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Amazing Benefits Of Cucumber Water (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

Amazing Benefits Of Cucumber Water (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

Do you have a crazy busy schedule but still want to take care of yourself?  The good news is that, even on hectic days, there are some quick and simple ways to stay healthy.  One of them is drinking cucumber water — read on to find out about all the things this amazing drink can do for your body.

1. Cucumber Water Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Cardiac disease is the number one killer in America, according to the American Heart Association. However, the good news is that you can reduce your chances of developing this disease through good lifestyle choices such as a healthy diet, regular exercise and including cucumber water in your diet. It has been shown to help reduce high blood pressure — a major risk factor for heart disease — by helping the kidneys to get rid of extra sodium in the body.

2. Cucumber Water Prevents Weak Bones

Osteoporosis is a serious, chronic condition which puts you at a much higher risk for broken bones — and which is particularly a problem for women once they hit menopause. When most people think about bone health, calcium, vitamin D and magnesium come to mind — but vitamin K is incredibly important, too. And luckily, cucumbers are incredibly rich in vitamin K, which helps to form the bones matrix and keeps the bone dense and strong.

3. Cucumber Water Prevents Dehydration

Dehydration can happen for a variety of reasons — a warm day, a strenuous work-out, or just not taking the time to drink enough water. Dehydration can cause digestive problems, make circulation more sluggish and even promote weight gain, since many people eat when they actually are thirsty. The National Institute of Health, however, recommends between 6 and 8 glasses a day for best health: cucumber water, being delicious, makes getting enough water in your system a lot easier to do.

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4. Cucumber Water May Reduce Cancer Risk

While cucumber water alone cannot lower your cancer risk, it can be used as a part of an overall healthy lifestyle and can provide your body with the vitamins, mineral and fiber it needs to stay healthy. However, this beverage is rich in antioxidants and compounds such as cucurbitacins and lignans which have been shown in clinical studies to help the body fend off cancer development. This is another great reason to indulge in cucumber water.

5. Cucumber Water Lowers Chances of Chronic Diseases

Cancer and osteoporosis are not the only chronic diseases you have to worry about as you get older — diseases of the eyes, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease (which causes progressive memory loss) are difficult  and common conditions, too. However, the rich array of antioxidants in cucumbers can help reduce stress on the cells, slow the aging process, and prevent many of these age-related conditions.

6. Cucumber Water Helps Avoid Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

Let’s face it: most of us still get too much processed food in our diets — and processed food is just not a good source of the vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy. So mineral and vitamin deficiencies are more common than many people realize and can lead to problems like fatigue, muscle or bone weakness or a depressed immune system, just to name a few. Cucumbers, however, are a rich source nutrients like vitamins A and C and manganese to make up for deficiencies in our diet.

7. Cucumber Water Removes Toxic Build-Up

Between the chemicals in food and drinking water, air pollution and even household chemicals and cleaners, our bodies are exposed to a lot of toxins on a daily basis. These toxins can build up in the system and cause fatigue and other problems. Cucumber water, however, can help detoxify our bodies due to its high water and high fiber content, which make it easier for the body to eliminate harmful chemicals every time we go to the bathroom.

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8. Cucumber Water Helps You Shed Extra Weight

According to the Center for Disease Control, two-thirds of Americans are considered to be overweight or obese — and anyone who has been on a diet knows just how hard it is to shed those excess pounds. Cucumber water can help: drinking it can help to curb your appetite and make it easier to cut down on calories without suffering from hunger pains. It also helps you to reduce overall calories if you use it as a replacement for sodas, juice or other sugary drinks.

9. Cucumber Water Prevents Dry Skin

Sun exposure, cold or hot weather and air pollution can all take its toll on your skin, leaving it dry, red and itchy. However, cucumber water can help. When you drink it, you help to not only hydrate your skin from within, you also provide silicon and vitamin B-5, two nutrients your skin needs to stay healthy. When you use it as a toner, you can help reduce inflammation and irritation and keep your skin smooth and clear.

10. Cucumber Water Prevents Muscle Weakness

Lack of exercise and of certain nutrients in the diet makes it easy for muscles to get flabby and weak — and this can make it harder to lose weight, exercise regularly and get into shape. Cucumber water, however, can nourish the muscles with important nutrients like silicon. If you are on a program to help build up your muscles through weight-lifting or weight-bearing exercises, cucumber water is a great way to make that program more effective.

Try these Five Delicious Recipes for Cucumber Water at Home!

