Botanical Name: Cucumis sativus
Cucumber belongs to the same family as pumpkin, watermelon, zucchini, and squash. It is cylindrical in shape with lengths of approximately 6 to 9 inches. It is being used for different purpose as it can be eaten raw or cooked.
Cucumber Health Benefits:
- Cucumber is the best natural diuretic known, secreting and promoting the flow of urine; it can therefore help remove chemical toxins and old waste material in the body.
- Cucumber juice can help regulate blood pressure level. It also contains magnesium and sodium which helps the body maintain normal blood pressure level and help the nerves and muscles to function properly.
- Cucumbers are wonderful as a digestive aid because it contains erepsin, the enzyme that helps to digest protein.
- Eating two small cucumbers a day (with skin) can help cure constipation.
- Cucumbers are alkaline, which can effectively helps in regulating the body’s blood pH, neutralizing acidity. It is therefore beneficial for the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers.
- Cucumber contains silicon and sulphur which is known to promote the growth of hair, especially when the juice of the cucumber is added to the juice of carrot, lettuce and spinach. Silicon and sulphur is also beneficial in preventing splitting of nails of the fingers and toes.
- Regular consumption of cucumber can help add glow to your skin and help decrease the appearance of blemishes, making it an effective remedy for acne prone skin.
- Cucumber can help relieve Puffy eyes. To reduce puffiness, lie down and put two slices of cucumber on the eyes for ten minutes.
- Cucumber juice when made as facial mask can help lighten dark spots on your face.
- Cucumber juice with carrot juice is said to be very beneficial for arthritis and gout which is cause by excessive uric acid in the body.
- The juice is valuable for helping diseases of the teeth and gums, especially in cases of pyorrhea.
- Cucumber can help reduce internal temperature to about twenty degrees lower than the external temperature on warm days. Because of this people in hot places have been consuming cucumbers for centuries as natural coolants.
Cucumber Nutrition: Per 10 gm.
- Vitamin A: 180 I.U.
- Vitamin B: Thiamine .02 mg.; Riboflavin .04 mg.; Niacin trace
- Vitamin C: 9 mg.
- Calcium: 32 mg.
- Iron: 1.8 mg.
- Phosphorus: 27 mg.
- Potassium: 80 mg.
- Fat: .2gm
- Carbohydrates: 17gm.
- Protein: .9mg.
- Calories: 70
- Dosakai is a cucumber that is yellow in color and has a round shape. It is available in many parts of India.
- English cucumber is a very small in size, around 2-4 inches long. It is the variety that is used for pickling.
- Mediterranean cucumber has a smooth skin, nearly seedless flesh, it has a mild taste.
- Japanese cucumber is a dark green cucumber with a bumpy skin. It is mainly used for slicing, salads and juicing.
Buying Tip: Buy cucumber that is firm, fresh, bright, well shaped, and of good medium or dark green color. The flesh should be firm and the seeds immature. Avoid withered or yellowish cucumber because they indicate old stock and state of de-hydration. Thinner cucumbers have fewer seeds than those that are thicker.
Storage Tip: Keep cucumbers cool or it will be soggy. Either keep it refrigerated or keep it away from direct sunlight.
Preparation Tip: Buy organic as cucumbers may be waxed or have pesticides. If non-organic, wash cucumber under cold running water and scrub gently with a vegetable brush. It might help also to soak it for 5-10 minutes with 1-2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.