Medical experts and research findings confirm that consumption of cucumbers is beneficial to human body in many ways
| By Chinwe Okafor | Nov. 25, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
NATURE has provided for man the best cure for ill health in the form of herbs, vegetables and fruits. One particular fruit that does wonderful things in human health is the cucumber. Apart from being a fruit that is great to eat, it has other awesome uses. Its nutritional fact shows that it provides the body with essential vitamins and nutrients and contains a large dose of antioxidants, minerals and polyphenols.
Cucumber, according to medical experts, helps to reduce the risk of chronic disease and as well, helps to prolong life without producing any side effect. Cucumber is readily available in the markets, supermarkets or at grocery shops. It is low in calories and has a relatively high fibre content, which, when combined with a gram of protein per cup enhances its fat burning properties. Cucumber does not contain any fat, cholesterol or sodium. Minerals present in it include calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, potassium and selenium among others.
Research findings have revealed that cucumbers are 95 percent water. This helps to keep the body hydrated while helping it eliminate toxins. The flesh of a cucumber is a very good source of Vitamins A, C and folic acid which are antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals and lowers the risk of various cancers and illnesses due to damaged cells. Cucumber, an edible and nutritious vegetable which comes from the cucumber plant, Cucumis Sativas, is a part of the gourd family. It can be eaten raw or cooked and this makes it one of the most important item of a good diet.
Uche Ogbanufe, a nutritionist in Kogi State, said that cucumbers aid digestion and weight loss. “It is an ideal diet for people who want to lose weight and the fibre in it is very effective in ridding the body of toxins from the digestive system, aiding digestion and preventing chronic constipation. The skin can be used for skin irritations and sunburns which affect the body. The silicon and sulphur in it help to stimulate hair growth as well as be a relief to bad breath. Cucumbers are an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promote joint health by strengthening the connective tissues.
“They contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol, which have a strong history in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer. The juice contains a lot of potassium, magnesium and fibre which is very helpful in regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumber essentially good for treating both low and high blood pressure.” Ifeoma Obiora, another nutritionist in Anambra State, said cucumbers are diuretic, and promote the production of urine in the body. She added that they are a great source of vitamins B and advised that it is a good idea to eat them as snacks.
According to her, there is a hormone found in cucumbers that helps the pancreas produce insulin, since this is a huge issue with diabetic patients, cucumbers could be beneficial to people who have diabetes. Obiora said that cucumbers are very rich in a vitamin called silica, which helps to promote health, because it can give strength to connective tissues such as joints, adding that cucumbers are among the four most cultivated vegetables in the world and are known to be one of the best foods for one’s overall health. She said that they are often referred to as super foods.
She advised that cucumbers should be used in soups and salads but warned that if they are not “your favourite snack, you can eat crunchy cucumber sticks with creamy low fat yogurt dip, chewing cucumbers gives the jaws a good workout and the fibre in them is good for digestion. Their daily consumption can be regarded as an aid for chronic constipation. They help to prevent hangovers or morning headache and to avoid it, one can eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed. They also lower the uric acid levels in the body and help to keep the kidneys healthy and in good shape.” However, findings have shown that a compound called sterols found in cucumber helps to decrease cholesterol level in the human body.