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Healthy Habits for Fallbrook & Bonsall Folks: Cucumbers – the versatile vegetable


Last updated 1/10/2022 at 6:42am

Village News/Courtesy photo

Cucumbers have 95% water content.

Megan Johnson McCullough

Special to the Village News

Cucumbers are part of the gourd family called Cucurbitaceae. There are three main types of cucumbers – slicing, pickling, and specialty. They are usually consumed raw or pickled. The leaves, stem, and seeds are used in Asian cuisines.

The cucumber is also readily used in the cosmetic industry for lotions, soaps, shampoos, and fragrances. This green vegetable will not hurt your waistline as one cup of slices has about 16 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates, with only 2 grams of sugar. To maximize nutritional value, cucumbers should not be peeled when eaten.

Cucumbers have multiple benefits. They are high in nutrients with vitamin C, K, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. They are 95% water and some people get as much as 40% of their water intake from the foods they eat. Being properly hydrated is important for many health aspects and between the fiber and water of this vegetable, bathroom regularity can be helped. This promotes detoxification and weight loss. They also contain antioxidants they help block free radicals. This can help reduce the risk of cancer, lung, heart, and autoimmune disease. Some studies have shown that they may also reduce blood sugar levels.

There are also some other interesting uses for cucumber. When the mirror gets foggy after a steamy shower, try rubbing a cucumber across the mirror to see clearly again. They can also help get rid of creatures in gardening soil. They can also be used to tighten and firm skin. Some claim they get rid of cellulite. They might also prevent a hangover if eaten before bed after having too much alcohol.

Cucumbers can also be used to polish shoes. When held at the roof of the mouth, it can help reduce bad breath when mints or gum aren't available. They can also wash crayon and pen off walls which is handy if there are young children around. Cucumbers also clean stainless steel really well. Seems like having cucumber on hand (always) is a great idea. Talk about a versatile vegetable.

Cucumbers are easy to add to your diet and have access to. They can be eaten raw, added to a sandwich, infused in water, pickled, eaten with goat cheese (a popular combination), or used to make a cold cucumber salad. Eating cucumbers and using them for other skin or beauty related purposes is a healthy food choice and a useful home-remedy that is money saving and convenient.

Megan Johnson McCullough holds a master's degree in physical education and health science, is a candidate for her doctorate, is a professional natural bodybuilder and is a National Academy of Sports Medicine master trainer.


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