Health benefits of cucumbers

Health benefits of cucumbers

  • Cucumbers are part of the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes melons, zucchini, and squash. They are a very refreshing and delicious food and keep you hydrated because of their high water content.
  • Let’s take a look at the health benefits of cucumbers.
  • Antioxidant rich:
  • Cucumbers are loaded with antioxidants such as flavonoids, lignans, and triterpenes. Antioxidants protect the body from the effects of oxidative stress, which may help strengthen the immune system and ward off diseases. Dr. Andrew Weil explains, “oxidative stress is the total burden placed on organisms by the constant production of free radicals in the normal course of metabolism plus whatever other pressures the environment brings to bear (natural and artificial radiation, toxins in air, food and water; and miscellaneous sources of oxidizing activity, such as tobacco smoke).” The effects of oxidative stress are often linked to chronic illnesses such as heart disease and many types of cancers.
  • Anti-inflammatory:
  • The flavonoids in cucumbers work like to over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and aspirin by stopping the activity of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), which causes inflammation.
  • Cancer prevention:
  • Studies about cucumbers in relation to cancer treatment are still in the early stages, but the results are promising.
  • A study from the University of California Los Angeles shows that a compound called cucurbitacins in cucumbers may be beneficial as a potent anti-cancer drug in the future. Cucumbers are also a good source of lignans, which are antioxidants that have shown the ability to reduce risk of estrogen-related cancers such as cancer of the breast, ovary, prostate, and uterus.
  • Healthy skin:
  • The anti-inflammatory effects of cucumbers aid in healthy skin. The high water content also keeps skin hydrated and moist. Placing a slice over puffy eyes can help relieve inflammation.
  • Hydration:
  • Cucumbers are about 95 percent water, which helps keeps the body and skin hydrated. Eating foods with high water content can help flush out harmful toxins in our body.
  • Weight loss:
  • Cucumbers are low in calories, containing only 8 calories in every half a cup.
  • They are also called water foods as they are very high in water content, which helps get rid of toxins in the digestive system.
  • Cucumbers are high in dietary fiber.
  • Foods with low calories and high fiber content are essential for weight loss.
  • For a glowing skin and anti-inflammatory smoothie with cucumbers. 
  • For a flat tummy smoothie with cucumbers.
  • REFERENCES:
  • 1. “Cucurbitacin: Ancient Compound Shedding New Light on Cancer Treatment.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2013.
  • 2. “Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Cucumber, with Peel, Raw.” Self Nutrition Data. Self Nutrition Data, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2013.
  • 3. “Stumped by Oxidative Stress?DrWeil.com. WEIL, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2013.

 

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