7 Health Benefits of Cucumbers
- Author Janice Palmer
- Published April 29, 2022
- Word count 655
Cucumbers are a super health-giving fruit. They are inexpensive and mostly eaten sliced in sandwiches.
‘Slicing’ cucumbers are cultivated to be eaten fresh. These varieties are larger and have much thicker skins than the smaller ‘pickling’ cucumbers.
Pickled cucumbers are stored in brine jars, which preserve their goodness. The pickling process is the fermentation of foods with beneficial bacteria. It preserves the fruits in an acidic brine solution. Pickled cucumbers can last for up to twelve months and are pickled within a day of harvesting after washing and trimming. The cultivar is not the hard-skin variety but with a thin outer knobbly texture.
Pickling begins with anaerobic fermentation. First, the cucumbers are submerged in brine made with pure, fine-grained pickling salt, not table salt. It often includes fresh spices like mustard seeds or dill. The brine is then every so often skimmed and topped off, and when fermentation is complete, the cucumbers are washed several times with clean water to remove the salt. Finally, any slicing of the pickled cucumbers is done after fermentation.
‘American Slicing Cucumbers’ are those bought at the grocers and are typically 175-200mm long with a uniform dark green skin. Therefore, these fruits lack spines and are more appealing to shoppers.
Cocktail or snack cucumbers are those small, thin-skinned easy-to-eat crunchy fruits.
‘Burpless’ cucumbers do not cause gas build-up in the stomach because they are low in compounds called cucurbitacins. These are actually the health-giving bitter compounds found in all cucurbits, of which cucumbers are one. Other cucurbit fruits are melons, watermelons, pumpkins, and squash. Seedless, thin-skinned cucumber varieties have lower levels of cucurbitacin and are thus called ‘burpless.’
Cucumbers are most popular sliced as a side dish and are a must with any salad.
They are known as great hydrators due to their ‘high’ water content.
Research indicates that cucumbers have anti-cancer properties due to the cucurbitacin. It is a bitter-tasting nutrient present in the Cucurbitaceae family of plants, and according to the International Journal of Health Services, it may help prevent cancer cells from reproducing.
Here are seven known benefits of cucumbers:
Cucumbers consist of 90-95 percent water. They, therefore, rehydrate the body. Here is a quote from Kimberly Cole: “Cucumbers have long been used as a beauty DIY. For example, placing the cucumber slices on the eyelids helps reduce inflammation. In addition, the fruit can treat undereye bags and hydrate and tighten pores.”
Cucumbers help dissolve kidney stones. They are considered an excellent kidney cleanser because they help clear the kidneys and bladder of debris and stones. Studies also indicate that the fruit helps regulate uric acid, hence why cucumbers can help prevent kidney and bladder stones.
Cucumbers contain calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Cucumber helps heal stomach ulcers. In addition, cucumber ‘high’ water level helps with acid reflux by raising the stomach’s pH balance. It essentially rinses out the stomach acid that flows back into the gullet.
Cucumbers help relieve headaches and contain anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants that combine to help prevent or ease headaches.
Cucumbers help regulate blood pressure. Potassium in cucumbers is an electrolyte, so it helps regulate the levels of sodium retained by the kidneys. Therefore, cucumber water gives more potassium, potentially enabling lower blood pressure.
Cucumber helps promote healthy skin. Cucumbers are mildly astringent, so they cause pores to constrict. The silica in cucumbers also improves the skin’s texture, so think of it as a toner.
It cannot be stressed strongly enough just how good cucumbers are for health. They are great for healthy-looking skin, controlling blood pressure, settling the stomach, preventing kidney stones, and generally rehydrating.
Cucumbers also contain vitamin A, which is good for eyesight.
They are linked with controlling constipation as cucumber is rich in fiber, especially the slicing variety.
Cucumbers are also an excellent source of antioxidants, which prevent the accumulation of harmful free radicals. In other words, the vegetable is excellent for boosting immunity.
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