Cucumbers consist of 95% water and this makes them an ideal hydrating and cooling food. Cucumbers have anti-inflammatory flavonol called fisetin that appears to play an important role in looking after your brain health. There are polyphenols called lignans in cucumbers that may help to reduce the risks of breast, uterine, ovarian and prostate cancers. The cucumber extract helps to reduce unwanted inflammation. It does so by inhibiting the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes. Being low in calories and high in fiber, cucumbers are ideal for both weight loss and digestive health.
Belonging to the same family as zucchinis, watermelons, pumpkins and squash, cucumber (scientific name – Cucumis sativus) is a creeping vine that bears cucumiform fruits that are used as vegetables. Different varieties of cucumber are grown in different region and they are either eaten fresh or pickled. However, there are three main varieties of cucumber: slicing, pickling and seedless. Pickling cucumbers are generally smaller than slicing cucumbers. Cucumbers are available all round the year.
Consumption of cucumber can be extremely beneficial to you health and especially so during summer since they are mostly made of water and other important nutrients that are beneficial for our body. They are excellent sources of Vitamin K and molybdenum. They are also rich in pantothenic acid, copper, potassium, manganese, Vitamin C, phosphorus, magnesium, biotin and Vitamin B1. Cucumber contains silica, a trace mineral that helps to strengthen our connective tissues. They also contain ascorbic and caffeic acids which prevent water loss and so, cucumber is applied topically to burns and dermatitis.
Cucumber can be a great remedy for dehydration, especially during the summer months, as it is mostly made of water and id full of essential electrolytes. Adding cucumber to water is a great way to increase water consumption.
Cucumber contains silica which helps to develop strong and healthy connective tissues in the muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and bone. Thus consumption of cucumber helps you get healthy and bright skin. Cucumber is rich in water and this helps your skin to stay hydrated. Cucumber extract is also used to treat various skin ailments like sunburn and swelling under the eyes. Ascorbic acid and caffeic acid present in cucumber also prevent water loss from the body.
Cucumber possesses a hormone that is required by the beta cells during insulin production and, thus, has been useful for diabetic patients for many years. The carbohydrates in cucumber can be easily digested by diabetic patients and this helps to keep blood sugar in check.
Cucumbers contain polyphenols called lignans which may help to reduce risk of breast, uterine, ovarine and prostate cancers. They also have phytonutrients called cucurbitacins which also have anti-cancer properties.
Cucumbers contain flavonoid, which are anti-inflammatory, and tannins. They help to fight the harmful free radicals that roam in our body. Elimination of free radicals lowers the risks of any illness plaguing our body and, hence, gives us relief from pain and discomfort.
Cucumber has potassium that helps to reduce blood pressure levels. A proper balance of potassium, both outside and inside the cells, is crucial for the body to function properly. Potassium, being an electrolyte, must maintain a certain concentration of in order to carry out its functions. This may include interacting with sodium to help control nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction and heart function.
According to the principles of Ayurveda, consumption of cucumber helps to release excess heat in the stomach which is the primary cause of bad breath. Placing a cucumber slice on the roof of your mouth helps you to get rid of disease-causing bacteria.
Cucumbers are rich in the most important elements which are required for digestion: water and fiber. You can meet your daily requirement of fiber by adding cucumbers to your juice or salad. Cucumbers may also help you to suppress the acute symptoms of acid reflux. Cucumber skins contain insoluble fiber which adds bulk to your stool and helps you to eliminate undigested food more easily.
Cucumber juice helps to cure rheumatic conditions caused by accumulation of excess uric acid in your body. Gout and eczema can be cured by regular intake of cucumber juice. Cucumber can be beneficial for those having lung or stomach problems. It also promotes muscle flexibility while the magnesium content of cucumbers ensures proper blood circulation and also relaxes your nerves.
Including cucumber in your diet can prove to be beneficial in a number of ways. It helps to manage diabetes, lowers blood pressure, prevents constipation, reduces risk of kidney stones, keeps body healthy and functioning and provides you with a bright and glowing complexion.
Inspite of its beneficial effects, consumption of cucumber has its fair share of side effects. Cucumber contains toxins like cucurbitacins and tetracyclic triterpenoids which can prove detrimental if consumed in large quantities. Cucurbitin, a mild anti-diuretic, is present in cucumber and excess of it can leave you highly dehydrated. Excess intake of Vitamin C, present in cucumber, can reverse its actions and make it act like a pro-oxidant rather than an anti-oxidant.
Cucumber was cultivated in ancient India about 400 years ago. Later it spread beyond the Indian borders and moved through ancient Greece, Rome, Europe, America and China and eventually became the fourth most cultivated vegetable in the whole world. Cucumber is viewed as an integral part of the cuisine of many cultures. In a few other places, it is regarded as bringer of diseases.
