Today we will take a loog at the benefits of cucumber. This amazing vegetable is probably one of the favorite ones for everybody.
Perhaps not everyone knows, but cucumber belongs to the pumpkin family and, according to biological sources, is a false berry. In cooking, it is used like other vegetable crops – no wonder this fruit is among the five most cultivated crops in the world.
Strangely enough, it is customary to use this vegetable immature – it is in this form that it is best for human consumption, has a delicate taste, pleasant crunches, and its seeds are small and practically imperceptible. When the fruit is fully matured, it becomes covered with a firmer, yellowish-colored skin, its seeds become more rigid, and the taste less pleasant.
Composition of cucumber
Cucumber is famous for its low calorie content – 100 grams of green vegetable contains only about 15 kcal. Due to this property, it is regularly used in recipes of dishes used in the diet menu. I prefer to make it the basis for homemade salads during fasting days.
In addition, the composition of the fruit includes such beneficial for the body vitamins as A, B, C, PP.
It is 95% water. It allows you to clean the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys from harmful toxins and slags. This vegetable is recommended to be used regularly by those who are engaged in production that is unfavorable to health, as well as at enterprises of the chemical and nuclear industry.
It also includes:
- chlorophyll – has a positive effect on the composition of the blood;
- sugar – gives energy and helps to cope with stress;
- starch – improves the bowels;
- organic acids – normalize the work of the gastrointestinal tract;
- magnesium – reduces the risk of heart disease;
- potassium – provides good blood pressure;
- copper – accelerates the healing process of tissues;
- zinc – stabilizes metabolism;
- folic acid is essential for proper functioning of the heart and blood vessels.
Due to the high content of fiber, which promotes delicate cleansing of the intestines from toxins, the green fruit helps to regulate the metabolism and normalize the microflora of the stomach.
Cucumber contains a lot of iodine, which improves the functioning of the thyroid gland and normalizes the general hormonal background of the body.
Fresh-squeezed cucumber juice, which neutralizes the harmful effects of acids, normalizes the acid-base balance, is good for digestion.
A large amount of antioxidants reduces the amount of fat, as well as the harmful cholesterol produced in the body.
Cucumber is considered one of the best side dishes for high-calorie meat dishes, since its pulp is an effective choleretic agent that allows you to break down carbohydrates faster and better digest protein. Read more about the use of vegetables in cooking, read the article “What to cook cucumbers.”
Potassium helps to get rid of edema, it is useful for proper functioning of the heart muscle, kidney and vascular system, while magnesium is responsible for the normalization of the nervous system, blood pressure, strengthening the walls of blood vessels.
Cucumbers, especially those varieties that differ in the small size of fruits, contain a large amount of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and therefore, contribute to improving immunity.
Phosphorus helps to cope with the initial stage of depression, fatigue and sleep problems.
Varieties with a bitter taste are useful in the prevention of cancer due to the high content of saponins.
Skin beauty benefits
Cucumbers are known for their beneficial properties for maintaining the beauty and youthfulness of the skin. They can often be found in the recipes of popular, time-tested cosmetics.
I advise you to carefully choose the fruits when buying – the fresher and juicier they will be, the more efficient will be the masks and lotions made with your own hands.
Women have long used cucumbers not only in cooking, but also as an ingredient for homemade cosmetics. They contain beneficial substances that help improve skin tone and slightly tighten it, smoothing fine wrinkles. Cucumber is also famous for its effectiveness in treating problem skin, acne and blackheads.
Organic compounds and substances that make up the cucumber make it indispensable in homemade beauty recipes. So vitamin B, known as natural collagen, breaks down subcutaneous fat and improves the oval of the face, helps relieve inflammation and eliminates black spots.
The delicate natural acids contained in this vegetable make the skin color more uniform, lighten pigment spots, freckles and are suitable for any skin type – from oily to dry.
Special lotions from the juice and pulp of cucumber, prepared according to popular recipes, help to accelerate the growth of hair, to make them thicker and smoother.
Benefits of cucumber for your health
Considering all the qualities of a cucumber that are beneficial to the human body, we can say that it will be a good help for medical preparations in the treatment of such diseases as:
- thyroid disease;
- gallbladder disease;
- stones in the kidneys;
- liver diseases (hepatitis, cirrhosis);
- skin diseases;
- digestive problems;
- high blood pressure;
- heart diseases;
Benefits of cucumber for pregnancy
Cucumber is useful for pregnant women. With proper doses, it will be a good addition to the diet:
- due to the content of structural water helps to get rid of the edema that pregnant women often suffer;
- fiber normalizes digestion, relieves constipation and hemorrhoids;
- high potassium normalizes blood pressure;
- ascorbic acid strengthens the protective system of a woman’s body, protects it against colds and infectious diseases;
- Calcium strengthens the bone tissue of the future mother and her child;
- iron and folic acid contained in fruits help to avoid anemia, often accompanying pregnancy.
Benefits of cucumber for children
Although cucumbers are useful for future mothers, it is necessary to use them in the children’s menu with caution. It is necessary to take into account the age of the child in order to understand whether it is worth giving him a feast on this vegetable.
Useful substances such as silicon, iodine, carotene, vitamin C help to improve metabolism and improve the blood flow of the child.
Antioxidants and vitamins resist germs that are dangerous to the child’s body, for example, staphylococcus.
This vegetable is safe – it almost does not cause such allergic reactions in children as redness of the skin, edema, rash.
How to cook cucumbers for children
Remember that you can’t feed small children with pickled or pickled cucumbers. Even if you are fully confident that the salting process was carried out with full compliance with the rules and requirements. They contain a lot of salt, lose vitamins and beneficial properties, and therefore can harm the immature body.
For children, it is most beneficial to eat fresh vegetables grown in the open field. Pay attention to the appearance of the fruit – it should be elastic, the skin should have a bright matte green tint. Try not to buy cucumbers from highways and busy highways.
Remember that fresh cucumbers are not intended for long storage. They can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. We will talk more about this in the article about cucumber storage.
How to feed children cucumbers
If you are just starting to introduce cucumbers into the children’s menu, try giving them to your baby in small pieces or in the form of pounded pulp to make it easier to chew.
Watch the reaction of the body. In case of pain in the abdomen or colic, eliminate it from the diet for a while. I do not advise feeding a young child with cucumbers for up to a year: it can provoke colic.
After a year and after consulting with a pediatrician, you can try to introduce these fruits into the children’s diet, starting with the minimum portions and gradually increasing them.
Harm and contraindications
Individual intolerance to these vegetables is rare, but nevertheless, there are people who, when eaten, eat unpleasant sensations, they may have a rash, redness and itching.
For patients with gallstone or urolithiasis cucumbers are prohibited.
If you suffer from liver disease, it is better to refrain from eating salted and pickled cucumbers.
Squeezed juice can cause nausea or other discomfort during gastritis or duodenal ulcer.
It is not recommended to abuse these vegetables and women who feed their babies with breast milk should avoit it. Infants may not tolerate certain substances contained in cucumbers.
Marinated and salted fruits are not recommended for people suffering from high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s disease.