The scientific name of cucumber is Cucumis sativus, and they belong to the same kind of botanical family to which melon and squash belong. People of almost all continents enjoy them, and they are used in all kinds of cuisines in different parts of the globe.
Based on commercial production, cucumbers are divided into two categories: slicing cucumbers and the pickling cucumbers. The latter form is produced for eventually being processed into pickles of different kinds, whereas, the slicing
cucumbers are produced for fresh consumption.
As it is one of the oldest cultivated forms of vegetables, it is believed that cucumbers originated from the northern part India. Today, it ranks after tomatoes, onions and cabbages, as the fourth most widely grown vegetables in the whole world.
Nutritional Content of Cucumbers
Cucumber contains 0% of calories. It consists of the following:
Magnesium – 3.3%, tryptophan – 3.1%, manganese – 4%, vitamin B5 – 2.7%, potassium – 4.3%, vitamin K – 21.3%, vitamin C – 4.8%, and molybdenum – 6.9%.
Cucumber Health Benefits
• It acts as a natural form of hydration:
Cucumbers are made of almost 96% of water. Hence, it keeps the body hydrated while eliminating different kinds of toxins from the body. Lack of water dehydrates the body, which in turn, may cause cramps in the muscles, fatigue, or dry mouth. Thus, cucumber increases water content in the body. Water is also required for the formation of saliva and cooling the body of a person through perspiration process.
• High source of vitamin A:
Another important benefit of cucumber is that its content of Vitamin A is very high. Vitamin A acts as an anti-oxidant, which protects the body from the harmful effects of the free radicals. This reduces the risk of various kinds of illness because of damaged cells, and also lowers the risk of cancer.
It also helps to develop the bones of the body, maintains normal functioning of the blood cells and properly develops the white blood cells. Vitamin A is also beneficial for a proper vision and for the retina. Thus, the body can enjoy all these benefits by consuming cucumber.
• Helps maintain skin:
Cucumber is very essential for skin care as it has high content of vitamin C, B and A. It also contains different minerals like potassium, and magnesium. Most often, cucumber juices are made into facial masks for skin tightening.
Cucumber skin also helps get rid of skin burn and burns rendered by severe winds. The caffeic acid and the ascorbic acid content of cucumber lowers the rate of water retention. This brings down the swelling or puffiness seen under the eyes.
• Reduces the Risk of Cancer:
The pinoresinol, secoisolariciresinol and the lariciresinol are three lignans in cucumber, which reduces the risk of cancers such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, and uterine cancer.
• Controls blood pressure:
The mineral content of cucumber such as the potassium, fibre regulates the blood pressure. Cucumbers can treat low and high blood pressure.
Thus, cucumbers are not only used as an important ingredient for different cuisine, the benefits are also equally important for maintaining a healthy condition of the body.
Tags: caffeic acid, cancer, cucumber, health, pantothenic acid, vitamins