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Last Updated on April 27, 2018

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 February 21, 2019

            Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

            Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

            Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

            If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

            When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

            In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

            1. Salmon

            Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

            It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

            Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

            Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

            Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

            Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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            2. Blueberries

            Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

            Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

            Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

            Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

            Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

            3. Turmeric

            Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

            Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

            Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

            Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

            Curcumin has also been shown to:

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            • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
            • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
            • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
            • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

            4. Coffee

            Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

            Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

            Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

            Coffee can also:

            • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
            • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
            • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
            • Improve your memory.
            • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

            5. Broccoli

            What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

            Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

            Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

            Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

            Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

            6. Bone broth

            Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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            Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

            Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

            Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

            Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

            With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

            Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

            7. Walnuts

            Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

            Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

            Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

            Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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            8. Eggs

            For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

            Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

            Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

            9. Dark chocolate

            You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

            Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

            Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

            Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

            Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

            Conclusion

            Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

            In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

            If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

            More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
            [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
            [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
            [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
            [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
            [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
            [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
            [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
            [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
            [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
            [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
            [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
            [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
            [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
            [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
            [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
            [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
            [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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