I have always liked cucumbers for their interesting flavor and cool, crunchiness. Recently I became curious about how much nutritional benefit we get from cucumbers, and when I did the research – I was really amazed! This is one veggie that you’ll want to add to your shopping list every time!
Cucumbers are often taken for granted because they are so common, so readily available and so easy to grow. They belong to the same family as melons and squashes, and are a great source of moisture and nutrition. There are many varieties of cucumber, including:
- slicing cucumbers – are larger with thicker, smooth skin
- pickling cucumbers – are smaller with thinner skin, which can sometimes have a bumpy texture
- English cucumbers – are generally quite long, smooth skinned and more slender than slicing cucumbers
Cucumbers contain at least a dozen amazing nutrients that provide us with huge health benefits. Cucumbers contain:
- Vitamin K, which helps form blood clots and also supports healthy bones.
- Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), which plays a crucial role in the body’s utilization of fats, carbohydrates and proteins for energy.
- Potassium, which is an electrolyte. It helps conduct electrical impulses throughout the body – essential for the heart and nervous system.
- Copper, which helps build strong tissue, maintain healthy blood volume and helps the cells produce energy. Copper is also a co-factor for an enzyme called SOD (superoxide dismutase), which is a major antioxidant enzyme in the body.
- Phosphorous, which enables basic cell formation and is a major component of our bones.
- Manganese, which is important for the skin’s cell structure (collagen) and helps protect the skin from oxidative damage and UV damage.
- Magnesium, which is a key component in our bones and plays a vital role in energy production.
- Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals and is a key component of collagen in our skin and bones.
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), which promotes energy production and helps support our nervous system.
- Biotin, which is necessary for the body’s production of insulin and to build healthy fats in the skin, which keeps the skin moist and supple.
- Phytonutrients, which reduce inflammation and have antioxidant benefits that neutralize free radicals in the body.
- Lignans, that could provide anti-cancer benefits. This is still under research.
Cucumbers are a cooling, refreshing and hydrating food that nourishes many parts of our body from the very core of our cells to our largest organ – our skin. They keep us energized and they neutralize damaging free radical cells, then provide nutrients to help repair the cell damage! How cool is that?
Cucumbers are a terrific way to flavor pure water – a truly refreshing beverage on a hot summer day!
The term ‘cool as a cucumber’ has two possible origins:
- It could be referring to the inside temperature of the cucumber. The flesh of a cucumber can many degrees cooler than the outside of the cucumber – perhaps even up to 20 degrees cooler!
- It could be referring to the cucumber’s ability to cool the blood and ease swelling when applied topically – likely the reason cucumbers are popular in facial treatments.
Interested in taking your health to the next level by incorporating more whole foods like cucumber into your diet? I’d be happy to guide you through one of my proven Health Coaching Programs! I can be contacted here.
Copyright © 2015 Cathy Ormon – All Rights Reserved