My kids love cucumber. They would devour them day and night as part of a salad, as filling to their sandwiches, or simply raw veggie cuts with or without dips. Cucumbers are easy to transport, can stay fresh without refrigeration, and almost always eaten raw, thus the perfect vegetable to bring when you are on the go.
But I often wonder whether cucumber (Cucumis sativus) brings some health benefits. After all, anybody can see it is 95% water. And spinach and broccoli are touted to be the ultimate healthy veggies, nobody says much about cucumbers.
Recently, a friend sent me an email about a certain article in the New York Times on the many difference uses of cucumber as vegetable as a natural home remedy and cleaning agent. Unfortunately, although I cannot find the original link to NYT times although several sites have reprinted the article. Anyway, I cannot guarantee the source but I’d like to give the article in its fullness at the end of this post.
However, doing my own research revealed the following:
A 100-gram cucumber can contain the following (source: Hubpages):
- Vitamin A 180 I.U.
- Niacin Trace
- Vitamin C 9 mg.
- Calcium 32 mg.
- Iron 1.8 mg.
- Phosphorus 27 mg.
- Potassium 80 mg.
- Carbohydrates 17 gm.
- Calories 70
Cucumber is a natural diuretic which helps regulate urine flow and may be beneficial for those with kidney and urinary bladder disorders.
The skin is rich in fibers so that cucumber is best eaten with skin on (except when the cucumber has been exposed to high amounts of pesticides).
Finally, here are the 13 amazing uses of cucumber:
1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!
6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!
7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
10. Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.
11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
12. Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while
13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!
I must admit that I am a bit skeptical about some of the claims but you know what? It doesn’t really matter. I will try them all out, believe me. But even if some of these uses do not work, I don’t care. The only thing that matters is that cucumber is a healthy food for my kids.
Photo credit: stock.xchng