Cucumber-Orange Water

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    Lemon Mint Cucumber Water

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      Watermelon-Cucumber-Mint Infused Water

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        Cucumber Herb-Infused Water

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          Strawberry-Cucumber-Basil Water

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            So if you are interested in a quick and easy way to help improve your health, consider trying one of these healthful variations on the classic cucumber water and bring the spa home to you!

            Featured photo credit: dashkin14 via shutterstock.com

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            Brian Wu

            Health Writer, Author

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            Last Updated on June 18, 2018

            What Really Works: How to Relieve Lower Back Pain Effectively

            What Really Works: How to Relieve Lower Back Pain Effectively

            Eight out of ten adults experience lower back pain once in their lifetime. I am one of those people and I’m definitely not looking forward to my participation award. I know how it feels like to step out of bed and barely being able to put on your socks. Having lower back pain sucks. But 9 out of 10 patients that suffer from lower back pain don’t even know the primary cause of it.

            Video Summary

            Back Pain? Blame Our Evolution

            Once upon a time in our fairly recent past, our ancestors felt the urgency to stand up and leave our quadruped neighbors behind. Habitual bipedalism, fancy word for regularly walking on two legs, came with a lot of advantages. With two rear limbs instead of four, we were able to more efficiently use our hands and create tools with them.

            Sadly, life on two legs also brought along its disadvantages. Our spine had four supporting pillars previously, but now it only got two. The back is therefore naturally one of the weak links of our human anatomy. Our spine needs constant support from its supporting muscles to minimize the load on the spine. With no muscle support (tested on dead bodies) the back can only bear loads up to 5 pounds without collapsing [reference Panjabi 1989]. With well-developed torso muscles, the spine can take loads up to 2000 pounds. That’s a 400-fold increase.

            Most people that come to me with a history of a herniated disc (that’s when the discs between the vertebral bodies are fully collapsed, really severe incident), tell me the ‘story of the pencil’. The injury with the following severe pain usually gets triggered by picking up a small, everyday object. Such as a pencil. Not as you may think by trying to lift 100 pounds – no, but by a simple thing – such as a pencil.

            This tells us that damage in your back adds up over time, it’s a so called cumulative trauma disorder. Meaning back pain is a result of your daily habits.

            Sitting Is the New Smoking

            Whenever I sit for too long, my back hurts. In fact, 54% of Americans who experience lower back pain spend the majority of their workday sitting. But isn’t sitting something that should reduce the stress of your back? No, just the opposite.

            The joints between the bones of the spine are not directly linked to the blood supply. These joints instead get nourished through a process called diffusion. Diffusion works because molecules (such as oxygen, important for cells) are constantly moving and try to get as much space for themselves as they can. A key element for diffusion therefore is a pressure difference. In the image below the left room contains more moving molecules than the right, that’s why the molecules from the left are moving to the right. This way nutrition gets transformed into the joints, whereas toxins are transported out of the joints.

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            Sitting puts a lot of pressure on your spinal chord. The diffusion process therefore can’t function as efficiently. Nutrition and toxins can’t be properly transported, the joints get damaged.

              Sit Properly

              If sitting can play such a huge part in the creation of your lower back pain, how do you sit properly then?

              Is it better to sit with a straight back or should you rather lay back in your chair? Can I cross my legs when I’m sitting or should I have a symmetrical position with my feet? These are questions that I hear on a daily basis. The answer might shock you – according to recent science – all of them are right. The best sitting position is an ever-changing one. An ever-changing position minimizes the pressure on certain points of your spine and spreads it on the whole part.

                Credit: StayWow

                Stand Up More

                Even better than a sitting position is a stand up position. Standing dramatically reduces the pressure on your spine. If you’re forced to work on a desk the whole day though, you have two options.

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                Take breaks every hour of about 2-3 minutes.

                Set an alarm on your phone that goes off every hour! In that time you stand up and reach to the ceiling, on your toe tips with fully extended arms. You’re inhaling during the whole process. You do this activity for 20 seconds. Afterwards you’re walking through the office for the next 2 minutes. You might grab a healthy snack or some water in that time. The exercise relieves the pressure on your spine, while the walking makes sure that the joints on your spine are properly used.

                Or get a standing desk.

                One of the best companies on the market for Standing Desks, according to my research, is Autonomous. Autonomous offers a rather cheap Standing Desk, with the ability to change the height. Which means you can start the day standing and switch to sitting if you’re tired.

                Exercise for Lower Back Pain

                Sitting is an immobile position. Your joints are made for movement and therefore need movement to function properly. If humans are moving, all moving parts: e.g. the joints, bones and muscles get strengthened. If you’re in a rested position for too long, your tissues start to deteriorate. You have to get the right amount of activity in.

