Aug 222012

cucumber benefitsHow about beating the heat by adding some nutritious cucumber to your diet this week? Learn about cucumber benefits. Did you know that cucumbers have actually been found to be up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside air? It’s no wonder that we want to be “cool as a cucumber” during the hot summer months.

The nutritious cucumber has more nutrients to offer than just water and electrolytes.

Cucumbers are in the same family as zucchini, watermelon and pumpkin. High in water content and low in calories, they are filling but not fattening. You can enjoy cucumbers in a variety of ways, including as a light snack, with vegetable dips or in salads.

How many calories are in a cucumber?

Cucumber is a very low calorie vegetable, providing just 8 calories per a ½ cup serving. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Cucumber peel is a good source of dietary fiber that helps reduce constipation, and offers some protection against colon cancers by eliminating toxic compounds from the gut.

Cucumber Benefits

What is the Nutrition and Health Benefit in Cucumbers?

Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc. Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte that helps reduce blood pressure and heart rates by countering effects of sodium.

At the top of the phytonutrient list for cucumbers are its cucurbitacins, lignans, and flavonoids. These three types of phytonutrients found in cucumbers provide us with valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits.

Cucumbers also have a mild diuretic property probably due to their high water and potassium content, which helps in checking weight gain and high blood pressure.

cucumber benefitsWhile it may be recommended to add cucumbers to your diet to improve the complexion and health of the skin, it’s long been known that cucumbers are also used topically to reduce bags and puffiness under the eyes and the effects of sunburn. Just prop your head up and put sliced chilled or frozen cucumber on them for about 10 minutes.

How to Select and Store Cucumbers

Cucumbers should be firm, rounded at their edges, and their color should be a bright medium to dark green. Squeeze the ends of the cucumbers to make sure they are firm, since these are the first areas to deteriorate. Avoid cucumbers that are yellow, puffy, have sunken water-soaked areas, or are wrinkled at their tips. Cucumbers are very sensitive to heat so always select them from the refrigerated area of your market.

Cucumbers should be stored in the refrigerator where they will keep for several days. If you do not use the entire cucumber during one meal, place it in a tightly sealed container so that it does not become dried out. For maximum quality, cucumber should be used within one or two days.

Cucumber Fun Facts

Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks, and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean

Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free… Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

Cucumber and feta saladCucumber Salad Recipe

Please enjoy this week’s recipe for an easy cucumber salad that’s ready in 5 minutes. With cucumber, olives and feta, it’s the perfect summer treat.

Time to chill out!

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