Made up nearly entirely of water, cucumbers are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. They are also low in calories, which make them a great addition to your daily diet. At PurMEDICA, where we are advocates of health and wellness, we can’t get enough of these lean, green vegetables. Here are just a few of the reasons you should pick up some next time you are at the store:
1. Reduce Your Odds of Getting Cancer
Cucumbers are rich in two major anti-cancer substances: lignans and phytonutrients. There have been several studies that show the polyphenols called lignans may be effective in lowering the risk of certain types of cancer, including breast, prostate and ovarian cancers. The phytonutrients found in cucumbers actually block the pathways that cancer cells need to develop.
2. Lower Inflammation
If you suffer from joint pain, you may want to slice up a cucumber and start eating. The extracts from this vegetable has been shown to actually reduce inflammation in the body because it works to inhibit the enzymes responsible for the pain.
3. Stress Management
The B vitamins are known for their ability to boost energy and ease feelings of stress and anxiety. Cucumbers have plenty of the B complex, including B1, B5 and B7, which is also known as biotin. A clinical trial in Australia found that workers who took a B-complex multivitamin reported lower levels of stress than workers who took a placebo pill. Therefore, when you need to calm down, consider doing so with a few slices of cucumber.
4. Get Those Antioxidants
Antioxidants are fantastic for a number of health-related activities because they attack the free radicals that cause illness. Here are just a few of the antioxidants found in cucumbers:
Quercetin alone is key in preventing histamine release, and kaempferol has been linked to fighting cancer and heart disease.
5. Boost Your Digestive Health
Your digestive system relies on two very basic elements: fiber and water. The good news is that cucumbers are rich in both. A cucumber is actually made of 95 percent water, which means you are getting a good dose of H20 in every serving. If you have ever had acid reflux issues, you may have been told to drink plenty of water. Water helps to raise your stomach’s pH level and reduce your symptoms. Cucumbers have been shown to possibly have a similar effect.
In order to get the most possible fiber, it is important to eat the skin of the cucumber. That fiber is known as insoluble fiber, which will actually add bulk to your stool and help food move through your system quicker.
6. Keep a Healthy Weight
Because they are low in calories but high in fiber, cucumbers are a filling snack that won’t tip the scales. In addition to moving food through your digestive system more efficiently, the soluble fiber found in cucumbers slows down the actual digestive process to help you feel fuller longer. Therefore, fill up on cucumbers so you can avoid unhealthy snacking options.
7. Do Something for Your Heart
Potassium, which can be found in cucumbers, has been associated with helping people lower their blood pressures. The body needs to maintain a healthy balance of potassium both inside and outside cells. This enables the cells and your systems to function the way that they should. Part of what potassium does is interact with sodium to control activities such as heart function and muscle contraction.
8. Improve Your Memory
Fisetin is an anti-inflammatory flavonol that can be found in cucumbers. Scientists believe that consuming fisetin can actually promote your brain health because it has been linked to improving memory and preventing the aging process from damaging nerves.
9. A Fresher Breath
There are several reasons people may experience bad breath, and cucumbers are one solution to the problem. A study found that placing a slice of the vegetable on the roof of your mouth could rid you of the odor-causing bacteria that leads to bad breath. Further, you can eat the cucumber to get rid of excess heat in your stomach, which some experts believe causes bad breath.
In addition to these many health-related advantages, cucumbers also simply taste good. Just half a cup of the vegetable is a full serving loaded with vitamins and minerals. Be sure to add them to an appetizer tray, toss some in your salad or eat them as a healthy snack every day. You can also supplement your diet with the outstanding nutraceuticals we offer at PurMEDICA.