Benefits of Cucumbers
Have you heard the term "cool as a cucumber"?
Cucumbers have a cooling effect on the blood, which is why you see them so widely used in the beauty industry. They can help decrease inflammation while simultaneously providing a blast of hydration. Additionally, a cucumber is, on average, 20 degrees cooler than the air outside. Cool, right?
We love cucumbers even more because there are very few diets that dismiss them. For those of us with chronic illnesses, that's pretty awesome. We like the foods that require zero mental or emotional effort.
Side note: some people say that if you press a cucumber slice on the roof of your mouth for 30 seconds it will instantly rid you of bad breath.
Most importantly, they cleanse your liver.
Cucumbers support the digestive tract, including helping to cleanse the liver, which is our main detoxifying organ, by removing accumulated toxins and waste materials from the blood and gut. They’re also a natural diuretic food, which means they can help the body produce more urine to carry out toxins and waste.
One Cup of Cucumbers with Peel:
Zero protein, fat, fiber or sugar
17 mg vitamin K (22% DV)
3 mg vitamin C (4% DV)
6 mg magnesium (4% DV)
152 mg potassium (4% DV)
8 mg manganese (4% DV)
Ready to chow down on this perfect refreshing food?
Ways to enjoy cucumber:
Cucumber juice supports liver function, which is a vital purifying organ in your body—add grapefruit or orange juice and ginger for a flavor twist.
Cucumbers are very hydrating (90% water), and are a nutrient dense food; meaning you take in tons of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for a low number of calories. Side note: we don't believe in counting calories, just sharing a cool fact!
Since cucumbers are 90% water and mild in taste, they can make a great addition to a frozen drink. Try adding a cucumber to a smoothie with kiwi, or include a cucumber in our anti-inflammatory watermelon smoothie (in place of some of the coconut water).
Salsa, Salad, & Sauce
First and foremost, try making this delicious spicy green sauce. We love the versatility of this sauce, and how simple it is to throw everything into a blender. It's great as a dressing on a salad, but also perfect for topping roasted vegetables, eggs, fish, meat, or a beautiful burrito bowl. Let us know what else it’s good on and tag us @chronicallyhealthy.
You can also use cucumber as the base for a salad. Cucumber and mango pair well together, and taste delicious with a lime vinaigrette (perhaps with some chili powder). Slice cucumber into rounds for a salad, or chop up small for a salsa that you can eat on tacos or spoon over avocado or fish.
Pro Tip: To prevent watery salad or salsa, lightly salt the cucumber, wait 15 minutes, then gently press with tea towel.
A Vehicle for your Favorite Dip
Try replacing some of your chips with cucumbers... they're obviously different but also satisfying—not to mention crunchy, hydrating, and full of nutrients. This is a particularly great tip for those with T1D who are looking for a lower-carb snack.
Pickles are a great way to get your salty, crunchy fix. We can't get enough of pickles...even better if you can find the raw fermented kind.