumber a day may keep bad cholesterol away!
#13. Good for digestive system
Cucumber helps to ensure the smooth running of the digestive system. It can also provide relief from common gastric issues like heartburn, stomach ulcers, acidity etc. It also provides relief from constipation as it is rich in fiber.
There is an enzyme in cucumber called Erepsin, which helps to break down protein facilitating the digestion. Probably why a cucumber salad is a great side dish when you have any dishes with meat.
#14. Kills tapeworms
Apart from keeping the digestive system functioning well, cucumber also helps in keeping it free of tapeworms. The enzyme Erepsin in cucumber helps to kill tapeworms and does us all a big favour.
#15. Contain anti-oxidants
Cucumbers contain antioxidants too! The compounds like beta carotene, alpha carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin and vitamin C present in cucumbers make it an effective in providing anti-ageing benefits. They are able to do that by targeting the free radicals that lead to ageing and its effects.
#16. Breath freshener
Placing a slice of cucumber on the roof of the mouth with the tongue for a minute and then eating it is said to help cure bad breath. Cucumber can kill the bad bacteria raising up a stink in your mouth! Munching on cucumber will also help in the secretion of saliva which will help in cleansing the mouth and maintaining the pH balance. In short it is good to give your oral health a boost.
- How to get rid of gingivitis- 25 home remedies that work
- White spots on teeth- should you be concerned?
#17. Good for the eyes
Spas. What is the first image that came to your head? A lady relaxing with a cucumber slice on her eyes? That is what comes my mind.
Anyway, cucumber is good for the eyes too! Most of us can’t do without mobiles and laptops, leading to tired and stressed out eyes.
Place a slice of this fruit on each eyes and relax for a while. It will help to rejuvenate and alleviate tiredness of the eyes. It is also good to reduce puffiness around the eyes as it helps to avoid water retention.
The caffeic and ascorbic acids are the compounds that help in achieving these.
#18. Good for bones
One of the problems faced by most of us, especially women is the fact that, as we grow older our bone density decreases. Cucumber contain silica and magnesium – both which are required to ensure that bone retain their density and health even with advancing age.
Silica helps the bones to assimilate calcium and magnesium works with calcium to keep the bones strong and healthy.
#19. Good for connective tissues
The silica present in cucumber is not just beneficial for the bones. This mineral is required in synthesizing collagen that is required by the connective tissues.
#20. Gives you stronger hair
Dull, dry hair is something most of us have. Cucumbers can help here too! Silica works its magic here too. Apart from silica, sulphur also helps in hair growth. So there you go, one more reason to add cucumber to your diet.
#21. Makes hair soft & silky
Women can be finicky when it comes to their hair. It is not just enough that we have strong hair, it should soft and manageable too! Not to worry dearies, cucumber will grant that wish of yours too!
Use the juice of the cucumber to rinse your hair after the wash. Or apply it on the hair and leave it on for a sometime and then wash it off!
#22. Good for the nails
Just when you thought that’s all that silica can do, here comes yet another benefit. They are good for strong and healthy nails. So if you have been complaining of not being able to grow your nails, then cucumbers may help you.
#23. Good for the kidney
Cucumber has diuretic properties. This means that it makes you want to urinate. This helps to flush the waste out and keeps the kidneys busy, in a good way of course! It also helps to reduce uric acid, which further reduces the load on the kidney.
Consumption of cucumbers on a daily basis is also said to flush out kidney stones.
#24. Prevents water retention
Since the cucumber is a diuretic, it also means that it prevents unwanted water retention. It also means that if you are planning to head to a pool party and don’t want to look bloated in a bikini, then cucumber is your fruit!
#25. Great for diabetics
Cucumbers and diabetes? It is one of the fruits that can help diabetics. Tests show that eating cucumber is beneficial in helping the pancreas to synthesis insulin.
It doesn’t mean that you should give up on your medicines. But a low glycemic index makes it one of the fruits you can have without worrying.
#26. May reduce risk of cancer
Some studies hint at the possibility that consumption of cucumber may help in reducing the risk and even fighting cancer. The cucurbitacins that are attributed to the bitterness in cucumbers are said to have anti-cancerous properties.
Apart from this compound, fisetin, caffeic acid and vitamin C help in fighting and preventing cancer.
Consuming cucumber can help to reduce the risk of heatstroke, we know that now. But it can also help to soothe sunburn.
You can place a slice of cucumber or gently apply some cucumber juice on the affected area. It will help to cool the area down and provide relief.
#28. Cures suntan
Cucumber has a mild skin bleaching property because of which it can reverse the effects brought on by tanning.
#29. Tones skin
Cucumber can help to shrink the pores on the skin and act as a great toner.
#30. Good for acne
Cucumber helps to soothe inflammation due to acne. It will also hasten the healing process. Add some cucumber puree to your face mask or use it alone to tackle acne.
#31. Controls oil
If you have oily skin, then cucumber can help to reduce that.
Take a slice of cucumber, rub it on your face in a circular motion. Do it for 5 – 10 minutes. Then relax with some slices of cucumber on your face. Wash it off with lukewarm water.
Pat dry and you will notice a noticeable change. Repeat 2-3 times a week.
#32. Blemish control
If you want a blemish free complexion then you can apply some cucumber juice mixed with some lemon juice on your face. Leave it on till it dries and wash and pat dry. Repeat this 2-3 times a week.
#33. Cellulite reduction
Topical application of cucumber juice is also credited with reduction of the appearance of cellulite. Use it with a coffee scrub if you are desperate for results.
#34. Helps to deal with hangover
Chomping on some cucumber before you hit the sack after drinking. The water content will help to flush out the alcohol faster and minimize the bad effects of a hangover.
#35. Cleanses your body
Most of the miracle weight loss waters have cucumber as an ingredient. While I don’t know and will not advocate the use of such ‘miracle’ products, I can tell you this instead- it will help to cleanse the body by flushing out the toxins. So rather than go on a miracle drink only diet include more healthy food items in your diet.
#36. Great snack
Want to lose weight? Then chuck the junk food and have cucumber sticks/slices instead. They will help you feel full minus the calories. Unlike junk that doesn’t do your body any good, cucumbers are great for your body.
- Also read: 10 minute exotic asparagus stir fry recipe
#37. Great for making juices
If you aren’t entirely sold on the idea of having carrot as a snack, then try juicing it up with other fruits. They won’t alter the taste much but will add nutritive value and add to the water content without you having to add extra water.
#38. Little to no side-effects
Cucumbers are good for your body and do not pose any health risks. It can be had by everyone.
But there a few teeny tiny problems. They are-
- Cucumber seeds cause gas in some people.
- Consumption of raw cucumbers may cause allergies in some people.
#39. Pest control
Cucumber peels/ slices can help to keep ants away. All you have to do is keep them near their nest and places that they are likely to come.
#40. Shines metal fittings
Rub some cucumber on your taps for a nice shine.
PS: I read that it could also help clean stains but I haven’t seen any positive results. If you do, let me know!
In short, this amazing fruit that is 96% water, is good for you in various ways. Hydrated, refreshed, blemish free, younger looking skin minus the wrinkles and fine lines; healthy heart, brain, kidneys, gut; shiny kitchen appliances – it helps you in so many ways.
So add this to your daily diet to stay as cool as a cucumber. As this will bring down your body temperature & mental stress!
Mommas, let me know how you liked this post about the benefits of cucumber. If you have any doubts or comments feel free to share!
Till then stay cool!