Insane Health Benefits of Cucumber Nutrition – What is it for?
The cucumber nutrition is the fruit of the Cucumis sativus (family Cucurbitaceous), a species of creeping plant and creeper better known as the cucumber. Very present on the table of Europeans, the cucumber nutrition combines with summer days: it is refreshing; it has a soft flavor and a crunchy texture! We will see the major benefits of cucumber, what exactly it serves and which properties stand out.
Origin of the cucumber
The most likely origin of the cucumber is in the Indian Territory and its arrival to Europe occurred through the Romans. There are reports of its cultivation in France (ninth century) and England (fourteenth century). In the Americas, the fruit was introduced by European settlers (in the case of Europe, by North America). Cucumber planting has thrived in our country as it grows, preferably in more tropical areas and also in places with a more temperate climate. It is no wonder that the European regions with the highest productivity are the Southeast and South.
Varieties of cucumber in Europe
There are a wide variety of types of cucumber in the world, and they can be classified in two ways: in cucumbers for cutting, those that are used in natural; and in pickled cucumbers, i.e., which are processed into pickles. Making preserves is a food preservation process.
The most common variants of the fruit for cutting in Europe are:
compared to the others, these specimens are the most elongated and thin. The bark has recesses and is dark green and bright in color.
these have a smooth peel and light green color with white streaks.
these also have a smooth peel but are dark green.
The market selects other types of cucumber, more suitable, to make pickles.
Let us now learn more about the utilities, properties, and benefits of cucumber for our health.
What is the cucumber for?
Cucumber is a low calorie and quite nutritious food. The fruit is often used for the preparation of salads. Pickles and small strips of cucumber can be served as an appetizer. Both forms, raw and canned, are also used as filling in snacks.
You can even prepare hot or cold soups, pureed and sauteed with the cucumber. In addition, it has been widely used as an ingredient in so-called “detox juices” and “cucumber water”; refreshing beverages that help eliminate impurities from the body.
But it’s not just cooking that he stands out. Cucumber can also be found in the formulation of various cosmetic products.
Properties of cucumber
Every 100 grams of cucumber, raw and with bark, has only 16 calories, even because its main constituent is water (about 95% of the total) (See more in Calories of Cucumber – Types, Portions, Tips, and Recipes). They are an excellent source of vitamin K and molybdenum and have good amounts of pantothenic acid and fiber. They also have vitamin C, vitamin B1, biotin, carotenoids, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, silica, triterpenoids, lignans, and flavonoids.
The most prominent medicinal properties of cucumber are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and laxative activities.
We will see below how the properties of cucumber bring benefits to health and fitness:
1) The cucumber Nutrition has anti-inflammatory action
Research on animals indicates that cucumber extract has an anti-inflammatory action: it has been able to prevent excessive production of nitric oxide and inhibit cyclooxygenase 2 (or COX-2) Large amounts of nitric oxide further damage inflammatory conditions. In bronchial asthma, for example, gas helps narrow the airways. COX-2 is an enzyme that also participates in the mechanism of inflammation and is also the target of many anti-inflammatory drugs.
2) Cucumber Nutrition has antioxidant activity
The cucumber nutrition has a great supply of antioxidants: beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese and some flavonoid compounds.
Many diseases are caused by oxidative stress, such as the most varied types of cancer.
Researchers have found that fresh cucumber extract improves antioxidant capacity and further elimination of free radicals in animals.
3) Cucumber Nutrition prevents constipation
Cucumber nutrition has significant amounts of water and insoluble fiber. People with chronic constipation can make daily consumption of the fruit. It is a natural treatment alternative to this problem. The association of water with the fibers is ideal to stimulate in an accelerated way the excretion of feces and other residues and toxins resulting from metabolism.
4) Cucumber Nutrition is a natural diuretic
The large supply of water present in the cucumber nutrition increases the amount of urine produced by the body. This increased excretion of urine prevents episodes of urinary tract infection, as the bacteria are eliminated from the body and also prevents the formation of kidney stones. This is one of the benefits of the most sought-after cucumber because people want to decrease swelling, fluid buildup.
