You’re probably aware that I like to think of food as medicine.
That doesn’t mean food is always going to do the job that a specially designed pharmaceutical can do, but I will say this much….
Start integrating more whole foods into your diet and you’ll stand a much better chance of experiencing “Health As It Ought To Be”.
One of my favorite whole foods is cucumber.
It’s light, crisp, and refreshing.
A little bit in water is a great summer drink. Cut it into cubes and throw it into a salad for a bit of pizzaz.
Even pickle them for some serious health impact.
But, people skip out on cucumber, and I want to remind people that’s really not a great idea.
7 Reasons to Eat Cucumber Starting Today
1. Cucumbers Can Help Improve Brain Health
This is because cucumbers contain an anti-inflammatory called fisetin. Fisetin is a powerful flavonol and has positive effects on the brain. Researchers have found fisetin can work against the loss of memory over time. It’s even been shown to fight memory loss in mice. Fisetin can also work to protect your brain’s nerve cells. Because of this it gives you brain the ability to stay stronger for longer.
2. Cucumbers Can Help You Lose Weight:
Cucumbers are a low calorie food. And, since they’re high in fiber and water, they can be eaten in abundance without the worry of future weight gain. One of the other reasons they help you keep off the pounds is because the soluble fiber in cucumbers can help you feel full, longer. That’s because the soluble fiber in cucumber will actually create a gel like substance in your gut that gives you the sensation of fullness. All of that meaning you will eat less with cucumber as a consistent partner in your diet.
3. Can Help Strengthen the Immune System:
Contained in cucumbers are polyphenols called lignans. You might have heard of lignans before. They’re chemical compounds found in plants which have major health-boosting properties. The 3 main ones in cucumber are lignanspinoresinol, lariciresinol, and secoisolariciresinol. Research has shown they can help lower the risk of certain cancers.
According to the George Mateljan Foundation:
“Scientists have already determined that several different signaling pathways (for example, the JAK-STAT and MAPK pathways) required for cancer cell development and survival can be blocked by activity of cucurbitacins.”
4. Can Help You Fight Stress:
Cucumbers are also high in B vitamins. B vitamins also work with your brain to promote feelings of well being as well as working to help reduce anxiety and stress. Vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and vitamin B7 (biotin) are all found in cucumber and can work to lower stress.
5. Cucumbers Help Fight Inflammation:
As Dr. Mercola writes, “Cucumbers may help to ‘cool’ the inflammatory response in your body, and animal studies suggest that cucumber extract helps reduce unwanted inflammation, in part by inhibiting the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes (including cyclo-oxygenase 2, or COX-2)”
6. Cucumbers Contain Antioxidants:
Mercola also notes:
“Cucumbers contain numerous antioxidants, including the well-known vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain antioxidant flavonoids, such as quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, and kaempferol,6which provide additional benefits.
For instance, quercetin is an antioxidant that many believe prevents histamine release—making quercetin-rich foods “natural antihistamines.” Kaempferol, meanwhile, may help fight cancer and lower your risk of chronic diseases including heart disease.”
7. Cucumbers Can Help Fight Bad Breath:
This one’s pretty cool. According to Ayurveda (ancient Indian medicine), excess heat released from the stomach is what causes bad breath. Their recommendation is to take a slice of cucumber and place it on the roof of your mouth to help cool off that excess heat.
If anything, it can help neutralize odors already present in your mouth.
Cucumber’s Other Encouraging Benefits
That’s not all cucumber is good for.
In fact, you can also use cucumber to make the base for juicing. Throw it in the blender with some other veggies and fruits, and it makes a great juicing medium.
It’s also great for pickling, as I mentioned.
Pickled cucumbers (done the traditional, fermented way, not in vinegar) are high in vitamin K-2, which, as you’ve probably gathered from my writing, is something that’s great at keeping bones healthy.
Cucumber is also great at helping aid the digestive process.
Bottom line, don’t skip on cucumber.