Cucumber is a widely cultivated plant that belongs to Cucrubitaceae family, and was first cultivated in parts of Southern Asia. There are 3 main varieties of cucumber- slicing, pickling and burpless. Being an excellent source of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and polyphenols etc, cucumber provides several health and beauty benefits.
Health Benefits of Cucumber
Some of the major beauty benefits of cucumbers are as follows.
(1) Provides Relief From Constipation
The laxative properties of the dietar fibers in cucumbers improves our bowel movement, ensures smooth elimination of stool from the system and thus provides relief from constipation and other gastrointestinal problems like abdominal pain, gas, bloating, indigestion, flatulence and irritable bowel syndrome etc.
Vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols in cucumber protects the digestive system from free radical damage, and thus minimizes the risk of several cancers like colon cancer, abdominal cancer, pancreatic cancer and intestinal cancer etc.
The abundance of water in cucumber (around 96 percent) helps with digestion of food, absorption of nutrients from food and thus improves our digestive health.
Other nutrients like zinc, iron, slica, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B complex in cucumber also contributes to better digestive health.
(2) Regulates Blood Pressure
Eating 1 cup of cucumber provides 440 mg of potassium.
Potassium is a natural vasodilator that relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation and thus provides relief from hypertension or high blood pressure.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a silent killer that affects millions of people around the world, and is a leading cause of several cardiovascular and other health problems like heart attack, heart stroke, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, blurred vision, blood in urine etc.
Other nutrients like iron, vitamin B complex and magnesium etc also plays an important role in keeping blood pressure under control.
(3) Cucumber Helps In Managing Diabetes
Cucumber is good for people with diabetes and for those who are at the risk of developing diabetes.
It has a low glycemic index of 15 and releases sugar into the bloodstream at a slow pace and thus helps in managing diabetes.
Dietary fibers in cucumber slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and thus regulates blood sugar level.
It also contains a hormone which is required by the beta cells during insulin production.
The carbohydrates present in the cucumber can be easily digested by the diabetic patients and doesn’t cause any interference to blood sugar level.
(4) Helps With Body Functions
Cucumber is a natural diuretic that increases the frequency and flow of the urination, and helps in proper elimination of excess fluids, mineral salts, toxins and other unwanted substances out of the body. It minimizes the risk of urinary tract infections and improves functions of urinary bladder, kidneys, liver and pancreas.
The detoxifying properties of dietary fibers in cucumber eliminates toxins, pollutants and other unwanted substances from the body.
Because of the anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C in cucumber, drinking cucumber-carrot juice provides relief from rheumatic conditions caused by buildup of excessive uric acid in the body.
It aids in protein digestion, and is also good for the lungs.
(5) Prevents Dehydration
Water plays an important role in keeping us healthy as it is needed for various functions in the body. Our body is made up of 70 percent water, and for some organs like lungs and liver are more than 80 percent water.
To live healthy, it is important to maintain the right fluid balance and lack of it can increase the risk of dehydration. Some symptoms of dehydration includes dry mouth, lethargy, muscle weakness, headache, dizziness, sunken eyes, dry skin, increased heart rate, and low blood pressure etc.
The abundance of water ( around 96 percent) in cucumber keeps us well hydrated, and minimizes the risk of dehydration and associated symptoms.
(6) Reduces Risk of Cancer(s)
The antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other relevant antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols in cucumber protects our cells and tissues from free radical damage, and minimizes the risk of several cancers like colon cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer and intestinal cancer etc.
Free radicals are the unstabilized ions that stabilizes by stealing electrons from neighboring molecules, and doing so it causes oxidative damage to them.
As per a 2009 study published in the Journal of Cancer research, cucurbitacins supplements inhibits the growth of pancreatic cancer cell lines by 50 percent, and also damages pancreatic cancer cells.
As per another study published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute, women with the highest intake of lignan( polyphenol in cucumber) were at the lowest risk of breast cancer.
In another study conducted on 1000 women in the San Francisco area, it was revealed that postmenopausal women with the highest intake of lignans( polyphenol in cucumber) were at the lowest risk of developing endometrial cancer.
(7) Good For Bones
Cucumber strengthens our bones and teeth due to the presence of bone strengthening minerals like calcium, potassium, vitamin K and magnesium in it.
Calcium is an essential mineral for the growth and development of the bones, and lack of this mineral may increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which our bones become weak and fragile, and are prone to damage and fracture.
Vitamin K aids in improving bone density.
In a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Research in 1999, eating food rich in vitamin K can reduce the risk of hip fracture among elderly men and women.
Potassium in the cucumber neutralizes acid loss, reduces the loss of calcium from the bones, and thus improves bone density.
Magnesium also improves our bone health as it improves bone density and minimizes the risk of bone disorders like osteoporosis.
(8) Provides Antioxidantal Benefits
Cucumber is an excellent source of several antioxidants and antioxidantal compounds that provides numerous benefits.
Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols etc protects our cells and tissues from free radical damage, and minimizes the risk of several cancers.
Free radicals are the unstabilized ions that stabilizes by stealing electrons from neighboring molecules, and doing so it causes oxidative damage to them.
Antioxidants also provides several other benefits like helps with detoxification, improves cardiovascular system, strengthens immunity, better respiratory health and so on.
Because of its antioxidantal properties, cucumber is being used as a main ingredient for several cosmetic products.
(9) Manages Cholesterol Level
The dietary fibers in cucumber reduces the level of bad LDL cholestrom from the system and thus manages our cholesterol level.
It prevents the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in the arterial walls, and thus minimizes the risk of atherscelrosis.
Athersceleoris is a condition that leads to the hardening and narrowing of the arteries due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in the arterial walls, and is a leading cause of several cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke and coronary artery disease.
(10) Improves Cardiovascular Health
Cucumber is good for the heart and improves our cardiovascular system due to the presence of essential nutrients in them.
Vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols in cucumber protects our cardiovascular system from free radical damage.
Potassium, a natural vasodilator in the cucumber relaxes blood vessels, improves blood circulation and relieves hypertension, a leading cause of several cardiovascular issues and other health problems.
The dietary fibers in the cucumber reduces LDL cholesterol from the body and thus minimizes the risk of atherscelerosis, a major cause of various cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, irregular heartbeat and coronary artery disease etc.
As per a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine, individuals who consumed 4069 mg of potassium everyday were at 37 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and 49 percent lower risk of ischemic heart disease in comparison to other individuals who only took 1793 mg of potassium every day.
(11) Good For Brain
Cucumber is good for brain and minimizes the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
Antioxidants like vitamin A,vitamin C and other relevant antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols protects the brain cells aka neurons from free radical damage, and minimizes the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Alzeihimer’s disease, amnesia and dementia etc.
Anti-inflammatory compounds like vitamin C and “Fisetin” in cucumber protects the neurological system from the ill effects of the inflammation.
Other nutrients like iron, potassium, magnesium and B vitamins in the cucumber also contributes to neurological health and provides various congitive benefits like sharper memory, better focus, improved focus, reduced brain fog or confusion etc.
(12) Relieves Pain And Inflammation
The anti-inflammatory properties of cucumber make it very effective for providing relief from body pain.
Vitamin C, an anti-inflammatory compound present in the cucumber provides relief from pain and inflammation caused by inflammatory problems like arthritis, rheumatism, rheumatoid, gouts, asthma and bronchial asthma etc.
(13) Cucumber Reduce Bad Breath
Cucumber is high in water content( around 96 percent) and also increases the production of saliva in the mouth, and thus combats with the bacterial responsible for causing bad breath in the mouth.
The antimicrobial properties of cucumber protects the gums and teeth from microbial damage.
(14) Promotes Weight Loss
The low calorific value of cucumber makes it beneficial for individuals who are on weight loss journey and would like to get rid of some extra pounds.
Eating 100 grams of cucumber provides 12 calories of energy which means one can enjoy cucumber without worrying about the excessive calorie load.
The dietary fibers in cucumber provides stomach satiety, decreases the urge to eat again and again, and thus controls overeating which is a major cause of obesity.
Cucumber also has an abundance of water ( about 96 percent) that fulfills our stomach, controls overeating, improves digestion and increases metabolism to help with the weight management.
(15) Aids In Stress Management
It’’s unfortunate but true that for most of us, stress and anxiety have become part of our life. Keeping these under check is important as otherwise it can cause havoc to our physical, mental and emotional health.
Cucumber provides relief from stress and anxiety due to the presence of stress busting nutrients like vitamin B1, vitamin B5 and vitamin B7 in it.
These natural antidepressants relieves stress and anxiety, and provides relaxation.
Beauty Benefits Of Cucumber For Skin
Some of the major beauty benefits of the cucumber are as follows.
(1) Keeps Premature Aging At Bay
Cucumber benefits our skin health and provides anti-aging benefits.
Antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C and other relevant antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols etc in cucumber protects our skin cells from free radical damage, and keep various signs of premature aging like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, dark spots and skin blemishes etc at bay.
For treating fine lines and wrinkles, blend one egg white, one tablespoon of cucumber and one tablespoon of lemon together to form a paste, and apply this mixture all over the face.
Let it air dry 10-15 minutes, and then wash off thoroughly with water. Regular use will reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
(2) Provides Glowing Skin
Essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fibers in the cucumber improves our skin health, and aids in bringing out the natural glow of the skin.
It is a wonderful skin toner that provides cooling effect to the skin because of it’s anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties.
Vitamin E provides nourishment to the skin and make it soft, supple and radiant.
To improve skin glow, rub a freshly peeled cucumber slice on your face and neck, and leave it to dry for 30 minutes. Wash off with cold water.
(3) Hydrates Skin
The abundance of water (around 96 percent) in cucumber keeps our skin well hydrated and moistruzed.
