Cucumber belongs to cucurbitaceae family. Its scientific name is cucumis sativus. Different varieties of cucumber are available.
Cucumbers originated in India almost 10,000 years ago, but are now cultivated in many countries. Cucumber contain lots of nutrients like silica, vitamin A, vitamin C, and folic acid, while the hard skin is rich in fiber and a range of minerals including magnesium, molybdenum, and potassium. Its health benefits include healing under eye swelling, sunburns, prevent water loss and dermatitis.
- Skin Care
Cucumber contain silica which aids in developing strong and healthy connective tissues in the muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and bones. It also reduces sunburn, promotes hair growth and treat skin ailments. and swelling under the eyes.
2. Contains Antioxidants
Cucumbers contain lot of antioxidants and reduces free radicals. Thus, reducing the risk of cancer, heart, lung and autoimmune disease.
3. Promotes Hydration
Cucumbers contain high water intake and electrolytes which prevent dehydration, kidney stones, constipation and boosts metabolism.
4. May Aid in Weight Loss
Cucumbers are low in calories and has high water content. Thus, it is effective in weight loss of the body.
5. Prevent Constipation & Kidney Stones
Cucumber protects from kidney stones and constipation as it is high in fiber and water.
6. Control Blood Pressure
Cucumbers are high in magnesium, potassium and fiber which lowers the high blood pressure. Cucumber, therefore, regulates blood pressure and contributes to the proper structure of connective tissues in our body, including those in the muscles, bones, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons.
7. Manage Diabetes
Cucumbers contain zero glycemic index. Thus, making it easy to digest by the diabetic patients. It also maintains glucose levels of the body and reduces the effects of diabetes.
8. Maintain Overall Health
Cucumber cleanses the body by removing accumulated wastes and toxins from the body. It also optimized urinary bladder, kidney, liver, and pancreatic functions. Cucumbers also cures gout and eczema, promotes muscle flexibility, proper blood circulation and relaxes nerves. It also prevent splitting of the finger and toenails as it contains magnesium. Thus, maintaining overall health of the body.
9. Promote Regularity
Cucumber supports regular bowel movements, prevents dehydration, constipation and improve stool consistency thus, maintaining regularity.
Cucumber contains fiber, potassium and magnesium which prevents buildup of cholesterol, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. It also prevents cardiovascular problems.
11. Bone health
Cucumbers contain vitamin K which strengthens bones and improve calcium absorption. It also provides good bone health.
12. Good for Your Eye Health
Cucumber contains vitamin E which plays a crucial role in improving your skin, enhancing collagen production, acting as a natural, anti-wrinkle agent. It also improves eyesight, prevents hyperpigmentation, cataracts as it contains antioxidants and anti inflammatory properties..
13. Alkalizes Your Blood
Keeping your body’s pH level optimal can help eliminate free radical cells, which are acidic and cause symptoms associated with cancer. Drinking cucumber water on a daily basis can keep increase your body’s alkalinity.
Cucumber can be consumed at any time of day but try not to consume it at night. Vinegar (balsamic, cider, red wine, rice wine, sherry, tarragon, white wine), sea salt., sugar (a pinch). chopped dill., chopped basil., sliced tomato., sour cream goes well with cucumber.
How to buy and store Cucumbers?
Buy cucumbers that are firm ones and their color should be bright medium green to dark green. Avoid the yellow, puffy cucumbers that have water-soaked areas or wrinkled tips. Store cucumbers in the refrigerator. If the entire fruit is not used in one meal, then wrap the remainder tightly in plastic or place it in a closed container so that it does not get dried out. Try to eat cucumbers within one or two days of buying them or else they will become limp, especially if kept for more than a week.
Ways to use cucumber
Cucumber can be used in a variety of ways.
- You can also make an excellent purée with cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, and onions. Add salt and pepper for some extra flavor.
- Cucumbers give a fresh taste to tuna fish or chicken salad preparations. They can be eaten alone in their sliced form or with sprinkled salt and pepper.
- You can eat them raw, as part of cold salads or dipped in yogurt, or simply sprinkled with some salt and lemon juice. Or, you can eat them cooked into curries like a vegetable.
- Mix diced cucumbers with sugar snap peas and mint leaves and toss with rice wine vinaigrette.
- For refreshing cold gazpacho soup that takes five minutes
Uses of cucumber
Blending and sieving to collect the juice for a natural toner. Leave on the skin for 30 minutes, then rinse. This is said to have astringent properties and to help clear the pores.
- Face pack
Mix equal amounts of cucumber juice and yogurt to make a face pack that help reduce dry skin and blackheads.
● Combats Bad Breath
Placing cucumber slices in your mouth can help you to get rid of bad breath by eliminating bad-odor causing bacteria along with eliminating the formation of microbes, which can also lead to oral health complications and gum disease.
- Repair Hair
If dry and rough hair is your problem than try making some cucumber paste, mixing it with water. Then just gently massage the concoction on your head and you will gradually see the difference on your hair and scalp health.