Cucumber is a warm season crop and it grows best at a temperature between 18-24 degree temperatures. Loam, silt loam and clay loam are best for getting a higher yield. However, it is cultivated both as a summer and a rainy season crop and the seed is son according to the type of crop.
Home remedies for dark circles under eye
Here are a few home remedies for dark circles under eyes.
Use almonds –
The nourishing properties of almond make it very effective in reducing dark circles. Almonds contains a high amount of vitamin e, which is really good for the skin. You can use almonds in oil form or paste form. (read – health benefits of almonds)
How to use almonds for treating dark circles under eye?
Tip – Take a few drops of sweet almond oil and gently massage it on your dark circles before going to bed. Let it stay overnight. Wash it in the morning.
Practice yoga to get rid of dark circles –
Home remedies for dark circle
Yoga has been known to benefit the human body in many ways. It helps to increase the flow of blood to the blood vessels under the eyes and thus reduce dark circles
Tip – The asanas most helpful for reducing dark circles are:
• hastapadotasna – stand forward and bend in front. Try to touch your feet. This asana helps to energize the nervous system and increases the flow of blood to your face.
• Surya namaskar – this asana is a compilation of 12 poses and it helps to detoxify the body. It stretches the entire body and relaxes the body.
• Viparitakarani – apart from reducing dark circles, this asana is extremely helpful in relieving back pain. Just lie down on the floor facing a wall and raise your legs such that they touch the wall. Stretch your arms on each side and relax.
Place cucumber on the eyes
Cucumber as a home remedies for dark circles has been used to soothe the eyes since a long time. Loaded with antioxidants such as cucurbitacins, orientin and vitexin, it helps to reduce dark circles considerably and provides relief to tired eyes. (read – benefits of cucumber on skin)
How to use cucumber as a home remedy for dark circles?
Tip – Just take a fresh cucumber, cut it in to thin slices and refrigerate. Take them out after half an hour and place a slice on each eye for 10 minutes. Remove and wash off with cold water. Do this two times every day for about a week.
Green tea helps to calm the blood vessels under the eyes and its astringent properties reduce the dark circles.
How to use green tea bags for dark circles?
Tip – Just take two green tea bags, dip them in water for a while and refrigerate. Place the cold tea bags over your eyes for 10-15 minutes and then remove them. Wash with cold water.
Mint paste –
Mint leaves contain lots of vitamin c and they help to improve the dark circles.
How to use mint leaves as a home remedy for dark circles?
Tip – Take a few mint leaves, crush them and grind them in a grinder with a few drops of water till you have a smooth paste. Apply the mint paste under the eyes and allow it to stay for 10 minutes. Wash off with cold water
* Note – Test the paste on a small area of your arm to rule out any allergic reactions.
Use potato juice:
Potatoes contain skin lightening properties due to the presence of a pigment. They are very helpful in reducing dark circles.
How to use potatoes to treat dark circles under eyes?
Tip – Take a raw potato, peel it and grate it. Put the grated potato in a muslin cloth and squeeze the juice from it. Soak a cotton ball in the potato juice and place it on the affected area. Allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes, remove and wash off with cold water.
Orange and glycerine mask –
Both orange juice and glycerine are rich in antioxidants. Additionally, orange juice also contains vitamin c which acts as a bleaching agent. (read – antioxidants and their benefits on skin)
How to use oranges and glycerine to treat dark circles under eyes?
Tip – Just mix a few drops of glycerine with a teaspoon of orange juice. Apply this mask on the affected area and allow it to stay for 10 minutes. Wash off with cold water.
Other tips for treating dark circles under eyes
Apart from the above home remedies, a few lifestyle changes can also help to prevent dark circles from occurring:
• do not stay up till late at nights. Try and get sufficient sleep
• do not overwork yourself. Try to stay calm and relaxed
• avoid excess consumption of alcohol. You can rather opt for healthy mock-tails on your next outing with friends.
• quit smoking if you do.
• eat salt in moderation
• do not stay in the sun for too long and always wear a good sunscreen and sunglasses (read – how to remove sun tan quickly)
• avoid stress
• use a good anti-aging cream
• avoid crying too much
Vegetables are wonderful for maintaining healthy skin
10 reasons why you should include cucumber to your diet
Cucumbers are said to have the following benefits: Potential antidiabetic, antioxidant activity, cleansing action of toxins and waste, soothing effect against skin irritation, and prevention of constipation. And here are 10 health benefits of cucumbers in more details.
1. Help you stay hydrated
Cucumbers are 95.2 percent water, which means that a 5-ounce serving contains 4.8 ounces or 150 ml water. That’s already about 26 percent of your daily water intake through food.
