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Cucumber is a nutritious and low-calorie vegetable, as it is rich in water, minerals and antioxidants, having several he alth benefits such as favoring weight loss, keeping the body hydrated and improving the functioning of the intestine.
In addition, cucumber helps to reduce body fat, blood sugar and blood pressure and, therefore, its consumption can be recommended to assist in the treatment of diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Cucumber is also widely used to refresh and tone the skin, and can be consumed in salads, juices or in the preparation of facial masks, for example.
The main he alth benefits of cucumber are:
1. Help with weight loss
Cucumber has few calories and is rich in water and fiber, helping to increase satiety between meals for longer, thus reducing appetite, being a recommended food to use in weight loss diets.
2. Avoid dehydration
Because it is made up of 95% water and contains important amounts of electrolytes, cucumber can prevent dehydration during physical activity, for example. Therefore, this vegetable can be consumed naturally or in the form of a refreshing drink with water and mint, for example, keeping the body hydrated.
3. Prevent cancer
Cucumber contains large amounts of antioxidants and nutrients, such as cucurbitacins, which have anticancer and antiproliferative properties, preventing the growth of cancerous and precancerous cells.
4. Maintain cardiovascular he alth
The amount of fiber and antioxidants present in cucumber helps to improve cardiovascular he alth, as it promotes the reduction of fats in the body, especially triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol. Therefore, its regular consumption can prevent diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.
5. Help lower blood pressure
Cucumber contains good amounts of water, magnesium and potassium, which helps to reduce blood pressure, as it promotes the elimination of excess sodium through the urine and increases the relaxation of the arteries, thus preventing arterial hypertension.
6. Control diabetes
Cucumber contains fiber and low glycemic index, so it is able to slowly increase blood sugar levels. In addition, it contains cucurbit, which stimulates the release of the hormone insulin, regulating the level of glucose in the body and helping to prevent and control diabetes.
7. De-inflammation of the skin
Applied directly to the skin, cucumber has a cooling effect that helps keep the skin revitalized and acts as a soothing agent, as it reduces swelling and skin irritation, and can relieve sunburn.
8. Helping detoxify the body
Due to the presence of potassium, water and antioxidants, cucumber helps to promote the body's detoxification and decrease fluid retention, eliminating excess sodium and toxins from the body through the urine.
9. Improve digestion
Cucumber works as an anti-inflammatory for the stomach, helping to improve digestion, as well as reducing acidity and gas formation in the digestive tract.
10. Relieve Constipation
Cucumber contains good amounts of fiber and water, helping to soften and increase the size of stools, promoting their elimination through the intestine and thus improving constipation, it is recommended to consume this whole vegetable with its peel, which is where most of the fibers are found.
11. Improve bone he alth
By containing good amounts of vitamin K, cucumber helps to maintain bone he alth, since together with calcium, this vitamin is essential for bone formation and to maintain bone structure, thus preventing development of diseases such as osteoporosis.
Properties of cucumber
Cucumber is a low-calorie food, having only 15 calories per 100 grams, and is made up of 95% water, in addition to having good amounts of lignans, vitamin K, cucurbitacins, flavonoids, potassium and magnesium, in addition to other trace elements and minerals that reinforce the antioxidant, diuretic, depurative, moisturizing, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, emollient, slimming and antidiabetic properties.
The following table indicates the nutritional composition of 100 g of cucumber:
|Component||100 grams of cucumber|
|Carbohydrates||3, 63 g|
|Protein||0, 65 g|
|Fibers||0, 5 g|
|Water||95, 2 %|
|Vitamin K||16, 4 mcg|
It is important to keep in mind that in order to obtain all the benefits mentioned above, cucumbers must be included in a balanced and he althy diet, and it is also important to practice physical activity on a regular basis.
How to consume cucumber
Cucumber can be consumed raw, in salads, juices and smoothies or it can be consumed in the form of pickles, being a way to preserve food for longer. However, not all people can efficiently digest cucumber, in which case it is recommended that the skin be removed to favor digestion.
Recipes with cucumber
Some recipes that can be prepared with cucumber are:
1. Cucumber water
- 1 large cucumber or 2 small ones;
- 1 liter of water;
- Mint leaves.
Wash the cucumbers well and cut them into slices. Then add it to the water along with the mint leaves. It is recommended to leave the cucumber water in the fridge for at least 1 hour, so that you can get the pleasant taste.
2. Cucumber Pickles
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar;
- 1 tablespoon of sugar;
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger;
- 1 Japanese cucumber.
Mix the sugar, vinegar and ginger and stir until all the sugar dissolves. Add the thinly sliced cucumber with the skin on and leave for at least two hours in the fridge before serving.
3. Cucumber detox juice
- 2 apples with skin;
- 1 medium cucumber;
- 3 mint leaves.
Remove the seeds from the apples and mix all the ingredients in the blender. Drink it cold, without adding sugar.
4. Cucumber Salad
- 4 lettuce leaves;
- 1/2 bunch of watercress;
- 1 large diced tomato;
- 1 boiled egg;
- 1 sliced or diced cucumber;
- 1 grated carrot;
- Olive oil, vinegar, parsley, lemon and oregano for seasoning.
Cook the egg and cut the vegetables, mixing everything and seasoning as desired. Serve fresh as a starter for lunch or dinner. If you want, you can add shredded chicken or tuna for dinner.