Season in which cucumber is available
Slicing cucumbers are available throughout the year, but they are at their best between May and July.
How to make kheere ke Pakode
Ingredients Of Kheere Ke Pakode
1 Cup Singhare ka atta
2 tsp Rock salt
1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1 Tbsp Green chillies, finely chopped
2 Large Kheeras, sliced
For deep frying Oil
1.Take singhare ka atta in a bowl, add rock salt, coriander powder, chilli powder and green chillies together along with enough water to mix thoroughly.
2.Add enough water to make a thick consistency of the mixture.
3.Now, heat oil till simmer.
4.Dip the Kheera slices into the batter and put into the hot oil for deep frying.
5.Fry till golden brown. Put the flame low to allow Kheera slices to become a bit tender.
6.Drain the excess oil on an absorbent paper.
7.Serve hot and crisp along with coriander or tamarind chutney.
How to make Cucumber Pachadi
- Cucumber (chopped into small cubes) – 2 cups
- Curd (Yogurt) – 1 cup (beaten)
- Salt – to taste
To Cush Coarsely
- Coconut – 1/4 cup (grated)
- Green chilly – 2
- Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Coconut Oil – 1 tbsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Dry Red Chili – 1
- Curry leaves – 1 spring
Peel the cucumber and wash it. Chop it into small cubes. Also, beat the yogurt and keep it aside.
Take the cucumber pieces in a small pan with 1/2 cup of water and 1 tsp salt. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes till the cucumber pieces become soft.
In the meantime coarsely grind grated coconut, green chilies, mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
When the vegetable is nicely cooked, add the ground paste to it and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Remove from the stove and mix in the whisked yogurt.
Heat oil in a small pan. Splutter the mustard seeds, red chili and curry leaves. Add it to the pachadi. Tasty Cucumber pachadi (or Vellarikka Kichadi) is ready to serve. (Instead of seasoning, you can simply drizzle the coconut oil on the pachadi and add few curry leaves.)
This is usually served with some white rice and some curry like parippu curry or rasam.
You can also serve this as a side dish with chapati or rice
High consumption of cucumber could effect on blood clotting. People who use blood thinning drugs should not consume cucumber without consulting a doctor. The concentration of cucurbitacins in the everyday cucumber are unlikely to cause toxicity, and their nutritional benefits far outweigh any risks of pesticide or natural poisoning. Cucumber can be hard to digest for some people.
Fast facts about cucumber
- Cucumbers consist mainly of water.
- Some people use cucumber to soothe sunburn.
- Early research shows that a compound found in cucumbers might help fight cancer.
- Cucumbers contain lignan, which may help fight cardiovascular disease.
- Cucumber is a versatile food that can be added to a variety of dishes.
- Cucumbers really are a source of so many things. They contain Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, whilst also being around 95% water.
- Cucumber can actually cure bad breath. A slice pressed to the roof of your mouth for 30 seconds with your tongue allows the phytochemicals to kill the problematic bacteria.
- The waxy coating of a cucumber can actually remove ink, rubbing the skin over the writing will slowly remove it. Unlike the school erasers that were said to remove pen marks, these actually do!
- Cucumbers are said to contain the lignans; lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol. These supposedly are linked with reducing the risk of developing certain cancers including breast, ovarian, colon and prostate cancer. When consumed, bacteria in our digestive tract grab the lignans converting them into enterolignans which bind to the estrogens receptors reducing estrogens-related diseases including cancer.
- Pureed or sliced cucumber gives an almost instant relief to sunburn skin. Just place some against the affected area.
- Cucumbers have been consumed for a very long time. They were first domestically grown in ancient India around the 2nd-3rd millennia BC.
- There can be a 20° difference between the inside of a cucumber and the actual temperature outside, this is thought to be where the phrase “cool as a cucumber” came from.
- In 2014, German authorities found a drug haul worth around $56.28 million (€50 million) smuggled inside pickled cucumber jars amongst a shipment on its way to Iran from Germany.
- The green vegetable has even been transported by one of the most famous explorers. Christopher Columbus is said to have taken cucumbers to Haiti in 1494 and started their distribution around the ‘new world’.
- Worldwide cucumber production was 57.5 million tons in 2010 alone, with 40.7 million tons of the production and export happening in China.
- David Thomas from the UK grew the world’s heaviest cucumber. Weighing in at 12.9 kg (23 lb 7 oz) on the 26th September 2015 at the Malvern Autumn Show in Worcestershire, UK. David is no newbie when it comes to the world of heaviest vegetables, holding the record for the heaviest parsnip as well.
- Cucumbers can also help lower eye puffiness. The ascorbic and caffeic acids lower the water retention rate, shrinking the swelling and puffiness.
- Cucumber was responsible for a salmonella outbreak the US in 2015/16. The CDC, or Centre for Disease Control, said that as of March 2016 there were 907 cases and 6 deaths.