We may not seem to be a stranger towards cucumbers. It is present in various segments of daily life, ranging from being a salad ingredient, food decoration, to skincare. More often than not, we eat cucumber slices without giving a second thought on what its actual health benefits are. Anyway, what are the health benefits of eating cucumber first thing in the morning?
Nutritional Facts of Cucumber
- Calories – 8g
- Total Carbohydrate – 2g or 1% of DV
- Sodium – 1mg or 2% of DV
- Vitamin A – 1%
- Vitamin C – 2%
- Calcium – 1%
- Iron – 1%
- Cholesterol – 0mg or 0% of DV
- Proteins, Sugar, Total Fat, Dietary Fiber – 0g or 0% of DV
DV is “Daily Value” based on a standard of 2,000-calorie diet.
Why Should You Eat Cucumber First Thing in the Morning?
- To Keep You Hydrated
Water is undoubtedly important to get the best of bodily functions. And not only that, optimal hydration would also mean optimal physical performance and digestion. Did you know that cucumber is 95% composed of water? With that extremely high fluid content, sure cucumber help boost your daily liquid intake in a great way.
- To Prevent Cancer Growth
Cancer prevention through the help of cucumbers are possible thanks to two phytonutrient compounds that are associated in doing that, which are lignans as well as cucurbitacins. Cucurbitacins help the growth of certain cancer cells, such as pancreatic cancer as discovered by a 2009 study by Journal of Cancer Research. In 2010, cucurbitacins have also started to gain public attention from scientists who considered in including them in the development of new generation cancer medicines.
Meanwhile, lignans may shield you from cancer through cooperation with bacteria on the digestive tract. The good bacteria absorb the lignans and convert them into other compounds such as enterodiol and enterolactone. These two compounds help alleviate estrogen-related cancers such as prostate, ovarian and breast cancers.
- It Contains Essential Antioxidants
Antioxidants are molecules that halt the oxidation process, which itself is a chemical reaction that produces free radicals. An accumulation of free radicals may lead to several chronic illnesses, such as cancer, cardiovascular as well as lung diseases. Fruit and vegetables, which of course includes cucumber have been known to contain essential antioxidants that put these risks at a minimum.
Two main antioxidants that can be found inside cucumbers are tannins and flavonoids. Meanwhile, other types of antioxidants also found inside cucumbers are vitamin C, beta-carotene, quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, as well as kaempferol.
- May Also Help You in Losing Weight
There are several ways on how cucumbers can help you lose weight better. First, they are low in calories. The data above indicated that cucumber contains just 8 grams of calories. Meanwhile, a whole fruit of cucumber (300 grams) can contain as less as 45 calories.
Second, cucumbers contain plenty reserves of water that helps to accelerate digestion and weight loss in the long run. Here are the other benefits of cucumber for diet.
- It Can Also Potentially Lower Down Blood Sugar
Several experiments involving animals have also found that cucumbers may also help in reducing blood sugar levels as well as prevent diabetic complications. One test was conducted by feeding cucumber peel extracts in mice. Cucumber peels retracted most of the diabetic-associated symptoms and lowers down blood sugar.
Despite experiments on animal are successful, the usefulness of cucumber in lowering down human blood sugar is still yet to be discovered. These are the other benefits of cucumber for high blood pressure.
- Cucumber Also Promotes Healthy Digestion
Like what it is said above, increased water consumption, such as through cucumbers promotes healthy digestion. Staying hydrated can improve waste consistency, regularity, as well as avoid constipation. In addition, the ability of cucumber to support healthy digestion is also supplemented by its high-fibre levels.
One particular type of fibre found inside cucumbers, pectin is proved to increase the frequency of bowel movements. One study had 80 participants exposed to pectin. It is discovered that pectin increases the speed of intestinal muscles, while feeding the healthy bacterias in the gut to improve overall digestion.
- You Can Also Improve Bone Health with the Help of Cucumbers
According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, it becomes certain that the Vitamin K possessed by cucumbers are important to skeletal health. Vitamin K is used for building bones and reduce skeletal fractures. One cup of cucumber, which is approximately 100 grams contain as much as 19% of the recommended daily vitamin K intake.
- A Good Skincare Item
This may not be that relevant to cucumber consumption, but the fact remains that there is a reason to why people relaxing at a spa have a slice of cucumber laid over their eyes. Just like the benefits of cucumber for eyes, cucumbers have a cooling yet soothing effect that may also eliminate swelling, irritation as well as inflammation when topically used.
In the morning, cucumber slices can be placed over the eyes to reduce morning eye puffiness. These are the other benefits of cucumber for beauty.
- Supports a Healthy Heart
Cucumbers contain potassium, which can also lower down blood pressure levels. Aside from that, a holistic balance of potassium inside and outside the body is essential for optimal bodily functions.
- Freshens Your Breath
It is almost certain that bad breath happens to nearly anyone who just wake up in the morning. You can get rid of morning bad breaths easily by placing a slice of cucumber on the mouth ceiling to eliminate any odor-causing bacteria. Ayurvedic theories also has it that cucumbers also remove excess heat from the stomach, which is another cause of bad breath.
Those are the health benefits of eating cucumber first thing in the morning. As you can see, cucumbers are indeed refreshing, nutritious, and suitable for various food applications. They contain low calories, but high-water content and other nutrients in return. So, before you start off your daily routines, start your day with a few slices of cucumbers.
These are also the health benefits cucumber pickles.