Cucumbers carry a lot of health bonuses, if you consume them regularly.
Benefits of cucumbers
Cucumbers — excellent sources of phytonutrients, including flavonoids, lignans and triterpenes, known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits.
In addition to this, the peel of a cucumber contains important for normal digestion, fiber and beta-carotene, which improves immune function, vision and skin condition.
Cucumbers can boast of low content of calories, carbohydrates, sodium, fat and cholesterol.
Thus, the average cucumber contains only 16 calories but 4% of the daily value of potassium, 3% of the daily value of fiber, 19% of the daily value of vitamin K and 4% of the daily value for vitamin C.
Cucumbers are 95% water, which makes them not so much alternative, but a complement to the two liters of water that you should drink every day. Experts in nutrition say that 20-30% of the water we can and must get from food, so cucumbers there will be a great choice.
Cucumbers contain a variety of phytonutrients. The most interesting of them are cucurbitacin that belong to the class of tetracyclic triterpenoids and make the tip of the cucumber bitter.
In recent years, research on these substances being especially active, and one study 2010, published in Scientific World Journal allowed to even talk about what cucurbitacin can help in creating effective cancer drugs. Journal of Cancer Research, for example, reports that cucurbitacin inhibit cell growth of pancreatic cancer by nearly 50%.
At the same time, lignans, other phenolic compounds found in cucumbers that can protect from cancer by working with bacteria in the digestive tract. British Journal of Cancer cites research 2009, according to which the lignans reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers and Scientific medical Institute of Linus Pauling discovered that with regular intake lignans in the body decreases the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Scientists from the medical center of the University of Maryland have found that vitamin K is important for bone health. In particular, sufficient consumption reduces the risk of fractures, and in combination with vitamin D — compacts the bone tissue and positively affect the balance of calcium.
Like other foods high in antioxidants, cucumbers allow our body to function normally. But not only that. According to research, antioxidant compounds interfere with the formation of free radicals, which in turn starts in the cells of the recovery processes (i.e., rejuvenation). In other words, in the same way as cucumber slices on the face can relieve swelling and inflammation, the cucumber salad will improve the condition of your internal organs.
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables of various types is associated with a decreased risk of development of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and obesity. But in relation to the problems with heart and blood vessels cucumbers can be particularly useful due to the content in them a healthy dose of potassium. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that 4,069 mg of potassium daily may reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease by 37% and 49%, respectively.
Normalization of digestion
Due to the content of large amounts of fiber and water, cucumbers are a natural way to normalize the digestive processes and solve the problem of constipation. Scientists from tufts University say that you can get even more benefits if you have not fresh, and pickles. The fact that the fermentation process cucumbers are saturated with probiotic foods that are cultured beneficial bacteria in the gut. This, however, applies only to homemade pickles, in jars from the supermarket can contain unnecessary preservatives and stabilizers.
Cucumbers contain fisetin, which in recent years have increasingly been associated with the protection of nerve cells from damage, improving memory and reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.