weight loss Can you go without having cucumbers in your diet?
A much-loved salad ingredient, cucumbers, or the humble kheera as it is popularly known in India is one of the richest hydrating fruits available to us. It also has a lot of nutrients which support your health and ward off toxins.
Since they are so easy to add to your diet (thanks to their yummy, refreshing flavour), almost everybody enjoys having them any time of the year.
While most of us are accustomed to just having cucumbers slices before our meals as a salad, the health benefits of cucumber outweigh its humble origins!
Here are some of the best health benefits of having cucumbers daily:
Keeps the body hydrated
Hydration is key to maintaining vital body functions. While it is important to consume 8-10 glasses of water and other fluids a day, cucumbers are a great fruit which can fill up on your hydration needs.
Cucumbers contain upto 96% water content, which can keep you hydrated and meet daily needs. Getting enough water through fruits and vegetables ensures that cells get proper nutrition, you fight off exhaustion and stay energized through the day. Hence, cucumbers make for a good snacking option as well.
Aids weight loss
Not only are cucumbers easy and light on the stomach, but they also contain good fibre and water content, and is an excellent low-calorie food option to have.
The green fruit also contains traces of other essential vitamins and minerals needed to shed off excess fat- protein (2 grams), carbs (11 grams), Vitamin K (62% RDI), magnesium and potassium as well. Not just that, it contains zero fat!
Many will also be interested to know that there is a cucumber diet which promises to speed up fat burning and shed upto 5 kilos in a week’s time! That’s how beneficial cucumbers can be if you have them aplenty!
Relieves aches and joint pain
If you frequently suffer from joint aches, pains and muscle soreness, make sure your diet contains a lot of cucumbers and other green salads.
Cucumbers, not just good for skin health also promote stronger bones and muscles. They also work as a good healing agent in cases of aches and pains. In fact, a lot of people believe cucumbers to be a natural remedy to relieve chronic pain and symptoms associated with arthritis. Certain studies suggest that cucumbers, with their ‘cooling effect’, can prevent and control the inflammatory response in the body and produce good enzymes which alleviate pain.
It’s one of the best foods to include in your diet as you start ageing.
Good for your gums
Maintaining good dental health is key to fighting off health complications. Cucumber, one such fruit can help regulate the acid balance in your mouth, maintain pH balance, which ultimately helps the body prevent and heal small cuts and wounds in lesser time. Regularly chomping on cucumbers can also help cut down the risk of developing gum diseases and dental ailments.
Here’s another benefit you might not know! Some claim that eating fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, celery, carrots can act as whitening agents for your teeth and clean out plaque and toxin build-up.
Builds tissues and promotes blood flow
Cucumbers are rich in antioxidants, which are so good for your body and benefit vital functioning. High antioxidants present in fruits like cucumbers can help regulate blood flow, deal with free radicals and even help regenerate tissue growth in the body. That’s how powerful it can be!
Cucumbers have also been found to be potent in antioxidants like flavonoids and tannins which work in preventing the buildup of free radicals and lower the risk of developing chronic diseases and infections.
Helps flush out toxins
Having cucumbers regularly can regulate your bathroom habits. Plus, it makes it easier for the body to flush out nasty germs and toxins which may interfere with healthy digestion.
Not only do cucumbers take care of dehydration, which is a major factor for bad bowel movements, it also contains a lot of fibre that can increase your frequency of bowel movements, promote the growth of good gut bacteria as well.
Magnesium and potassium levels in the fruit also help eliminate problems like water retention, bloating and gut ailments.
Regulates cholesterol level
Another reason to have cucumbers regularly is that they contain a healthy level of pectin, which is a type of naturally occurring soluble fibre that helps decrease the levels of blood cholesterol, eliminates toxins and keep the heart-healthy. Experts also believe that cucumbers can also tame down cholesterol, triglyceride levels and even, to a point, control blood sugar flare-up. Eating more cucumbers can also regulate levels of ROC and ROS (cell-damaging substances created when a person has high blood sugar levels).
What are the best ways to have cucumbers? Are there any side-effects?
Very easy to add to your dietplan, cucumbers can be had in a variety of different ways and paired up with different options to enhance their health benefits.
Apart from regular salads, cucumbers can be added to smoothies and shakes. They are quite popularly had in the form of detox drinks. Fermented pickles, excellent for your body are also made out of cucumbers.
Since they are a low-calorie alternative, many also try out snacking options like cucumber crisps, chips, bites with hummus, ice-cream and even soups!
However, just be careful to not have too much of it later in the day or at nighttime. Since they contain a lot of water, it can induce bloating and disrupt your sleep. If you have a sensitive stomach, be cautious as having a lot of cucumbers can upset your gut, causing indigestion.
Having it in a moderated quantity, with other fruits and vegetables is the best way to maintain a healthy diet.