2. Support heart health
Cucumbers contain potassium (152mg per cup), which can help lower blood pressure. A review of the best studies conducted on potassium intake showed that a higher intake “is associated with lower rates of stroke and might also reduce the risk of total cardiovascular disease.”
3. Protect your brain from neurological diseases
An anti-inflammatory substance called fisetin is present in cucumbers, as well as strawberries and grapes
It has recently been suggested that fisetin plays an important role in brain health: It would have “the ability to reduce the impact of age-related neurological diseases on brain function,” and it would also help maintain cognitive function in people with Alzeimer’s disease.
4. Protect your skin against the effects of aging
There is a reason why cucumbers are used in skin care: They have been shown to be effective as a potential anti-wrinkle agent in cosmetic products, protecting our skin form the effects of aging.
5. Fight inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of Cancer.
Cucumbers can help lower the inflammatory response in the body. They contain polyphenols called lignans, which can potentially reduce the risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
They also contain plant nutrients called cucurbitacins, which have anti-cancer properties: “Scientists have already determined that several different signaling pathways required for cancer cell development and survival can be blocked by activity of cucurbitacins”.
6. Relieve Pain
Flavonoids, which are anti-inflammatory substances, and tannins in cucumbers have both been shown to limit the release of free radicals in the body and to reduce pain.
As explained in the Journal of Young Pharmacists, “traditionally, this plant is used for headaches; the seeds are cooling and diuretic, the fruit juice is used as a nutritive and as a demulcent in anti-acne lotions.”
7. Reduce bad breath
Bad breath is usually caused by bacteria in the mouth. Fiber and water-rich vegetables like cucumbers can boost your mouth’s saliva production, which in turn helps wash away the bacteria that cause the odor in the mouth.
8. Protect your bones
Cucumber are a good source of vitamin K: One cup contains 22 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K. This vitamin is essential for bone health, as low vitamin K intakes have been associated with a higher risk for bone fracture. Vitamin K is also important for improving calcium absorption in the bones.
9. Prevent constipation
Cucumbers are rich in water, and their skin contains insoluble fiber. Both water and fiber help food to move through the digestive tract quicker and more easily, helping prevent constipation.
10. Maintain a healthy weight
Cucumbers are very low in calories (16 calories per cup) and they also contain fiber in the skin. And foods that contain fiber can help maintain a healthy weight.
Cucumbers are scientifically known as Cucumis sativus and belong to the same botanical family as melons. Cucumbers have not received as much press as other vegetables in terms of health benefits, but this widely cultivated food provides us with a unique combination of nutrients. At the top of the phytonutrient list for cucumbers are its cucurbitacins, lignans, and flavonoids. These three types of phytonutrients found in cucumbers provide us with valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits.
Health Benefits of Cucumber
1. Protect Your Brain
Cucumbers contain an anti-inflammatory flavonol called fisetin that appears to play an important role in brain health. In addition to improving your memory and protecting your nerve cells from age-related decline, fisetin has been found to prevent progressive memory and learning impairments in mice with Alzheimer's disease.
2. Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
Cucumbers contain polyphenols called lignans (pinoresinol, lariciresinol, and Seco iso lariciresinol), which may help to lower your risk of breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers. They also contain phytonutrients called cucurbitacins, which also have anti-cancer properties.
3. Fight Inflammation
Cucumbers may help to 'cool' the inflammatory response in your body.
4. Antioxidant Properties
Cucumbers contain numerous antioxidants, including the well-known vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain antioxidant flavonoids, such as quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, and kaempferol, which provide additional benefits.
5. Freshen Your Breath
Placing a cucumber slice on the roof of your mouth may help to rid your mouth of odor-causing bacteria.
6. Manage Stress
Cucumbers contain multiple B vitamins, including vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and vitamin B7 (biotin). B vitamins are known to help ease feelings of anxiety and buffer some of the damaging effects of stress.
7. Support Your Digestive Health
Cucumbers are rich in two of the most basic elements needed for healthy digestion: water and fiber. If you struggle with acid reflux, you should know that drinking water can help suppress acute symptoms of acid reflux by temporarily raising stomach pH; it's possible that water-rich cucumbers may have a similar effect.
Cucumber skins contain insoluble fiber, which helps add bulk to your stool. This helps food to move through your digestive tract more quickly for healthy elimination.
8. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Cucumbers are very low in calories, yet they make a filling snack (one cup of sliced cucumber contains just 16 calories)
9. Support Heart Health
Cucumbers contain potassium, which is associated with lower blood pressure levels. A proper balance of potassium both inside and outside your cells is crucial for your body to function properly.