One of the most consumed foods in weight loss plans is cucumber. This is not accidental, but rather, a very well considered choice. The reason? This food has a high content of both water and fiber, two elements that give it interesting properties. Could you say what are the properties of cucumber? Discover them below!
Refreshing, versatile and delicious are three words that many describe the cucumber. And is not for less! Well, it is very easy to incorporate it into different recipes, including various natural drinks.
A little more about the properties of cucumber
Cucumber is a summer vegetable that has a lot of properties and health benefits. This is due, above all, to its high water and fiber content, as we mentioned earlier. In fact, it is a source of water par excellence: 1 unit of 100 grams only has 13 calories, as 97% is liquid. With regard to minerals, cucumber is a vegetable that can provide a certain amount of nutrients such as potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
It can be consumed raw in salads or mixed drinks. For example, many cut them into slices and sprinkle with salt to remove their bitter taste a bit. It is also possible to enjoy it grated in salads, as well as on sandwiches. On the other hand, you can consume canned cucumber with vinegar or oil. In Spain, it is one of the ingredients of a typical dish: gazpacho. It is prepared with tomato, pepper, garlic and olive oil.
Cucumber provides those who consume it a good dose of fiber, as well as a certain amount of vitamins A, B, C and E. For this reason, it is said to have diuretic, digestive and cleansing properties, mainly.
The experts of the Spanish Nutrition Foundation indicate that “in the composition of cucumber there is a small proportion of b-sitosterol: sterol that is found naturally in the plant world where it fulfills the function of maintaining the structure and functioning of cell membranes “.
As for its origin, it is a food that comes from India, although there is no certainty about it. However, it is known that it has been cultivated in West Asia for more than three thousand years and that it is likely that it was brought to Europe by the Romans.
Did you know that this food belongs to the same family as watermelon, melon and pumpkin? You are right! Besides, it is interesting to know that, although it is said to be a vegetable, it is actually a fruit.
Health benefits of cucumber
For the skin
The skin of the cucumber is used in aesthetic treatments. There are concentrated caffeic and ascorbic acids, as well as vitamin C. It helps maintain healthy skin, relieves irritation and reduces inflammation. Therefore, it is applied directly to the dermis and is a “classic” in spas and beauty treatments. Keep in mind that vitamin C has been shown to increase collagen synthesis, for this reason it is essential for skin health.
Not only is the skin of the cucumber good used externally, but it can also be consumed in the form of a smoothie, grating it and adding a little water, plus the juice of half a lemon. This remedy is used to cleanse and purify the body.
One of the components of cucumber is silica, a mineral with the ability to strengthen the connective tissues of the body. That is, it strengthens muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and even bones.
As we mentioned before, cucumber is very useful to maintain healthy skin. For that reason, it is present in many creams to treat acne and skin diseases.
For the cardiovascular system
Although in low amounts, cucumber contains magnesium, fiber, and potassium. Therefore, it is considered to be a good remedy for lowering blood pressure. According to research published in the International Journal of Cardiology , potassium is a fundamental element in modulating blood pressure.
If you have digestive problems such as frequent heartburn or stomach heaviness, do not hesitate to consume cucumber within a balanced diet. It will provide you with fiber, water, potassium and magnesium, present above all in its shell.
Other advantages of consuming cucumber:
- It is an excellent diuretic due to its high water content. It is advisable to eliminate excess fluids from the body, as well as fats from the body.
- Helps to level uric acid, recommended for people suffering from hypertension or fluid retention.
- Provides little energy in the form of calories, thus helping to maintain vitality; in turn, it has a low amount of fat, and all of quality.
- Helps remove toxins from the body.
- It helps to keep the body healthy, given its content of B complex vitamins (specifically B3, B5 and B9), carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
- It could help delay premature aging of the skin and cells, due to its vitamins A, C and E. Keep in mind that vitamin A is also capable of improving visual health, according to recent scientific literature.
Find out about the properties of cucumber … and also its contraindications
Although it is a very healthy fruit with few risks, in some cases it is not advisable to consume cucumber. For example, by containing a component called cucurbitacin , in some people it can cause indigestion and stomach gas. In addition, cucumber contains a large amount of cellulose, hence it is necessary to chew it well. However, those who frequently suffer from flatulence, should reduce their consumption.
Other people may also have allergies to some compounds in cucumber. Symptoms are swelling of the tongue, throat, or mouth.
Paradoxically, consuming it in excess can cause dehydration due to its diuretic properties. However, there are not many cases in which this contraindication has been verified. You would need to eat several kilos of cucumber in a day to suffer a considerable decrease in water levels in the body.
Include cucumber in the diet
In summary, we could say that the properties of cucumber should be used -as long as possible- within a balanced diet. Consume it more regularly.