If you’d like to make your diet healthier by adding more vegetables to your meals, cucumbers are a great choice. Cucumbers are widely used in traditional diets as well as spas across the world for a reason: They are good for health.
In this research paper alone, cucumbers are said to have the following benefits: potential antidiabetic, antioxidant activity, cleansing action of toxins and waste, soothing effect against skin irritation, and prevention of constipation. And here are 10 health benefits of cucumbers in more details.
A Bright and Glowing Complexion
Cucumber is rich in silica, which is the essential component that aids in developing strong and healthy connective tissues in the muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and bone. Doctors often recommend cucumber juice because of the silica content to create healthier and brighter skin. Cucumber’s high water content makes it naturally hydrating, and it is well known that moisture is the best friend to healthy skin, so why not acquire the hydration naturally? The extract of cucumbers is often used topically for treating various types of skin ailments, including sunburn and swelling under the eyes. Ascorbic acid and caffeic acid are the two vital compounds in cucumbers that prevent water loss from the body. These are some of the reasons why cucumbers are applied topically for various skin problems.
Protect Your Brain
Cucumbers contain an anti-inflammatory flavonol called fisetin that appears to play an important role in brain health. In addition to improving your memory and protecting your nerve cells from age-related decline, fisetin has been found to prevent progressive memory and learning impairments in mice with Alzheimer’s disease.
Support heart health
Cucumbers contain potassium (152mg per cup), which can help lower blood pressure. A review of the best studies conducted on potassium intake showed that a higher intake “is associated with lower rates of stroke and might also reduce the risk of total cardiovascular disease.”
Controls Blood Pressure
The studies done at DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) consisted of people consuming foods high in magnesium, potassium, and fiber. The results were clear; their blood pressure lowered to to normal levels. The group eating a diet rich in these complexes along with the other foods on the diet like seafood, low fat dairy items, lean meat and poultry saw that their blood pressure fell by 5.5 points (systolic) over 3.0 points (diastolic).
Good for diabetic patients
Patients of diabetes can enjoy cucumber while also reaping its health benefits: cucumber contains a hormone needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin.
Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
Cucumbers contain polyphenols called lignans (pinoresinol, lariciresinol, and secoisolariciresinol), which may help to lower your risk of breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers. They also contain phytonutrients called cucurbitacins, which also have anti-cancer properties. According to the George Mateljan Foundation:
“Scientists have already determined that several different signaling pathways (for example, the JAK-STAT and MAPK pathways) required for cancer cell development and survival can be blocked by activity of cucurbitacins.”
Flavonoids, which are anti-inflammatory substances, and tannins in cucumbers have both been shown to limit the release of free radicals in the body and to reduce pain.
As explained in the Journal of Young Pharmacists, “traditionally, this plant is used for headaches; the seeds are cooling and diuretic, the fruit juice is used as a nutritive and as a demulcent in anti-acne lotions.”
Prevents Constipation and Keeps Kidneys Healthy
Cucumbers are a perfect blend of both fiber and water. Therefore, it helps to protect your body from both constipation and kidney stones. By drinking cucumber juice, you can consume both fiber and water at the same time. Reports say that the majority of Americans prefer to have a cucumber rich salad regularly as it is a great way to increase your fiber intake. Cucumber is also a good source of vitamin C, silica, potassium and magnesium; which all have their own health benefits. Cucumbers have an extraordinary amount of water (about 96%) that is naturally purified, thus making the water content much higher in quality than ordinary water. Cucumber skin contains high levels of vitamin A, so you will gain more nutrition if you eat the entire thing, skin and all.
Cucumbers contain numerous antioxidants, including the well-known vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain antioxidant flavonoids, such as quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, and kaempferol,6 which provide additional benefits.
For instance, quercetin is an antioxidant that many believe prevents histamine release—making quercetin-rich foods “natural antihistamines.” Kaempferol, meanwhile, may help fight cancer and lower your risk of chronic diseases including heart disease.
Reduce bad breath
Bad breath is usually caused by bacteria in the mouth. Fiber and water-rich vegetables like cucumbers can boost your mouth’s saliva production, which in turn helps wash away the bacteria that cause the odor in the mouth.