While biting it in a scorching summer, ever wondered of crunchy cucumber nutrition and its benefits to human health? This slender and tout, slight green to yellow vegetable is cultivated on all continents. It is virtually enjoyed by everyone; cucumber is a part of many cuisines and salad dishes. Next to potato and tomato, cucumber is the largest cultivated vegetable in the world.
Cucumber is cultivated since ages. It comes in variety of colors, textures and sizes even if you are familiar with the garden variety that is commonly available on the shelves of a departmental store. The botanical name for cucumber is Cucumis sativus and it is a member of the same family cucurbitaceae which also consists of melons, zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe and pumpkin. Cucumber can be consumed in its raw form or cooked as a vegetable or can be ground for its delicious juice. Cucumber comes in two verities, slicing cucumber and the pickling variety. The slicing type is thick and large, while the pickling variety small and thin. Let us know cucumber nutrition facts and its benefits on human health.
A cup of raw sliced cucumber with skin consists of water 100g, it contains about 15 calories. Cucumber hardly contains any proteins, and fats. The carbohydrate content of cucumber is negligible. However it is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. The vitamin A present in cucumber suffices 5 percent of the required daily allowance, vitamin A is in the form of beta carotene. At least 6 percent of RDA of vitamin C can be derived from eating one cup of raw sliced cucumber. Niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin K and E are other trace vitamins found in cucumber. Several minerals are present in cucumber such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, copper, selenium and silica. The mineral molybdenum found in cucumber is known to prevent cancer.
What are the Health Benefits of Cucumber
Cucumber is low in calorie. It contains plenty of water and fiber. Both are useful for relieving the age old problem, constipation. Eating cucumber helps to ease bowel movement. It is also useful in preventing colon cancer due to certain lignans (lariciresinol, penorisinol).
Cucumber contains zero cholesterol and saturated fats. Thus it helps in lowering blood pressure, prevents heart disease.
Due to its large water content, cucumber works as a natural diuretic. It promotes healthy flow of urine and reduces the chances of stone formation in the kidney and bladder. Besides preventing stone in urinary tract, cucumber also reduces burning urine and prevents urinary infection.
The potassium rich cucumber is friendly to your heart. The potassium present in cucumber helps to lower blood pressure. It makes your arteries more elastic and less fragile. Potassium counters the effects of sodium and that is beneficial for a hypertensive individual.
The antioxidant benefits of cucumber are due to presence of vitamin C, beta carotene. Besides it also contains quercetin, luteolin, apigenin. All these compounds scavange the free radicals that are harmful to your body.
Cucumber juice is also known to benefit patients with Alzheimer’s disease. It does not cure but limits the ongoing brain cell damage in the disease.
The abundance of antioxidants in cucumber helps to rejuvenate the skin and for this reason cucumber is widely used to remove dark circles around the eyes. Applying cucumber pulp on the skin for few minutes every day helps to remove freckles on the face and neck.