Cool Cucumbers' Nutritional Punch

cucumber benefits
You’ve most likely heard the phrase “cool as a cucumber.” Well, there’s a reason cucumbers are cool. They’re 95 percent water and full of electrolytes, which can help you beat the heat and stay hydrated. They are truly refreshing and tasty.

But that’s not all about cucumbers. They are also packed with nutrition. For example, just one cup of cucumbers supplies 11 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin K; four percent of your daily needs for vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and manganese; and two percent of your daily requirements for vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and copper. Additionally, cucumbers are good sources of insoluble fiber to help keep things moving along as they should digestion-wise.

Vitamin K, for instance, can help support bone health as well as proper calcium absorption. Speaking of bone health . . . cucumbers are also rich in silica, which not only helps support healthy bone building, but also can bind to aluminum in the body and help flush it out of the body.

Cucumbers also contain lignans, which are plant-based compounds known for their protective health qualities, offering antioxidants and natural phytochemicals. Cucumbers also contain an antioxidant flavonol called fisetin, which has inflammation-cooling properties to help support brain health and protect a healthy memory. Additional antioxidant flavonoids found in cucumbers include quercetin, apigenin, luteolin and kaempferol, which provide other health benefits.

Cucumbers are also noted for supporting healthy skin, energy levels and a healthy weight. Not only can the high water content in cucumbers plump up skin cells and hydrate the skin, but they also offer cooling and soothing effects that can help decrease swelling when applied topically. For instance, cucumber slices placed on the eyes can help diminish puffiness, while placing them on the skin can help soothe sunburns.

Since cucumbers contain several B vitamins, they can help keep your energy stores up, too. They are also low in calories, sodium and high in water and fiber, helping to support a healthy weight. Cucumbers are also highly alkalizing, helping to support a healthy pH balance.

Of course, many studies have highlighted that eating a diet high in fruits and veggies—including cucumbers—is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and overall mortality.

So, here are some ways to up your consumption of cucumbers. They are best raw, and are good on almost any salad, or they can be chopped and mixed with chopped organic tomatoes and organic feta cheese for a tasty, cooling Greek-like salad. They can also be sliced and dipped in your favorite healthy hummus or dressing.

You will want to choose organic cucumbers, though, since conventionally grown cucumbers are heavily doused with chemicals and coated with synthetic waxes for shipping. Organic cucumbers, of course, are not sprayed with chemicals and are not coated with synthetic petroleum-based waxes. Many of the nutrients of cucumbers are found in their skin, which is yet another reason to choose organic.

So, enjoy those organic cucumbers this season!
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