Before this time, I was not a fan of cucumbers. I only consumed it once in a very long while. But, not until recently did I get to find out the health benefits of cucumber, and I started incorporating it into my meals. If you were like me who rarely eats cucumbers, here are seven health benefits you stand to gain by eating them.
1. Fosters Hydration
Cucumbers contain mainly water and some vital electrolytes. They can help prevent dehydration in hot weather or after an exercise.
For people who find it difficult to drink sufficient water, adding cucumber and mint can be more desirable. Staying hydrated is vital for sustaining a healthy intestine, preventing constipation, kidney stones, and lots more. Cucumber is one of the most hydrating foods.
2. It Fights Cancer
Cucumber belongs to a family of plants known as the Cucurbitaceae, which usually contains some amount of a bitter-tasting nutrient called cucurbitacin.
An article in the International Journal of Health Services revealed that cucurbitacins might help stave off cancer by inhibiting cancer cells from growing and propagating.
A 133-g cup of chopped cucumber with its skin gives around 1 g of fibre Fiber helps protect against colorectal cancer.
Research has also shown that cucumber contains lignans, a substance that helps ward off different cancer types.
3. Promotes Cardiovascular Health
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), it reported that fibre could help control the body’s cholesterol level and hence, prevents cardiovascular problems.
A 142-gram cup of unpeeled cucumber also contains 193 mg of potassium and 17 mg of magnesium. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults consume 4,700 mg of potassium each day and 310–410 mg of magnesium, depending on sex and age.
Reducing sodium consumption and increasing potassium consumption may be helpful to curb high blood pressure. Also, the cucurbitacins present in cucumber may help prevent atherosclerosis.
4. It Prevents Diabetes
Cucumbers may play an essential role in preventing diabetes. It contains substances that may help reduce blood sugar or inhibit blood glucose from surging.
One study reports that the cucurbitacins in cucumbers control insulin release and the breakdown of hepatic glycogen, a major hormone in blood sugar metabolism.
Cucumbers have a reduced level of the glycemic index (GI). They provide the body with the necessary nutrients without adding carbohydrates that can intensify blood sugar.
According to the American Heart Association, the fibre in cucumber may curb and improve type 2 diabetes.
5. Improves Bone Health
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) stated that a 142-gram (g) cup of sliced, unpeeled cucumber contains 10.2 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and also beneficial for bone health.
Cucumber also contains 19.9 milligrams (mg) of calcium. Vitamin K helps to increase calcium absorption. These essential nutrients work together to improve bone health.
6. Beneficial to the skin
Some research has suggested that the nutrients contained in cucumber can be helpful to the skin. Cucumber contains astringent properties that fine tones skin and helps clear off pores.
Placing sliced cucumber directly on the skin can help cool, refresh, and soothe the skin and also minimise swelling and irritation. It can relieve sunburn. When placed on the eyes, they can help decrease eye bags and dark regions surrounding the eye.
7. It Reduces Inflammation
Experts believe inflammation may help activate the development of several health diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, depression, and cancer.
Cucumbers may have anti-inflammatory benefits. Inflammation is a function of the immune system.
Now that you know the usefulness of cucumber to one’s health, you should incorporate it often into your meals. However, if you are allergic to cucumbers, you should completely avoid them.