It prevents skin dryness, and make our skin soft and supple.
Other nutrients like vitamin B complex, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C provides nourishment to the skin and improves skin health.
For improving skin hydration, throughly mix cucumber juice and curd together to form a fine paste and apply this paste on the face and leave it for 15-20 minutes. Wash off with water.
Regular use gives a soothing effect to the skin, and keeps it smooth and moisturized.
(4) Reduces Skin Tan
The natural bleaching properties of cucumber reduces skin tan and improves skin complexion.
To reduce skin tan, take some cucumber puree or cucumber juice and add an equal amount of lemon juice to it.
Gently apply this paste on the face and other tanned areas of the body. Leave it for 15 minutes and then wash off with cold water.
(5) Treats Sunburn
Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols in cucumber protects our skin cells from harmful UV rays of the sun.
Cucucmber also provides relief from sunburn because of its anti-inflammatory and cooling properties.
To treat sun burn, blend a cucucumber to fine paste and add some aloe vera gel to it.
Mix them thoroughly and apply this mixture on the affected area of the skin, and leave it for 20-30 minutes. Wash off with cold water.
This relieves skin burn, inflammation and skin rashes. It also improves skin complexion.
(6) Improve Skin Complexion
Cucumber rejuvenates our skin and improves skin complexion due to the presence of essential nutrinets like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fibers etc in them.
To improve skin complexion, add few drops of leon juice to cucumber juice and apply it on the face.
Leave it for 10-15 minutes, and then wash off with water.
Regular use will improve the natural glow of the skin, and will also fade off scars and pigmentation.
(7) Treats Under Eye Dark Circles And Puffy Eyes
The silica present in cucumber helps in treating under eye dark circules and reduce puffiness of the eyes.
Cucumber reduces water retention and provides relief from puffiness of eyes.
To get rid of puffy eyes, place two cucumber slices on your eyelids for 15 to 20 minutes.
It reduces puffiness of eyes and gives a cooling effect to the eyes.
Alternatively, you can soak cotton balls in cucumber juice and place these cotton balls on the eyelids.
(8) Fade Freckles
To get rid of freckles, grate some cucumber and spread it all over the face and neck.
(9) Reduces Risk of Acne
Cucumber helps in reducing the risk of various skin problems like acne, pimples and eczema etc.
Acne is a common skin problem that affects millions of people around the world, and is mainly caused by the accumulation of toxins, pollutants and other unwanted substances within the skin pores.
The dietary fibers in cucumber eliminates toxins, pollutants, impurities and other unwanted substances from our system.
When there are fewer toxins in the system, they are less likely to accumulate in the skin pores, and thus minimizes the risk of acne and pimples.
Dietary fibers also regulaes the secretion of excess oil from skin glands, and prevents the acne from worsening.
For treating acne, throughly mix cucumber pulp, turmeric powder and lemon juice together in equal proportions.
Apply this mixture on the affected area and leave it for 15 minutes. Wash well with water.
Cucumber fights against acne and turmeric being an exfoliant reduces scars and pigmentation.
(10) Tighten Open Pores
Cucumber juice is a wonderful natural skin toner that can be applied on the skin to tigthen open skin pores.
This minimizes the accumulation of toxins, pollutants and other unwanted substsances in the skin pores, and minimizes the risk of skin problems like acne and pimples.
Cucumber juice can be mixed with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, honey and aloe vera to improve the effeciency of this naural skin toner.
(11) Helps In Getting Rid Of Cellulite
Topical application of cucumber juice aids in getting rid of cellulite.
To reduce cellulite, take half cup of coffee powder and mix half cup of cucumber juice and one tablespoon of raw honey to it to form a thick paste.
Apply this paste on the affected area and wrap it up with wrap sheet.
Exfoliate gently after 30 minutes. Regular use will reduce cellulite.
Beauty Benefits Of Cucumber For Hair
Following are the major beauty benefits of cucumber for hair and scalp.
(1) Promotes Hair Growth
Cucucumber is good for our hair follicles and scalp, and promotes hair growth.
Vitamin C, vitamin E and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols in cucumber protects our hair follicles and scalp from free radical damage, and reduces the risk of premature greying of hair, hair fall, split ends, dryness of hair etc.
Nutrients in the cucumber provides nourishment to the hair follicles and scalp, and keep them healthy.
A healthy scalp ensures the growth of new hair follicles, and also take care of the existing hair follicles.
Calcium, potassium, sulfur and silicon also plays an important role in keeping our hair healthy.
(2) Make Hair Shiny And Silky
Cucumber make our hair strong and lustrous, and adds a natural shine to the hair.
For this, blend one egg, some olive oil and a quarter cucumber together to form a finely textured mixture.
Apply this mixture on the scalp an hair, and leave it for 10 minutes. Wash off with water using a mild shampoo.
Rinsing hair with cucumber juice make hair silky and shiny.
This article provides general information about the topic, and should not be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice treatment or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.