Most people think cucumber is a vegetable ( technically a fruit) that we add as an afterthought in salads and side dishes. But it’s a ‘power’ alkaline diet essential, simply because it’s so easy to eat!
But.. even I don’t see cucumbers in the grocery store and say, “Wow, I just gotta have those amazing cucumbers!”
I feel guilty about brushing them off. Cucumber is an amazing vegetable with an impressive nutritional profile. It can even be eaten in place of your daily multivitamin.
More about this humble veggie
Cucumber, or Cucumis sativus, is of the same family as melon and squash. Chefs divide them into two groups, slicing and pickling. Slicing cucumbers generally have thick skin and are larger than the thin-skinned pickling cucumbers.
Cucumber has even escaped the eyes of researchers, being upstaged by the cruciferous crew (broccoli, cabbage, etc.) Now it’s been discovered it contains three beneficial lignans (lariciresinol, pinoresinol and secoisolariciresinol), which have been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease as well as several different types of cancer, including ovarian, prostate, breast and uterine.
Cucumber: a nutritional powerhouse
Forget the Brazilian or Tibetan Goji berries. Cucumber is a real superfood. It contains almost all the vitamins you need each day, including B vitamins, vitamin C, fibre, vitamin K1, copper, potassium and manganese. You can keep your supplement costs down with just one cucumber daily in place of a multivitamin.
Want an energy boost?
Don’t reach for that third cup of coffee. Chomp on a cucumber instead. The carbs and B vitamins in cucumber provide sustaining energy that can last for hours.
Drank too much?
To avoid having your night out turn into a morning nightmare, try eating some cucumber. Eat a cucumber right before bed and your hangover pains will be lessened. Cucumber contains a mix of B vitamins and essential alkaline electrolytes that keep you hydrated and feeling great after a night out on the town.
Too much sugar?
Snack on cucumber slices rather than reaching for sugary snacks. Keep a little dish of sliced cucumber by your work desk. With a sprinkle of sea salt and a little pepper, this snack will keep you satiated all day long!
Boil a few slices of cucumber on the stove. Breathe in the steam. The aroma of cucumber can promote feelings of calm and relieve anxiety. Add a few drops of anxiety-busting lavender essential oil into the mixture.
Suffering from halitosis, or bad breath? Good alkalisers don’t have it and cucumbers support us in alkalizing. Think about it: how about eating cucumber instead of reaching for sugar-laden breath mints. and… phytochemicals in cucumbers can kill bacteria that cause bad breath and cavities. Try a slice after each cup of coffee or meal for breath that stays fresh all day long.
Are you stopped up?
There are a number of reasons for constipation. It may, for instance, be the result of stress, medication or eating a highly-processed diet. Cucumbers are high in fibre, which can keep you regular and keep your digestive system working at full speed.
Do you need a detox?
Cucumber not only contains a lot of water, which helps keep the body hydrated, but it also has detoxifying properties. A study from 2013 published in the journal Fitoterapia found that cucumber has “a cleansing action within the body by removing accumulated pockets of old waste materials and chemical toxins.” Want to detox? Eat a cucumber… or three! Better yet, eat cucumber daily to keep toxins from building up.
The blend of nutrients in cucumber makes it ideal for boosting the immune system and treating common ailments like the common cold and flu viruses. The anti-inflammatory properties of cucumber fight inflammation of the nose and throat when you are suffering from a cold. And of course, the cucumber’s alkaline minerals are working 24/7 to rebalance the acidity that is causing low immunity.
High blood pressure?
High levels of potassium in cucumber help regulate blood pressure by boosting electrolyte levels and mitigating the damaging effects of sodium overconsumption.
Cucumber is high in antioxidants. This prevents the spread of free radical damage that can lead to premature aging and cancer.
Nutrients in cucumber make it effective at relieving inflammation both internally and externally. Place fresh cucumber directly onto swollen areas to reduce puffiness within just a few minutes.
Every once in a while, we just feel bloated. All we need to do for relief is eat a cucumber! The high water content and alkaline potassium in cucumber make it a mild diuretic that can ease bloating.
Cucumber is high in alkaline magnesium, calcium, plus vitamin K1 — all essential for bone health. Eat cucumber regularly if you are eating a low-meat or low-dairy diet.
Ian: I have a whole cucumber every day in my work lunch. They accompany just about anything!