Cucumber is common fruit loved by many; though mostly confused as a vegetable, it is actually a fruit and it belongs to the same class as watermelon, squash, and pumpkin.
It is made up of 95% water which helps keeps one hydrated and many vital nutrients and phytochemicals. This nature gift is rich in fisetin which is a flavonol and an anti-inflammatory compound which plays a lot of critical roles in the body.
This fruit is also rich in lignans which helps in fighting different types of cancers. It has helped reduce the growth and spread of breast, prostate, uterine and ovarian cancers.
Health Benefits of Cucumber
Cucumber is rich in antioxidants, soluble fiber, and it is low in calories. Regular intake of this fruit prevents nutritional deficiencies. Below are ten health benefits of this succulent fruit.
Rich Source of Antioxidant
Antioxidants are powerful molecules that block oxidative damage and stress; they also stop the accumulation and activities of free radicals which can lead to oxidative damage and health complications and chronic diseases including cancer and autoimmune diseases. This fruit is also loaded with tannins and flavonoids which block the formation and activities of free radicals. Free radicals are products of metabolism; they form when highly reactive atoms in the body combine with unpaired electrons.
Decreases Blood Sugar Level
Cucumber can reduce the amount of sugar and in the bloodstream and this makes it useful in preventing diabetes; it also helps to reduce the symptoms of diabetes in diabetic patients, it combats oxidative stress and prevent complications that result from diabetes. It has a glycemic index of zero and it contains a hormone which helps in the production of insulin.
For Healthy Skin
Cucumber is rich in silica which helps the body to develop healthy and strong connective tissues; cucumber juice gives a healthier and brighter skin. It also hydrates the skin and can treat many types of skin infections and problems like sunburn, spots, and swellings under the eyes. This super food has a good amount of Caffeic acid and ascorbic acid which helps in preventing dry skin; it also prevents and treats acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
Prevents High Blood Pressure
Cucumbers are effective in regulating blood pressure; it contains a high content of magnesium, potassium, and fiber helps bring down blood pressure to its normal levels. It helps maintains the structures of the blood vessels and prevents damages to the blood vessels which can, in turn, affect blood pressure. Untreated hypertension can increase the risk of chronic diseases like stroke and heart disease and it can also lead to death.
Prevents Eye Problems
Regular consumption of cucumber enhances good vision due to its rich content of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It fights cataracts and other diseases of the eyes. It also prevents aging of the eyes and clears dark circles and hyperpigmentation around the eyes.
Prevents and Fights Cancer
Cucumbers are rich in powerful compounds that can prevent the formation of cancer and stop the development of cancer in its early stage; some of these powerful compounds are fisetin, lutein, Caffeic acid, and cucurbitacins. Its phytochemicals have strong anti-cancer fighting properties which can stop the growth and spread of cancer, eliminate free radicals from the body and boost immunity.
Studies have proved the effectiveness of cucumber against cancers of the ovaries, breast, lung, prostate and uterine; and they claimed that the flavonoids caffeic acids and fisetin are responsible for this.
Prevents Heart Diseases
This fruit ensures proper functioning of the heart and boosts its optimal health; cardiologists encourage people with heart problems to eat lots of fiber because they clean up excess cholesterol from the bloodstream and cucumber is rich in soluble fiber. When there is excess cholesterol in the body; it can accumulate in blood vessels and this can cause hypertension and cardiovascular problems. It is also rich in potassium which helps in reducing high blood pressure.
Cucumbers aid healthy digestion of food, absorption of nutrients and prevent digestive problems. They keep the gut healthy and boost the presence of probiotics in the gut. They also contain the enzyme erepsin which helps the process of digestion and helps the body to absorb and utilize proteins from foods eaten.
This fruit is also rich in pectin which serves as food to the healthy bacteria in the intestine. It aids easy movement of bowels and prevents constipation by softening stool due to its rich content of water. It can also treat other digestive disorders like ulcer, and gastritis.
Health experts believe that there are four main causes of sicknesses and deaths worldwide and malnutrition/nutritional deficiencies are one of them. Nutritional deficiencies can cause serious health complications and even death; it can affect the growth and development of a baby and this can even affect the adult life of the child. One of the ways to prevent malnutrition or nutrient deficiency is to regularly consume cucumbers.
Vital nutrients contained in this wonderful fruit are water, calories, proteins, fats, carbohydrate, fiber, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, sodium, folate, vitamin C and many phytochemicals and antioxidants.
Boosts Overall Health
Taking this fruit regularly will help in boosting your overall health; it detoxifies the body, supplies the body with vital nutrients, stops the activities of free radicals and fights oxidative damage. The skin is not left out; clears the skin and gives it a youthful appearance. Fights kin conditions like eczema, acne, spots, and psoriasis. It makes the organs healthy and boosts the functions of the kidney, liver, bladder, and pancreas. It clears out excess uric acid from the body thereby preventing hyperuricemia and gout.
It also fights rheumatism and atherosclerosis due to its rich nutrient content. Cucumber stops stomach problems and digestive disorders; it boosts proper circulation of blood, it relaxes the nerves due to its rich content of magnesium and many more wonderful benefits this humble fruit bestows on the body.
How to Use Cucumber
This fruit can be eaten raw; in fact, it should not be cooked in any way. It can also be juiced and taken daily. Raw cucumbers can be chopped and added to cooked rice before serving.