At first glance, cucumbers are very simple plants: green-skinned veggies with a fresh taste and crunchy texture. You buy it at the market or a supermarket, make a salad or just nibble it. But we bet you don’t even realize how many health benefits it offers.
A wide range of cucumber types gives you an opportunity to choose just the right one for you. For example, pickled cucumbers are smaller and have thicker skin than sliced cucumbers. Persian cucumbers are small and have thin, smooth skin. They are often used in salads and have a sweet, mild flavour. English cucumbers are long and thin. Armenian cucumbers are long and slender, with bumpy and warty skin.
Cucumbers – Nutrition Facts
Cucumbers have low energy value, almost no protein, and very small number of fats. Low in carbs and sugar. Have very low fibre content and a low glycemic index.
Cucumbers – Unexpectedly good news
Cucumbers are low in calories and high in water and soluble fibre, making them ideal for hydration and weight loss.
1May help to prevent type 2 diabetes
To avoid diabetes, the best thing to do is to start altering your diet – avoid high carbohydrates and cut down on sugary drinks. Plus, it is important to start eating more foods with a low glycaemic index (GI). Cucumbers have a glycemic index of 15, which makes them a low-GI food. Eating foods with a low GI can help reduce insulin resistance, which in turn helps to reduce the odds of type 2 diabetes.
Of course, when we talk about hydration, the first thing that comes to mind is water. And rightly so, because it fills us up and saves us from dehydration. But what about food, and more specifically, cucumbers?
Besides being a crunchy snack, cucumbers are over 95% water, so eating them keeps you hydrated. In addition to increasing your daily fluid intake, they can help keep your body hydrated and functioning properly.
3Protect your body from dangerous diseases
Cucumbers contain large amounts of cucurbitacin, a bitter nutrient that is found in other plants of the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes the cucumbers. Cucurbitacin helps prevent atherosclerosis and stops cancer cells from multiplying. Cucurbitacin is a potential antitumour agent as it inhibits the proliferation, migration and metastasis of cancer cells.
Eating cucumbers can help maintain regular bowel movements. Cucumbers are high in water and promote hydration. Hydration can improve stool consistency, prevent constipation and help maintain regularity. Pectin, a type of soluble fibre found in cucumbers, can help increase the frequency of bowel movements.
5Help you lose weight
Researchers have conducted a meta-analysis of several studies on obese adults which showed that there is a link between consuming foods with lower energy density and weight loss.
So thanks to their high water content, cucumbers are simultaneously very filling and low in calories, making them a great snack for anyone willing to lose weight. Especially when combined with a healthy sauce such as hummus or guacamole!
6Can prevent swelling
As you might have already realised, cucumbers are simple and healthy food. But their benefits don’t stop here. They’re also great for eliminating water retention, which means you’ll avoid swelling after eating cucumbers.
7Easy to add to your diet
Cucumbers have a refreshing flavour and aroma and are usually eaten fresh or pickled in everything from salads to sandwiches. They can also be eaten raw as a low-calorie snack or deeper in hummus. Cucumbers are available all year round and are fairly inexpensive. Which makes it even easier to incorporate them into your diet.
8Help to get rid of bad breath
Cucumbers are also good for getting rid of bad breath. Phytochemicals, contained by this veggie, kill the bacteria that cause bad breath.
Cucumbers have a crisp and refreshing texture and a mild, slightly sweet flavour that is similar to melons, such as cantaloupe and honeydew. These species have a lot of water in their content and broadly similar composition. But among all of these, cucumber is the most affordable.
In Great Britain, a whole Large Cucumber will cost you 0.95 per pound or £1.73 per kilo. In the USA, a whole fresh cucumber will cost you 0.68$, and a pack of cucumbers of 1lb (450 g) costs 3.46$. Whereas in the UK, Honeydew Melon costs £2.20-£2.50. And in the USA, this melon is $4.99.
Cucumbers – Not so bad, not so scary news but need your attention
Despite their benefits, cucumbers do have some drawbacks.
As we mentioned above, cucumbers contain cucurbitacin. This compound has both positive and not-so-positive qualities. And here’s why. The presence of cucurbitacin in cucumbers can make you gassy. This unpleasant side effect can occur if you eat too many pickled cucumbers at once.
If you know that you are predisposed to oral allergies (Oral Allergy Syndrome), you should avoid cucumbers, as well as other products such as ragweed pollen, melon, chamomile tea, bananas and sunflower seeds. Oral Allergy Syndrome is a form of contact allergic reaction that occurs upon contact of the mouth and throat with raw fruits or vegetables. The most frequent symptoms include itchiness or swelling of the mouth, face, lip, tongue, and throat.
Fun & curious facts about cucumbers
Rubbing a cucumber slice along the bathroom mirror will eliminate the shower fog and give a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
Cucumbers in the Blue Zones
Cucumbers are also among the favourite vegetables of the long-livers on the island of Nicoya, Costa Rica. They use it in a salad along with pineapples. Sounds unusual and refreshing!
Cucumbers. Experiment by our expert
Let’s sum cucumbers up
Cucumbers help you to prevent diabetes 2 type, provide your body with vitamin C, and B vitamins and are also low in calories, making them an ideal weight-loss product. They also improve hydration and prevent swelling and constipation.
Not enough? Here are some more from our colleagues!
Guys from the BRIGHT SIDE YouTube channel suggest you start eating 1 cucumber a day and see what happens to your body! Watch the video below to learn more!
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