Monday, October 4, 2010

Vegetable of the Week: Cucumber

"Cool as a cucumber" isn't just a catchy phrase. The inner temperature of a cucumber can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside air. No wonder these are such a summertime favorite!

Cucumbers were believed to have originated in India and spread through Greece and Italy. Cool and moist due to their high water content. "Cukes" belong to the same family as pumpkins, zucchini, watermelon and other squashes.


Selection

It’s important to look for firm cucumbers with rich green color and no soft spots. Cucumbers that bulge in the middle, usually most likely means its filled with large watery seeds and tasteless flesh.

Storage

Whole cucumbers should be refrigerated in a crisper for up to a week. Unwaxed cucumbers will easily lose moisture so keep them wrapped tightly in plastic.


Health Benefits of Cucumber:
- Control high blood pressure. Because of a rich source of potassium, magnesium and fiber- eating cucumber can reduce high blood pressure to a healthier level.
- Good for the diabetics.
- Fresh cucumber juice can provide relief from heartburn. Cucumber juice is also good for the treatment of gastritis and ulcers.
- Applying cucumber juice is good for treating acne and other skin blemishes. Not only good for the skin, cucumbers are also very good for the hair, nails, teeth and gums.
- Cucumber is very helpful to prevent various skin problems. Ascorbic acid and caffeic acid in cucumber are helpful to prevent eye swelling, sunburn and dermatitis. Cucumbers when applied topically helps to treat inflamed, itchy skin, dry skin and also helps in hair growth.

- Cucumbers help to repair cells.
- Cucumbers help to relax nerves and muscles.

- Good for kidney ( helps in the dissolution of kidney stones) and urinary bladder disease.
- Silica helps strengthen connective tissue such as bone, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels. Cucumber juice is a great source of silica. Fresh cucumber juice is great for rheumatic conditions caused by excessive uric acid in the body.
- Cucumber juice (because of its temperature regulating properties) is very good in the condition of fever.

Cucumbers come with rich nutrients that is important for our health. Cucumber and cucumber juice is a must for healthy and beautiful life.


Sources: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov, http://healthmad.com

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