Cucumbers are one of nature’s miracle fruits — and yes, we said fruit. While many consider this green plant to be a vegetable, due to the fact that it develops from a flower and contains the seeds of the plant, a cucumber is actually a fruit.
Logistics aside, cucumbers have amazing health benefits, and you may want to consider adding them to your daily diet. Here’s why.
1. You’ll get additional hydration
It is a well known fact that your body can’t function without water. Water cleanses your body, by moving toxins out. It also helps carry essential nutrients throughout your body, and hydrates the skin and body, helping to keep it at that all important, 98.6 degree temperature.
But, what some don’t’ know is that people get 40 percent of their daily water intake from food, which is where fruits like cucumbers come in. In fact cucumbers are 95 percent water. So, when you eat a cucumber, you are basically eating and drinking at the same time.
2. You’ll get necessary nutrients
Cucumbers are low in calories yielding between 15-17 calories in one medium sized cucumber. But, this low-calorie fruit is packed with nutrients like fiber, carbs, protein, Vitamins C, K and B, potassium, manganeze, iron, zinc, riboflavin, and magnesium.
If you want to keep all those nutrients, however, don’t peel it. Many of the nutrients, especially fiber are found in the outer layer.
3. Reduce the effects of a hangover
If you had a little too much to drink over the weekend, and need to function come Monday, eat a cucumber. While studies have found that vegetable juice in general is a good remedy for the after effects of drinking too much, a popular health blog claims that cucumbers are key.
YouBeauty claims that if you snack on a few cucumbers before bed, it will to help your body deal with alcohol, citing the detoxifying and electrolyte balancing effects of the cukes. The site added that the popular cucumber-on-the-eyes will reduce dark circles so you don’t even look like you drank too much.
4. You’ll start to lose weight
Due to the cucumber’s low calorie, high nutrient and water content, cucumbers help keep the bulk of what you’re consuming down, while keeping you full. Research shows that people who consume foods with a greater water content lost more weight than diets with less water. In fact, a study conducted by the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise found that Drinking water increases the amount of calories you burn, which is known as resting energy expenditure.
By replacing high calorie side dishes with cucumbers, you will likely see a positive shift in your weight loss efforts.
5. You’ll have fresher breath
Cucumbers are natural breath fresheners. Due to the phytochemicals that help the cucumbers protect themselves from harmful substances while on the vine; it can also thwart off harmful bacteria in your mouth.
Simply hold a slice of cucumber on the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to kill the bacteria and cool the mouth.
6. Your blood sugar will decrease
Cucumbers contain several antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene and manganese; as well as flavonoids; triterpenes and polyphenols called lignans. These polyphenols reduce oxidative stress, resulting in decreased levels of bad cholesterol and blood sugar.
7. Your stress levels may lower
The multiple B vitamins contained in cucumbers, that include vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and vitamin B7 are known to help lower anxiety and some effects of stress that come about by negative life stressors.
This is largely due to the B vitamins’ ability to produce energy. The B vitamins are essential water-soluble vitamins that play a vital role in metabolism, i.e., converting food and other body stores into energy.
8. Your hair and nails and skin will improve
Cucumbers contain Vitamins A, B, C, K, Manganese, Copper, and potassium that are are key in supporting the body and supporting a healthy immune system. And when your body and immune systems are healthy, it is often most reflective in your hair, nails and skin.
Additionally, cucumbers are rich in silica, which is necessary for the development of health strong connective tissues. The sulphuric content is also key in helping hair grow fast and strong. According to an article published by the Huntington College of Health Sciences, sulfur has the ability to form strong bonds that contribute to the strength of healthy hair.Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) which contains sulfur is also necessary for the formation of keratin in nails, skin, and hair.
9. Your risk of disease will reduce
Back to those powerful antioxidants that do so much to help our bodies, including the prevention and fighting off diseases. Antioxidants combat free radicals that damage cells, and even stop them before they form or break them down when in the beginning growth stages.
Several research studies, including this one from the Department of Botany, found that Free radicals damage contributes to many chronic health problems like cardiovascular disease and cancer. The research concluded that “antioxidants prevent free radical induced tissue damage by preventing the formation of radicals; scavenging them; or by promoting their decomposition.”
10. Your digestion will improve
Moving our way down the body, let’s talk digestion.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, cucumbers contain high levels of water and fiber. Together, these two essential nutrients help move food through your body, promoting the good bacteria in your gut, regulating bowel movements, preventing constipation, and keeping you regular.
11. Your heart health will improve
Due to the potassium contained within cucumbers, you consuming these green fruits will help your heart health. It is widely known that levels of potassium help muscles and nerves and kidneys to filter blood, and as a result, helps heart move clean and healthy blood through body more efficiently.
In contrast, research has found that too little potassium may contribute to cardiovascular disease. So, eat your cucumbers.
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