Cucumbers have long been associated with keeping cool. Whether it’s in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dr. Perricone’s anti inflammatory diet or sliced up in a pitcher of fresh water. When it comes to beauty and your health, these fruits (yes, fruits) are proving to be a lot more powerful than using slices for puffy eyes. Researchers are starting to catch on to these finds, however.
-The high water content makes cucumber a natural, mild diuretic to help flush things out. Not to mention, because of their high water content they are also naturally hydrating—a must for glowing skin.
-Cucumbers house a lot of nutrients essential for strong cell growth and repair (collagen production anyone?) like natural salts, enzymes, and vitamins.
-The alkalinity of cucumber is wonderful for establishing a healthy body. An alkaline body is like a clean home with a place for things. When there’s too much acid build-up a lot of health problems can arise.
-Their skin is high in silica and chlorophyll, which is very soothing to the skin. They help improve complexion and health of the skin.
-They are a great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Potassium, which are all vital for overall health.
-Cucumbers’ most recent wonder are their phytonutrient list: cucurbitacins, lignans, and flavonoids. These three types of phytonutrients found in cucumbers give our bodies antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits to reap!
Cucumbers come in hundreds of varieties, but using what’s commonly seen in grocers is also just as effective. Recent research studies suggest that conventionally grown cucumbers may be more susceptible to heavy metal contamination than other vegetables. I suggest using organic cucumbers, especially if you’re going to be using the peel. You don’t want to be consuming pesticides and coatings when fighting free radicals. So cool down with cucumbers, and your body will be buzzing on the inside.
Tip: Let a few slices of cucumber soak in your water to help alleviate bloating from fluid retention. Cucumber juice (an easy recipe) helps detox your body, getting rid of old waste and chemical toxins.
Katharina Knoll, a Manhattan-based food and art enthusiast has prepared a series of anti-inflammatory recipes celebrating simple, rustic foods. Enraptured by the intersection of health and nutrition, Kat is the founder and director of Behind Foods. Follow Kat on her blog, Katharina’s Food Adventures, and keep in touch through her Facebook fan page and Twitter