Cucumbers are related to the watermelon, pumpkin, zucchini, and other types of squash. There are a number of varieties of cucumbers providing a lot of flavorful juicing options. From slicing to lemon to pickling cukes, the cucumber is a versatile veggie.
Cucumbers are exceptionally full of water and low in calories. A one cup serving has only 13 calories and provides needed hydration. Cucumbers are a great addition to a cleanse or weight-loss practice.
Beauty is Skin Deep
The flesh of the cucumber contains ascorbic acid a.k.a Vitamin C and caffeic acid, both which soothe skin irritation and reduces swelling. So when you’ve seen or experienced a cucumber slice on your eyes, the point is to reduce swelling (bags) under the eyes.
The cucumber also contains silica which promotes healthy connective tissue such as muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. Silica combined with the high water content provides hydration for healthy, glowing skin.
You can also apply cucumber juice to sunburns. The healthful properties will assist in reducing inflammation. Therefore the phrase, “cool as a cucumber” indeed holds true.
The cucumber is also a fantastic source of the trace mineral molybdenum. The use of “trace” in terms of minerals means that only a small amount is needed to promote optimum health. Molybdenum helps in the fight against nitrosamines which are connected to cancer causation. Molybdenum is also thought to prevent both cavities and anemia. This mineral is needed for normal cell function and the metabolism of nitrogen.
History of the Cucumber
Cucumbers have a long history. They were originally cultivated in south Asia as far as 10,000 years ago. The vegetable was brought to India and other parts of Asia by travelers and merchants. The cucumber was a household vegetable in Egypt, Greece and Rome where they developed the uses for healthy skin. This tasty treat migrated through Europe and eventually to the United States.
Selection and Storage
The water content in cucumbers makes them sensitive to heat. Choose from cukes that are available in the refrigerated produce section. Select cucumbers that are firm and round at their edges. Coloration should be medium to dark green. Avoid any that are yellow, wrinkled or puffy, or soft. It is better to select cucumbers that do not have a waxed coating, as you can juice and eat the unwaxed skin.
To store, place cucumbers in the refrigerator to keep them plump and tasty. If you use only a portion of the cucumber, wrap it in plastic before returning it to the fridge. They will be good for 2-4 days refrigerated. Do not leave cucumbers at room temperature as they are highly perishable.
Cilantro for Health
This fragrant and tasty herb is a power pack of health benefits:
- Settles the stomach and prevents gas
- Protects the urinary tract against infection
- Prevents nausea
- Lowers blood sugar levels
- Protects against the salmonella bacteria
- A good source of magnesium and iron
- Lowers LDL cholesterol and increases HDL cholesterol
- Has anti-inflammatory properties
Cucumber Cilantro Cooler
- 1 or 2 unwaxed slicing or lemon cucumbers
- Handful of cilantro
- 1 lime, peeled. For more info on limes.
- Ginger to taste
If the cucumbers you purchase are waxed then peel the cucumber before juicing. Put all ingredients in your juicer and enjoy this sweet refreshing cooler. If using a lemon cucumber try adding an additional lemon.