Cucumbers

cucumbersI love cucumbers…and rightfully so.  They are so nutritious.

I was raised on cucumber sandwiches.  As a child/teenager growing up I preferred a cucumber and vinegar sandwich over peanut butter and jam any day.  My Mom would soak cucumber slices in vinegar for about 30 minutes and then place them between two slices of bread with salt and pepper.  It made a tasty and nutritious lunch.  Now in adulthood I don’t use cucumbers in a sandwich so much but I do use them daily in my big green salads and I put them in my green juice daily.

Cucumbers are related to melons and are very hydrating being 90% water.

You should always try to purchase organic cucumbers as conventional ones are very heavily sprayed according to the Environmental Working Group.  Cucumbers are also coated with synthetic wax.  If you can’t get organic cucumbers then make sure you peel the skin off of conventional cucumbers or you will be ingesting petroleum based wax.  But….the skin of the cucumber is where most of the nutrients are so that is why I suggest you seek organic cucumbers so you can keep the peel on them when eating.

Taken from an article by Natural News, here are 10 health benefits of cucumbers:

1.  Alkalizing:  Cucumbers are good for keeping the PH balance in your body in check.

2.  Silica:  Cucumbers are high in silica which is a major component in bones.  The silica also helps flush out toxic aluminum from your organs.

3. Cancer risk reduction:  Cucumbers contain polyphenol lignans and phytonutrients which have anti-cancer properties.

4.  Brain health:  Cucumbers contain an anti-inflammatory flavonol called fisetin which plays an important role in brain health.  In animal testing this fisetin showed that it protects against memory loss and cognitive decline.

5.  Digestion:  The skin on cucumbers contains insoluble fiber which helps add bulk to your stool.  This helps sweep food through your digestive tract more quickly.

6.  High Antioxidants:  Cucumbers contain vitamin C and beta-carotene as well as flavonoids such as quercetin, apigenin, lutelolin, and kaempferol, all antioxidants to help fight free radicals in the body.

7.  Inflammation fighter:  Cucumbers have anti-inflammatory properties.

8.  Stress reduction:  Cucumbers are high in vitamin B, particularly B1 (thiamine), and B5 (pantothenic acid) and B7 (biotin).  These are water soluble vitamins that support the nervous system.  Biotin has been given high accolades when dealing with Multiple Sclerosis.

9.  Heart health:  Cucumbers contain potassium, an electrolyte that supports a healthy heart.

10.  Good for the waistline:  Cucumbers are filling, with water weight, but are also low in calories so good for the waistline.  A cup of cucumbers contains a mere 16 calories.  That makes cucumbers a wonderful “go to” snack if you are trying to lose weight.

Here is a quick and nutritious recipe for cucumbers.  A great summer time salad to accompany a barbecue.

CHILLED CUCUMBER SALAD  ( I use organic cucumbers and leave the peel on)

2 English cucumbers cut into 1/4″ slices

1/2 small red onion sliced and separated

3 tbsp. fresh squeezed  lemon juice

1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. chopped fresh dillweed

1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper

pinch of coconut sugar or palm sugar (optional)

Combine the cucumber slices and onion slices in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl whisk together the lemon, olive oil, dill, salt and pepper and sugar.  Pour dressing over cucumbers and onions and gently stir to coat.  Place in the refrigerator for one hour before serving.

Enjoy.

 

 

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