Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is a vegetable that belongs to the gourd family. It is one of the oldest cultivated vegetables and is believed to have originated in northern India. Cucumber has a high water content, vitamins A, B, C and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and silica, that makes it a healthy choice for both cooking and snacking.
Here are a few benefits of this wonder vegetable.
Keeps the body hydrated – Cucumber is 96% water. Adding cucumber to the diet helps in keeping the body hydrated, regulating body temperature and flushing out toxins from the body.
Skin care – The high water content, vitamins and minerals present in cucumber make it an essential part of skin care. Facial masks containing cucumber juice can be used for skin tightening. Cucumber juice mixed with juice of a lemon and crushed mint leaves is a wonderful cooling and rejuvenating face-pack, especially in summers. Keeping sliced cucumber on the eyes diminishes puffiness and dark circles. The cooling sensation relaxes tired eyes.
Controls blood pressure – Cucumber juice contains a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber that work effectively for regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumber good for treating both low and high blood pressure.
Aids in digestion – Digestive disorders like acidity, heartburn, gastritis and even ulcers can be cured by drinking fresh cucumber juice daily. The high water content and dietary fiber in cucumber are very effective in driving away the toxins from the digestive system. Daily consumption of cucumbers is an effective remedy for chronic constipation.
Promotes joint health – Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is known to promote joint health by strengthening connective tissue. Cucumber juice when mixed with carrot juice, can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels.
Acts as a diuretic – Cucumber acts as a diuretic due to the high water content. It encourages the elimination of waste products from the body through urination.
When buying cucumbers, ones that are firm to touch and dark green in color should be chosen. Overly matured or yellow colored ones are not to be bought, as they may contain more insoluble fiber and mature seeds, which are difficult to digest.