Cucumber

Soothes skin • Good nutrient content • Cooling • Ant-repellent
 
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Apples - Reduces cholesterol.
Asparagus - Mild laxative, kidney stimulant.
Aubergine (eggplant)
Beer - Reduces heart disease, promotes bone health.
Cranberry - Treats urinary tract infection (UTI).
Cucumber - Skin friend, ant repellent.
Kiwi Fruit (Chinese gooseberry).
Muscovado Sugar (a.k.a. Barbados sugar)

 


 

   


 

Cucumber
Cucumis sativus

The humble cucumber - is it a fruit or a vegetable? Most people would generally consider the cucumber as a vegetable. But by biological and scientific definition, it is a fruit.

Cucumbers have enclosed seeds, and they develop from a flower. But due to their slightly sour and occasionally bitter flavour, cucumbers are prepared and eaten as vegetables. Even in the supermarket, you will find cucumbers in the vegetable section rather than the fruits corner. This reinforces the general assumption that the cucumber is a vegetable.

The cucumber is a source of vitamin A, the B vitamins (B6 or pyridoxine, B1 or thiamine, folate, B5 or pantothenic acid), vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, molybdenum, and manganese.

100 grams of cucumber provides about 8 percent RDA of vitamin C, 6 per cent RDA of vitamin A, 7 per cent RDA of molybdenum, and less than 5 per cent of all the other vitamins and minerals stated above.

Cucumbers can be eaten raw or cooked. However, cooking a cucumber will significantly lower their nutrient value.

Some of the health benefits of cucumber
Because the flesh of the cucumbers is primarily water, and the highest nutrient is vitamin C. This helps soothe skin irritations, and may help to reduce swelling. Cucumbers also have moisture binding, moisture regulating properties. All these skin beneficial properties are especially good for the eyes.

Cucumber is also good for the heart. Cucumber contains sterols which have been known to lower cholesterol in lab tests. The highest concentration of sterols is in the skin/peel of the cucumber.

Cucumber selection and storage
Cucumbers are sensitive to heat. So choose cucumbers that are displayed in refrigerators in supermarkets. Cucumbers should be firm, with round edges, and green to dark green in colour. Try to avoid cucumbers that are wrinkled, puffy, or yellow in colour.

Cucumbers in supermarkets are commonly waxed, to protect them from bruising easily, and to maintain their water content. Peeling the cucumber is a good way to ger rid of the wax, but this also strips away much of the healthy sterols. Another option is to scrub them in cool water with a brush.

Try to look for organic cucumbers. Organic cucumbers should be free from wax. Some supermarkets also have an organic corner which should also stock organic cucumbers.

Additional uses of cucumbers
Cucumber peel can be used as a natural ant repellent. Just place them in areas where the ants are coming in, and this will act as a safe and natural ant repellent.

 

 

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