                But not too much activity. There’s a chance that going to the gym may even increase your risk of lower back pain. I know plenty of friends with chiseled bodies that suffer from pain in the spine regularly. Huge muscles do not prevent you from back pain. In your training you should focus on building up the muscles that are stabilizing your back and relieve pressure. Squats with 400 pounds don’t do the trick.

                The more weight you carry around, the more weight your spinal chord has to bear on a regular basis. That’s one of the reasons why huge, muscular guys can suffer from back pain too. One of the most important goals of your exercise regimen should therefore be weight loss.

                Here are some important tips for you to consider when starting an exercise regimen:

                Make sure you implement cardiovascular training in your workout routine.

                This will not only help you lose weight, it will also make sure that your arteries, which flow to the tissue next to your spinal discs, are free of placque and can therefore transport nutrients properly.

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                Important: If you have rather strong back pain, maybe even an herniated disc, don’t start running on a threadmill. Running is an high-impact exercise. Which means there are continuous, reocurring high pressure points on your spine. Your endurance training should therefore either be fast-paced walking or a training on the elliptical trainer for the beginning, because both have little to no stressful impact on your backbone.

                Focus on developing your whole core if you want to minimize your pain.

                There are some people that do hundreds of sit ups a day. While sit ups are a good exercise for your abdomen, it also puts pressure on your spine due to the bending movement. A sixpack workout routine is one-sided. Your abs may become overdeveloped in comparison to your back muscles. You’ve created an imbalance. A great way to train your abdominal muscles and back muscles simultaneously, is holding the plank position.

                Stretch only if you have tight muscles.

                I remember stretching every morning after I woke up. I took 10 minutes out of my day to just work on my flexibility and prevent injuries. Little did I know that I was actually promoting an injury, by doing so.

                Contrary to common belief, stretching is only partially beneficial to treating lower back pain. Stretching makes sense if tight muscles (such as the hamstrings) are forcing you to constantly bend your back. Stretching to treat pain doesn’t make sense if you’re already on a good level of flexibility. Hyper-mobility may even enforce back pain.

                If you found out that you had tight muscles that you need to stretch, try to stretch them at least three times a week. Don’t stretch your muscles right after you wake up in the morning. This is because your spinal discs soak themselves up in fluid over the nighttime. Every bending and excessive loads on your spine is much worse in that soaked-up state. Postpone your stretching regime to two-to three hours after you’ve woken up.

                Where to Start

                The key to improving your habits is awareness. Try to get aware of your back while you’re sitting down, laying down or lifting an object next time. This awareness of your body is called proprioception. For example, you have to be aware whether your back is bended or straight in this very second. Trust me, it is harder than you might think. You may need to ask a friend for the first few tries. But the change that this awareness can make in your back pain is absolutely fascinating. This consciousness of your body is one of the most important things in your recovery or prevention.

                Here are a few behavioural tactics that you need to be considering:

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                If you’re leaning forward more than 30 degrees with your upper body, support your spine with your arms.

                Ever tried to show a colleague of yours a complex issue and found yourself awkwardly leaning forward on their desk, pointing with your fingers to his paper? If that ever happens again, make sure you’re using the not-pointing arm to support yourself on the desk.

                Keep a straight back.

                Be it while exercising, stretching or standing. If you’re bending your back you’re putting stress on small areas of your spinal chord. A straight back redistributes the force to a bigger area. You’re minimizing the pressure. Remember this whenever you’re at the gym and reracking your weights, focus on having a neutral spine.

                Put symmetrical loads on your spine.

                I used to play the trumpet when I was a child. The instrument is pretty heavy. The trumpet gets transported in a big, metallic suitcase – with no wheels. Being the nature of suitcases, you only carry it with one arm, on one side of your body. This forced me to constantly lean on the other side with my upper body, while transporting the instrument from A to B. Not really the healthiest activity for your spine as you can imagine.

                If you have to carry heavy objects, carry them with both arms. Put the object in the middle of your body and keep it as close to your mass of gravity as you can. If this is not possible, try to carry the same amount on the left side than you do on the right side. This puts the stress vertically on a fully extended spine. The load is much better bearable for your spine.

                Stay Away From the Back Pain League

                Our world is getting more sedentary. We will continue to develop faster transportation, more comfortable houses and easier lives. While our technological progress definitely has its amazing benefits, it sadly has its downsides too. The danger for back pain will continue to rise on our ever-increasing motionless planet. It’s time to raise awareness.

                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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