Properties and Benefits of Cucumbers: By means of culinary traditions, cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) have managed to preserve a somewhat privileged place on our table and today I am going to speak to you about why we should carry on this millennia-long tradition. Relatively recent research suggests that cucumbers are one of the most nutritious and health-friendly vegetables available to us nowadays.
They are mentioned in various ancient writings, which can be seen as proof that ancient civilizations such as the Mesopotamians, the Romans, the Indians and the Greek were insightful to the curative properties this ordinary vegetable possesses. While they do not boast an amazing nutritional value, cucumbers do contain certain compounds with wonderful health effects.
The cucumber (also known as Cucumis sativus) is a close relative of the cantaloupe, watermelon, zucchini and pumpkin. It is widely cultivated throughout the world which is why we can easily find it in many modern cuisines. Though pickled cucumbers are very popular with so many people, the vegetable is best consumed fresh in order for us to fully enjoy its numerous health benefits.
Those of you who like this vegetable in particular and have some free time and a little garden space gain the most by planting it youselves. This way you can cosume it without fear of pesticides containing carcinogens and othe harmful substabces. As a garden plant, the cucumber does not require almost any attention at all once the seeds are sown.
Cucumbers have been the object of intense scientific study because they contain a potent natural substance called pinoresinol, which is said to be highly efficient in preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease. In addition to this, they are rich in vitamins and phytochemicals with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Cucumbers also contain beta-carotene and important minerals such as manganese, as well as reasonable amounts of potassium and magnesium. Even more amazing, studies show that cucumbers have a substance called ‘cucurbitacin’ (which is found is most members of the Cucurbitaceae family).
Cucurbitacin is said to be a potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic that can also suppress carcinogenesis of the skin. Unfortunately, some studies suggest this substance may also have cytotoxic effects (which means it is toxic to cells). However, cytotoxic effects have been shown to appear only when extreme amounts of cucumbers have been consumed. In fact, the presence of cucumbers in our daily diet can actively and efficiently help prevent chronic disease by means of the powerful natural substances found in them (antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber).
Quercitin is another highly potent antioxidant found in cucumbers. Quercitin is a flavonoid and, according to researchers, it boasts significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In addition to reducing inflammation associated with high-risk illnesses and protecting against free radical damage, quercitin is used to improve physical endurance, lower cholesterol levels, manage cardiovascular disease, diabetes and treat respiratory infections.
From a nutritional point of view, cucumbers contain significant amounts of vitamin K, C and B5. Vitamin K is essential for proper blood coagulation and bone mineralization, while vitamin C is in excellent natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. For further information, you can consult the nutritional table above.
All things considered, nutritionists believe that the cucumber is a higly nutritious vegetable with significant health benefits. And because it is 90% water, we need not worry for our waistline. In fact, cucumbers might become very popular among you ladies after you have read this: cucumbers are said to be a natural remedy for cellulite.
Take a cucumber, slice it and ‘apply’ the slices onto the areas affected by cellulite. After a while, your skin’s appearance should start to improve, or so it’s said. Remember to make this a daily routine and use only natural or organic cucumbers.