Cucumber is literally a ‘cool’ food with health benefits, including the reduction of cancer risks.
Its scientific name is Cucumis sativus and it belongs to the same botanical family as melons (including watermelon and cantaloupe) and squashes (including summer squash, winter squash, zucchini and pumpkin).
Like watermelon, cucumbers are made up of mostly (95 percent) water, which means eating them on a hot summer day can help you stay hydrated.
However, there’s reason to eat cucumbers all year long. With vitamin K, B vitamins, copper, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese, cucumbers can help you to avoid nutrient deficiencies that are widespread among those eating a typical Filipino diet.
Plus, cucumbers contain unique polyphenols and other compounds that may help reduce your risk of chronic diseases and much, much more.
Cucumbers contain multiple B vitamins, including vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and vitamin B7 (biotin). B vitamins are known to help ease feelings of anxiety and buffer some of the damaging effects of stress. Cucumbers are rich in two of the most basic elements needed for healthy digestion: water and fiber.
Since it’s high in nutrients but low in calories, this means you can eat more and feel satiated while still sticking to an overall healthy, low-calorie or low-carb weight loss plan.
Cucumber has also shown to be great for sexual stamina. Cucumber helps to make you last longer and it is dubbed by some as the organic “Viagra.”
Although the alkaline fruit is made up of so much fluid, it still manages to provide many beneficial health benefits. Cucumbers are known to be an excellent source of beneficial minerals including bone-building manganese, as well as potassium and magnesium, both good for your heart.
CANCER REDUCES CANCER RISKS
Recent studies concluded that cucumbers contain powerful lignans that contribute to reducing risk of several cancers, including breast, uterus, ovarian, and prostate cancers. Phytonutrients in cucumbers called cucurbitacins are known to strongly prevent cancer cell from developing in the body.
In one study, cucumber extracts were found to provide phytonutrients that have free radical scavenging and analgesic activities, ultimately sweeping the body of toxins that cause cancer.
Cucurbitacins in cucumbers have already been proven scientifically as having anticancer activities. Still, another recent study discovered that cucurbitacin in cucumbers have strong inhibiting effects on cancer signaling pathways, which cancer cells need to survive and proliferate.
SOME GOOD REASONS TO EAT CUCUMBERS
- 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.
- Reduces 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.
- Fight Inflammation – Cucumbers may help to “cool” the inflammatory response in your body and animal studies suggest that cucumber extract helps reduce unwanted inflammation, in part by inhibiting the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes (including cyclo-oxygenase 2, or COX-2).
- Antioxidant Properties – 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, 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.
- Freshen Your Breath – Placing a cucumber slice on the roof of your mouth may help to rid your mouth of odor-causing bacteria. According to the principles of Ayurveda, eating cucumbers may also help to release excess heat in your stomach, which is said to be a primary cause of bad breath.
- Manage Stress – Cucumbers contain multiple B vitamins, including vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and vitamin B7 (biotin). B vitamins are known to help ease feelings of anxiety and buffer some of the damaging effects of stress.
- Support Your Digestive Health – Cucumbers are rich in two of the most basic elements needed for healthy digestion: water and fiber. Adding cucumbers to your juice or salad can help you meet the ideal of amount of fiber your body needs — 50 grams per 1,000 calories consumed. If you struggle with acid reflux, you should know that drinking water can help suppress acute symptoms of acid reflux by temporarily raising stomach pH; it’s possible that water-rich cucumbers may have a similar effect.
Cucumber skins contain insoluble fiber, which helps add bulk to your stool. This helps food to move through your digestive tract more quickly for healthy elimination.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight – Cucumbers are very low in calories, yet they make a filling snack (one cup of sliced cucumber contains just 16 calories). The soluble fiber in cucumbers dissolves into a gel-like texture in your gut, helping to slow down your digestion. This helps you to feel full longer and is one reason why fiber-rich foods may help with weight control.
- Support Heart Health – Cucumbers contain potassium, which is associated with lower blood pressure levels. A proper balance of potassium both inside and outside your cells is crucial for your body to function properly. As an electrolyte, potassium is a positive charged ion that must maintain a certain concentration (about 30 times higher inside than outside your cells) in order to carry out its functions, which includes interacting with sodium to help control nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction, and heart function.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CUCUMBERS
- Keeps you hydrated – If you are too busy to drink enough water, munch on the cool cucumber, which is 95 percent water. It will cheerfully compensate!
