Who doesn’t love crunchy, juicy, refreshing cucumbers? I don’t know if this low cal, vitamin-packed, skin-firming food is a fruit or a vegetable and to be honest, I don’t much care. What I do know is that the amazing multi-purpose benefits of these cool cukes makes them worthy of an academy food award.
Being the 4th most cultivated vegetable in the world, we are fortunate that cucumbers are so accessible. This super-food makes for a perfect midday snack.
1. They keep you hydrated
Cucumbers are 96% water, and the water content is more nutritious than regular water. If you are feeling dehydrated, munch on some cucumbers. They will also help you flush out toxins, so you can slice some up before bed to avoid a hangover.
2. Contain antioxidants
Cucumbers contain vitamins A, B, C which boost immunity and keep you looking fresh. The cucumber skin contains about 10% of our recommended daily dose of vitamin C, so try adding cucumbers to your juicer or smoothie for even more benefits.
3. They’ll soothe your sunburn
If you like your cucumbers peeled, the skin can be used to relieve sunburn and mild skin irritations, just like aloe vera. Cucumbers are known for their cooling properties, which can also relieve heart burn.
4. Use them in the spa
Cucumbers are often used topically to enhance skin function. The natural ascorbic acid and high water content within the cucumber act to help hydrate thin skin under the eyes; this is one of the oldest tricks in the book. The coolness from the fridge will also help contract blood vessels and reduce swelling.
To diminish under eye bags, cut two thick slices and place them over your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes.
Cucumbers are also known to help inflammation and eczema, and they also tighten collagen, which can help remove cellulite.
To make a cucumber face mask use 1/2 cucumber and 1 tbsp yogurt. Peel the cucumber, puree with the yogurt, apply to your face and leave on for 15 minutes. Wash with cold water.
Cucumber also smoothes hair and nails: silica is the wonder mineral in cucumbers, which will make your hair shiny and your nails stronger.
6. Aid in weight loss
This is a healthy snack and beats grabbing a chocolate bar.
7. Refresh the mouth
The photochemicals present in cucumber help kills the bacteria in your mouth that are responsible for bad breath. Just press a slice of cucumber in your mouth and hold it against the roof of your mouth with your tongue for at least 30 seconds.
8. Assist in many bodily functions
- May help lower blood pressure because it is rich in potassium and magnesium.
- Help regulate uric acid, which aids in the prevention of kidney or bladder stones.
- Beneficial for diabetic patients. Cucumbers contain a hormone needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin.
- Helps digestive disorders, such as heartburn, gastritis, and even ulcers, can be cured by the daily consumption of fresh cucumber juice.
9. Soothe muscle and joint pain
All the above discussed vitamins and minerals in cucumber make it a powerful fighter of muscle and joint pain.
10. Can be used to make cucumber water
Cucumbers are great in salads, smoothies and by themselves, but many people are discovering that along with all of the above benefits, cucumber water is a healthy, refreshing beverage. This treat used to be found at high-end spas but is fast becoming mainstream.
To make your own, simply cut up an organic cucumber into small slices, add purified water, and let it soak in the fridge overnight. In the morning, you can strain the mixture and remove the cucumber slices or you can replace the cucumbers with fresh ones if you want to make your drink look more appealing.
Optional: add a few mint leaves. Chop the mint up and let it soak with the cucumber chunks in the water overnight. Some people also like to add a few drops of lime or lemon juice.
Now I understand why they call it a super food! When trying to decide your next snack, will reach for the sugar filled cookie or the friendly, refreshing cucumber?
More benefits of stuff you didn't know about: Cheers to That! 7 Unexpected Benefits of Red WineFeatured photo credit: Freshly sliced mini cucumbers with knife on wooden cutting board. Macro with shallow dof. Focus on front slices. via Shutterstock