Cucumber- Benefits, Uses and Side effects
Cucumber is a type of fruit which is scientifically known as Cucumis sativus. It is rich in many nutrients, which make it essential for health. Cucumber is said to be a powerhouse of minerals, vitamins and electrolytes. It is most commonly eaten by adding it to sandwiches, salads and raita. In summer, there is more of a problem of diarrhea and food poisoning due to which it is necessary to consume it in summer.
Nutrients in Cucumber
Cucumbers contain a lot of fat and calories and water. Vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin B are also found in plenty. Apart from this, it also contains a good amount of minerals like sodium, copper, amino acids, carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, potassium, manganese, fatty acids, phosphorus, magnesium, biotin and silica. Cucumber only enhances beauty but also protects from many diseases. Apart from this, many health related phyto- nutrients are also present in cucumbers. All these nutritional properties make cucumbers a great accompaniment in a good diet.
Cucumbers in India are known by many names - Khira / Kheera or Kakdi in Hindi, Dokakaya in Telugu, Karikari in Malayalam, Kani Vellarikka in Malayalam, Kakdi in Bengali, Kakadi in Marathi and also known as Tar in Punjabi .
Benefits of Cucumbers
Beneficial in dehydration-
Dehydration means lack of water in the body. Headache, urine related problems, muscle spasms etc. may be encountered due to dehydration. Consuming cucumbers is very beneficial to avoid these problems. According to research, 95% water content is found in cucumbers, due to which its intake is helpful in keeping the body hydrated.
Beneficial in losing weight-
Cucumbers can be consumed to control the problem of obesity. According to research, 100 grams of cucumbers contain only 15 calories and a high amount of water. Due to low calories and good amount of water, cucumber is considered a good diet for people who lose weight. On this basis, the benefits of eating cucumber include weight control.
Able to fight cancer-
Cucumber not only protects against cancer but also gives your body the ability to fight cancer. It has properties such as cucurbitacin, fisetin, lutein, and caffeic acid, which inhibit cancer activity in the body. These substances are very capable of fighting prostate cancer and breast cancer. Cucurbitacins present in cucumbers contain bitterness and are known for anti-cancer utilities.
Rich in antioxidant properties-
Cucumbers are rich in antioxidant properties, which are beneficial for the body in many ways. Antioxidants are essential for the body. It can reduce the effect of free radicals in the body. It also helps to reduce the risk of problems such as aging, kidney disease, and heart disease by reducing oxidative stress. Consumption of cucumbers is also very beneficial for the supply of antioxidants in the body.
Cucumbers are also used to control diabetes. According to a research published on the NCBI, cucumbers have antidiabetic properties which help in controlling the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood of a person suffering from diabetes.
Great for eyes-
Cucumber is beneficial for eyes in many ways. It has antioxidant properties, which helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration (eye disease, which can lead to blindness) by reducing oxidative stress. In addition, the hydrating properties found in cucumbers work to moisturize the eye and its surrounding skin. Also, slices of cucumbers on closed eyes may exhibit a cooling effect. In addition, the vitamin-K found in it is helpful in reducing the problem of dark circles under the eyes.
Beneficial for hair-
Eating cucumber can also help in maintaining the health of hair. It contains high amounts of silicon and sulfur, both these nutrients can be helpful in hair growth. On this basis, cucumber is also said to be beneficial for hair.
Beneficial for the skin-
The use of cucumbers is beneficial for health as well as skin due to the hydrating and cooling properties of cucumbers, it is beneficial in many skin problems. Due to vitamin-C and antioxidant properties, it is used as the main ingredient in many creams for eczema (a problem associated with skin inflammation), psoriasis (itching with rash on the skin) and acne.
Helpful in digestion and constipation-
The benefits of eating cucumber include good digestion. The water and fiber present in cucumbers can help the digestive system work well by flushing out toxins. It is believed that daily cucumber intake is beneficial in relieving chronic constipation problems. Consuming cucumber juice daily provides relief in digestive disorders, such as chest irritation, gastritis (abdominal bloating) and even ulcers.
Uses of Cucumber
- You can eat cucumber directly after washing, then after removing the skin. Mostly it is used as a salad.
- Cucumbers can also be eaten by making pickles.
- Cucumber juice can also be drunk after taking it out.
- Sandwich cucumber slices are used.
- People also like cucumber raita at lunch.
- You can also make and drink cucumber soup.
- Cucumber juice can be used on the face.
- Cucumber pulp and yogurt can be applied by making a face pack.
Side effects of Cucumber
- Consumption of cucumber in excess can result in gas and flatulence.
- Bitter cucumbers contain a compound called cucurbitacins, which can cause toxicity in some cases. Therefore, the consumption of bitter cucumbers is prohibited.
- Cucumbers have a diuretic effect. Therefore, frequent consumption of cucumbers in excess can lead to the problem in passing urine.
- Consumption of cucumber by people with ragweed allergies can lead to swelling in the mouth and throat along with itching.