- Fights heat, both inside and out – Eat cucumber, and your body gets relief from heartburn. Apply cucumber on your skin, and you get relief from sunburn and itchy skin.
- Flushes out toxins – All that water in cucumber acts as a virtual broom, sweeping waste products out of your system. With regular use, cucumber is known to dissolve kidney stones.
- Nourishes you with vitamins – A B and C, which boost immunity, give you energy and keep you radiant. Give it more power by juicing cucumber with carrot and spinach.
- Supplies skin-friendly minerals – magnesium, potassium, silicon. That’s why cucumber-based treatments are popular in spas.
- Aids in weight loss – Enjoy cucumbers in your salads and soups.
- Revives the eyes – Placing chilled slices of cucumber on the eyes is a clichéd beauty visual, but it really helps reduce under-eye bags and puffiness.
- Cuts cancer risk – Cut down your risk of several cancers by including cucumber in your diet. Several studies show its cancer-fighting potential.
- Stabilizes blood pressure – Patients that struggle with blood pressure, both high and low, often find that eating cucumber brings relief.
- Smooths hair and nails – Silica, the wonder mineral in cucumber makes your hair and nails stronger and shinier.
- Soothes muscle and joint pain – All those vitamins and minerals in cucumber make it a powerful enemy of muscle and joint pain.
- Keeps kidneys in shape – Cucumber lowers uric acid levels in your system, keeping the kidneys happy.
- Good for diabetics – 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.
- Reduces cholesterol – A compound called sterols in cucumber helps reduce bad cholesterol.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon celery seed
- 7 cups thinly sliced peeled cucumbers (about 6 medium)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, chopped
In a large bowl, whisk sugar, vinegar, salt and celery seed. Add cucumbers, onion and pepper; toss to combine. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Smacked Cucumber Pickles
- 1 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
- ½ tsp. cornstarch
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper plus more
- ½ lb. ground pork
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ tsp. finely chopped peeled ginger
- ½ tsp. ground turmeric
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. chopped pickled spicy chiles (such as oil-packed Calabrian chiles)
Smack whole cucumbers, turning against work surface 3–4 times to loosen and tenderize. Slice cucumbers into 3”-long pieces; set aside. Whisk soy sauce, cornstarch, and ½ tsp. pepper in a large bowl; mix in pork and set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic, and ginger, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes; mix in turmeric. Add reserved pork mixture and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to high. Add vinegar, chiles, and reserved cucumbers and toss to coat. Transfer to a medium bowl and let sit, tossing occasionally, 1 hour; season with salt and pepper.
Salmon Sushi Buddha Bowl
- ½ teaspoon rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 1/2 cup cooked short-grain brown rice
- 3 ounces sliced smoked salmon
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
- 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce (see Tip)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- ⅛- ¼ teaspoon wasabi paste
- Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Combine rice vinegar and honey in a small bowl. Stir in rice. Transfer the rice to a shallow serving bowl. Top with smoked salmon, avocado and cucumber. Combine tamari (or soy sauce), sesame oil and wasabi in a small bowl and drizzle over everything. Top with sesame seeds, if desired.
Lavender-Cucumber Gin & Tonic
Lavender Simple Syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers, or other edible dried flowers
Gin & Tonic
- 2 tablespoons chopped peeled cucumber
- 2 ounces gin
- ½ cup tonic water
- Cucumber slice for serving
- To prepare simple syrup: Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in flowers and let cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Strain (discard the flowers) and refrigerate for up to 1 month. (Makes 1-1¼ cups.)
- To prepare gin & tonic: Fill a tall glass with ice. With a muddler, mash cucumber in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add gin and 1 ounce of the simple syrup. Shake for 10 seconds. Strain into the glass and add tonic. Stir to combine. Garnish with cucumber slice, if desired.
To make ahead: Refrigerate simple syrup for up to 1 month.
ILACM employs the most effective natural and complementary treatment for multitude of chronic illnesses. ILACM always begins its medical treatment recommendation through non pharmacologic approaches with which the result is instant and complement it with natural remedy approaches to achieve optimum long term results.
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Our innovation has a proven track record of benefitting numerous patients with natural and complementary medical approaches.
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