Cucumber : Benefits And Virtues Of a Low-Calorie Vegetable
Saturday, December 10,2016
cucumber has many health benefits and virtues. Rich in water, this vegetable provides vitamin C, K and potassium.
Cucumber is the very example of a refreshing vegetable. Besides, it is so often consumed believed that one almost forgets that it can be eaten cooked, cooking it a bit like the zucchini.
Our American varieties are rather short and stocky, while European cucumber is long and thin. Cornichon, meanwhile, generally refers to a cucumber picked before its full growth and which is used as a condiment after marinating it in vinegar.
There is however a “real” pickle: it is a specific variety of cucumber, the gherkin, whose natural size reaches only a few centimeters.
Active ingredients and properties
For vegetables in general
Several epidemiological studies have shown that high consumption of vegetables and fruits decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers and other chronic diseases. Some mechanisms of action have been proposed to explain these protective effects; The presence of antioxidants in vegetables and fruits could play a role.
For cucumber and pickle
Antioxidants (cucumber). Antioxidants are compounds that protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. The latter are very reactive molecules that would be involved in the development of cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers and other diseases related to aging.
Phenolic compounds. Studies have demonstrated the presence of:
Phenolics with a slight antioxidant activity in cucumber. This antioxidant power is, however, lower than that of other frequently consumed vegetables such as red pepper, broccoli, carrot, spinach, cabbage, yellow onion, celery, potato and lettuce.
Nevertheless cucumber, due to its high availability and the frequency with which it is consumed, can contribute to the supply of antioxidants in the diet.
Peroxidase. Researchers have discovered in the peel of the cucumber an antioxidant protein called peroxidase. Its effect on health has not yet been studied. However, cucumber peroxidase would be comparable to horseradish peroxidase, another plant.
Animal research has shown that horseradish peroxidase can lower blood cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose and protect some tissues from oxidation. However, it is unclear to what extent these properties can be applied to cucumber peroxidase and can be transposed to the human organism.
Water (cucumber). According to the Canadian Nutrient File of Health Canada, more than 95% of the weight of raw cucumber is water. This particularity makes it a refreshing vegetable while having a very low caloric value, which can be an asset for people who monitor their weight.
Cucumber: the virtues and health benefits of a vegetable low in calories and rich in water
- Cucumber provides very few calories. A serving of 100 g of cucumber provides only 16 calories.
- Its high water content – about 95% – explains why it is so low in calories. Although it does not replace water, cucumber contributes to hydration and rehydration.
Cucumber is a natural diuretic, often prescribed by naturopaths: the increase in urination is mainly caused by the water it contains rather than by a particular component.
A serving of 100 g of cucumber also provides vitamins and minerals, including:
Vitamin K: 10% Recommended Daily Intake
Potassium: 5% Recommended Daily Intake
Vitamin C: 4% Recommended Daily Intake
Magnesium: 3% Recommended Daily Intake
Vitamin A: 2% Recommended Daily Intake
Calcium: 1% Recommended Daily Intake
Iron: 1% Recommended Daily Intake
- Cucumber can help reduce the appearance of puffy eyes, especially due to the water and caffeic acid that this vegetable contains.
Its juice contains alpha-hydroxy acids which increase the effectiveness of several cosmetic products, including facial masks.
How to Prepare Cucumber
The cucumber is eaten especially in salad, cut into very fine slices. It can also be disgorged with salt. It must always be well chewed, in order to be digested more easily.
In several countries, such as India or Greece, it is a staple food; It is grated, mixed with yogurt and herbs and served as hors d’oeuvres – it is Greek tzatziki.
Steamed, it is very digestible and accompanies well the white meats or the fish.
Most Important Nutrients
See the meaning of the classification symbols of nutrient sources
Source Copper. Raw cucumber (without peel) and dill pickle are sources of copper. As a constituent of several enzymes, copper is necessary for the formation of hemoglobin and collagen (a protein for tissue structure and repair) in the body. Several enzymes containing copper also contribute to the body’s defense against free radicals.
Source Vitamin K. Raw cucumber (with peel) is a source of vitamin K. This vitamin is necessary for the synthesis (manufacture) of proteins associated with the coagulation of the blood (as much to the stimulation as the inhibition of the coagulation Blood). It also plays a role in bone formation. In addition to being in the diet, vitamin K is made by the bacteria present in the intestine, hence the scarcity of deficiencies in this vitamin.
Pickled gherkins and sodium (salt).
All marinated foods, including gherkins, are discouraged in these situations since they are generally high in sodium. According to the Canadian Nutrient File of Health Canada, 100 g pickled gherkins (about six small sweet pickles or three small dill or dill pickles) contain 939 mg to 1,282 mg sodium.
Nutrient intake baseline data indicate that adequate sodium intake in healthy adults is 1500 mg per day. These gherkins fill almost all the sodium intake of a full day! There are, however, “low sodium” gherkins, which are a better choice with only 18 mg of sodium for the same servings.
Oral allergy syndrome (OAS).
Cucumber is one of the foods that can be implicated in oral allergy syndrome. This syndrome is an allergic reaction to certain proteins from a range of fruits, vegetables and nuts. It affects some people with allergies to pollen from the environment. This syndrome is almost always preceded by hay fever.
Local symptoms limited to the mouth, lips and throat such as itching and burning sensation may occur and then usually disappear within a few minutes after eating or touching the offending food.
In the absence of other symptoms, this reaction is not serious and cucumber consumption need not be systematically avoided. However, an allergist should be consulted to determine the cause of reactions to plant foods. The latter will be able to assess whether special precautions should be taken.
Saturday, December 10,2016-13:14:14[London]
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