5) Cucumber Nutrition helps prevent and fight cancer
Two types of phytonutrients found in cucumber, lignans, and triterpenoids, have anti-cancer activity.
When digested, cucumber lignans (lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol) are transformed into enterolignans (enterolactone and enterodiol), by the action of the bacteria present in our digestive tract. These molecules, in turn, can bind to estrogen receptors, and this has a preventive effect against malignant tumors associated with the same hormone. Lignans, therefore, reduce the chances of occurrence of breast, ovarian, uterine, endometrial and prostate cancer.
A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute evaluated about 1000 postmenopausal women. The results indicated that those who consumed more lignans were less likely to develop endometrial cancer. Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition, made with 800 women, also showed that those who ingested this phytonutrient had a lower chance of having ovarian cancer.
Cucurbitacin A, B, C, and D are the triterpenoids found in cucumber. Much research has been done on these substances, including the pharmaceutical industry. The researchers found that cucurbitacin is capable of blocking signaling pathways crucial for the multiplication and survival of cancer cells. A study published in the Journal of Cancer Research found that supplements of cucurbitacin B were able to prevent, by 50%, the growth of seven lines of malignant cells of the human pancreas.
6) Cucumber Nutrition is useful against some neurological diseases
In addition, as previously quoted, cucumber has anti-inflammatory properties, which also helps to relieve pain.
Fisetin is a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory activity present in cucumber. In rats with Alzheimer’s, it has helped contain the deficiencies in memory and learning, disabling symptoms for those with Alzheimer’s disease.
7) Cucumber Nutrition is good for the heart
The cucumber has potassium, which alone has a vasodilatory action. And potassium, together with the fibers and magnesium also present in the fruit, helps reduce blood pressure.
Research has shown that consuming foods rich in these 3 types of nutrients, associated with a balanced diet, reduced the systolic pressure by up to 5.5 points and by up to 3 points the diastolic pressure.
The antioxidant properties of cucumber also nutrition help prevent arteriosclerosis.
8) Cucumber Nutrition is great for diabetics
Cucumber is a food that can and should be consumed by people with diabetes. The fruit has a very low glycemic index, that is, its ingestion does not cause peaks of glucose in the blood, which overwhelm the pancreas. And the most interesting: the cucumber has a hormone that is required by the beta cells of the pancreas, to synthesize insulin.
9) Cucumber Nutrition is good for the skin
You can cut slices or larger pieces of cucumber to use topically. The freshness of the greenery is excellent for treating burns from sun exposure, for example. This soothing effect of cucumber also relieves other types of irritations, inflammations, and swellings that reach the skin.
10) Cucumber Nutrition Leaves Bones Stronger
Cucumber nutrition is an excellent source of vitamin K, a key nutrient for our bones. The vitamin increases calcium absorption by the bones. Their deficiency makes them more fragile, susceptible to fractures.
One study reported that elderly men and women who ingest more vitamin K are less likely to have hip fractures. Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that there is a correlation between lower bone density in women and reduced vitamin levels in the body.
11) Cucumber Nutrition helps you lose weight
As we have seen, the cucumber is fruit with very few calories, but quite nutritious. That is: it can be used in any kind of food re-education program. Cucumber nutrition is even a star of detox diets.
Often, the feeling of hunger arises when, in fact, we just need to drink water. Dehydration causes this desire to eat, and the cucumber, thanks to its high water content, helps in hydration and reduces hunger.
Cucumber fibers are also important allies for the slimming process. They also promote this feeling of satiety.
12) Cucumber Nutrition Relieve bad breath
Take a slice of cucumber and press it against the roof of the mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds. This will kill the bacteria responsible for causing bad breath.
13) Cucumber Nutrition Cure the hangover
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of a headache. The cucumber nutrition contains magnesium and is rich in water. Researchers report that foods that have this combination (water and magnesium) are effective against headaches just by keeping the person hydrated.
To avoid a hangover or a headache in the morning, eat a few slices of cucumber just before going to bed. Cucumbers nutrition contain enough sugar, vitamins A, B and electrolytes that replenish many essential nutrients lost through drinking.