Some surprising health benefits of the cool cucumber!

Next time you hit the vegetable market make sure you grab some crunchy cucumbers! Apparently, there is much more to this low calorie member of the melon family than keeping you cool and refreshed!

The humble cucumber has more nutrients to offer than just water and electrolytes. It is chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which are vital for health

One of the oldest vegetables, cultivated for thousands of years in India and parts of Asia, the veggie is an excellent source of vitamin C and A (anti-oxidants), folate, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, silica, sulfur, and vitamin B complex, sodium, calcium, and phosphorus in slighter lesser amounts.

Often referred to as a superfood, cucumber is one of the best vegetables for your body’s overall health. We list below some of the surprising health benefits of cucumber.

Hydrates body
Given that cucumbers contain 96% of water content, they help keep our body hydrated during the hot scorching summers. Apart from providing a cooling effect in the blazing sun, dietary fiber in cucumbers work wonders in flushing out toxins from the body.

Studies suggest some of the compounds found in cucumbers have the potential to reduce estrogen-dependent cancers such as breast and other gynecological malignancies like ovarian, uterine and prostate cancer.

Weight loss & digestion
Since cucumbers have low calories and high water content, they are an ideal snack for people wanting to shift pounds. The veggie also aids digestion and is a wonderful remedy for chronic constipation.

Joint pain
Cucumber is enriched with silicon which alleviates joint pain and strengthens connective tissues in the bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons and cartilage. In addition, vitamin A, B1, B6 or magnesium and potassium found in the vegetable helps in lowering uric levels in the body. Daily intake of cucumber juice is beneficial in dissolving kidney stones and treating bladder infections.

Cucumbers are effective in inhibiting inflammatory enzymes and preventing the overproduction of nitric oxide in the body that increases inflammation. This in turn can avert health issues ranging from asthma to heart disease and many more.

Hangover headache
The beneficial vitamins contained in cucumbers can relieve a terrible headache especially that triggered by a hangover. Eating a few cucumber slices before retiring to bed after a night of binge drinking can replenish essential nutrients and help bring the body back into equilibrium avoiding a headache.

Diabetes, cholesterol & blood pressure
Cucumber has been found to be beneficial for diabetics, for reducing cholesterol levels and is effective in regulating blood pressure.

Breath freshener
The phytochemcials found in cucumber kill the bacteria in your mouth that causing bad breath. If you have run out of gum or mints, simply place a thin slice of cucumber against the roof of your mouth for 30 seconds before chewing it. It will not only make your breath minty fresh but also provide a cooling sensation.

Cucumber therapy for beauty
Cucumbers contain vitamin C and caffeic acid, two antioxidants which when applied to the skin ward off wrinkles, sun damage and more. Chilled and sliced cucumbers placed over eye sockets relieve puffy lids. The natural anti-inflammatory properties of cucumber soothe skin reddened by sunburn.

Cucumbers are great for conditioning damaged hair. Puree cucumber and blend with an egg and a tablespoon of olive oil. Leave it in for about 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.

Cucumber is a quick fix to remove cellulite. Rub sliced cucumbers along your dimply area for a few minutes. The phytochemicals in the veggie cause the collagen to tighten, firming up the outer layer of skin and diminishing cellulite.

edited by Neelam Goswami on 03-03-2014.