A tasty, juicy cucumber is a very cool addition to salads. This perfect summer veggie keeps your body hydrated, strong and happy.
Cucumbers Have Been Found To Be Useful in So Many Ways. OR So they say!
Have you ever heard of those wives’ tale cucumber cleaning tips? I tried a few of them to find out if they really were true. Here’s what I found:
- Using a cucumber to take the tarnish off stainless steel did not work any better than dish soap and a cloth.
- Polishing my shoes with cucumber was not fun! I had to clean up the seeds after. Using a damp cloth is much better.
- Using cucumber to erase ink writing did not work at all!
The bad news is, cucumber is not a natural cleaner. The good news is, it’s loaded with health benefits.
10 Health Benefits of Cucumbers
1. Hydrate Your Body
Like watermelons, cucumbers are 95 percent water.
2. Help Flush Toxins from the body
The high water content in cucumbers gets your urinary system moving. This is why they are in many detox recipes.
3. Good for Treating High Blood Pressure
Cucumbers with lots of potassium, magnesium and fiber help regulate blood pressure
“To see cucumbers in a dream denotes that you will speedily fall in love.
Or, if you are in love, then you will marry the object of your affection.”
– Richard Folkard in ‘Plant Lore’ (1884)
4. May Help Fight Cancer
Although research is just beginning, there’s a compound found in cucumbers called cucurbitacin which has been found to fight cancer.
5. Help With Weight Loss
A half-cup of sliced cucumber only has 8 calories and has high water content; it is a good food to add to the diet.
6. May Help Diabetes
Cucumbers contain a hormone needed by the cells of the pancreas in order to produce insulin. This hormone has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Compounds in cucumber seeds helped to control blood sugar levels in diabetic rats. Study 2011
7. Highly Alkaline-Forming Food
Eating more alkaline-forming foods and less acid-forming foods like sugar, alcohol, bread and meat, is an important part of keeping a balanced diet.
8. May Help Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Cucumbers contain sterols. According to research, sterols reduce LDL cholesterol by about 10 percent.
9. Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
Cucumbers contain three lignans (lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol) that research has shown to boost cardiovascular health.
10. Help Keep Bowel Movements Regular.
Cucumbers have good fiber and, again, because of high water content, are great for moving bodies of toxins from the digestive system. They can help constipation.
Cool Cumber Trivia Facts
- The inside of a cucumber can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside air. Now you know why they are called cool. Add this to your cooling tips for hot summer days.
- They are in the family of pumpkins, zucchini, watermelon and other squashes.
- A cucumber was slang for a dollar in the United States in the 1930s.
- There are over 100 varieties of cucumbers!
- Cucumbers were believed to have originated in India and spread through Greece and Italy.
How to Choose and Store Cucumbers:
- Look for firm dark green cucumbers with no soft spots. If the cucumber bulges in the middle that means it’s filled with large watery seeds and very tasteless flesh.
- Best to keep them refrigerated in the crisper. They do not last long so note that they will not usually last for more than a week. If you get unwaxed cucumbers like I do, they do lose moisture easily so keep them wrapped tightly in plastic. (I know — I don’t like to use plastic, either.)
- Cucumbers: Without spraying, they can be very delicate. The USDA Pesticide Data Program found 35 pesticide residues. They are one of the 12 Foods You MUST Eat Organic.
- Do not peel cucumbers. Cucumber skin is rich in fiber, contains many nutrients and is very edible.