Cucumber - health benefits
Cucumbers are scientifically known as Cucumis sativus and belong to the same family as watermelon, zucchini, pumpkin, and other types of squash. Varieties of cucumber are grown either to be eaten fresh or to be pickled. Those that are to be eaten fresh are commonly called slicing cucumbers.
Cucumber is an excellent source of silica. They also contain ascorbic and caffeic acids. Cucumber has an impressive amount of water (about 96%) that is naturally distilled, which makes it superior to ordinary water. Its skin contains a high percentage of vitamin A, so should not be peeled off. The cucumber contains alkaline-forming minerals and is an excellent source of vitamin C and A (anti-oxidants), folate, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, silica, sulfur, and lesser amounts of vitamin B complex, sodium, calcium, phosphorus and chlorine.
- Cooling: During dry and hot weather, drink a glass of cucumber + celery juice. It wonderfully helps to normalize body temperature.
- Swollen eyes: Some people wake up in the morning with puffy eyes, probably due to too much water retention in the body (or having cried to sleep). To reduce the swelling, lie down and put two slices of cucumber on the eyes for a good ten minutes. Thats what they do in beauty parlours. It keeps out the irritation away from eyes.
- Skin conditions: The high amount of vitamin C and anti-oxidants in cucumber makes it an important ingredient in many beauty creams for treating eczema, psoriasis, acne, etc.
- Acidity: The alkalinity of the minerals in cucumber juice effectively helps in regulating the body's blood pH, neutralizing acidity. The juice is also soothing for the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers.
- Blood pressure: Like celery, this colorless drink can help regulate blood pressure because of its minerals and traces of sodium.
- Hair growth: The silicon and sulfur content in cucumber juice makes it especially helpful in promoting hair growth. Drink it mixed with carrot, lettuce or spinach juice.
- Diuretic: Cucumber juice is diuretic, encouraging waste removal through urination. This also helps in the dissolution of kidney stones.
- Building Connective tissues: The excellent source of silica contributes to the proper construction of connective tissues in our body as in the bones, muscles, cartilage, ligaments and tendons.
- Fever: The temperature regulating properties in cucumber juice makes it a suitable drink when you have a fever.
- Inflammation: The Chinese think that cucumbers are too "cooling" and not suitable for people with rheumatism. But we know now that cucumber can help counter uric acids that are causing inflammation in joints. When cucumber is taken it does its cleaning work at the joints, thus stirring up pain as it eliminates the uric acid. This means it also help other inflamed conditions like arthritis, asthma, and gout.
- Sunburn: When there is a sunburn, make cucumber juice and rub it on the affected area for a cooling and healing effect.
- Water retention: It supplies the necessary electrolytes and restores hydration of the body cells, thus reducing water retention.
Cucumbers such as gherkins that are specially cultivated to make pickles are oftentimes much smaller than slicing cucumbers.