Apart from being a refreshing vegetable, there are some benefits of cucumber that make it worthwhile to make a hole in our diet.
Loved by many, hated by others and in recent times, it has become an almost absolute protagonist of “detox” shakes, one of the latest fashions in the food industry that I don't know if it's worth talking about.
What I do want to talk about, now that we are already in the season of gazpachos and salads, is the benefits of cucumber as such, of this vegetable of the cucurbit family -such as melon and watermelon- so present in the diet Mediterranean.
Highly refreshing and low in calories, the benefits of cucumber make it a truly interesting food in our diet.
Nutritional benefits of cucumber
They are made up almost entirely of water - 95% -, they hardly provide carbohydrates and they have no fat or cholesterol, but they do provide small amounts of vitamins A, C and K, as well as potassium, magnesium and manganese.
· Their high-water content makes them one of the most suitable foods to hydrate our body, especially in summer.
· Some studies indicate that it also reduces premature aging of the skin.
· The lignans and cucurbintanos two phytonutrients present in cucumber makes them a food that is in the crosshairs of the scientific community because it could be a yuda in the fight against cancer as indicated by the findings of this study University of California published in 2010 in the Scientific World Journal.
· A cup of cucumber contains approximately 20% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin K, which plays an important role in bone health, reducing the possibility of fractures and, together with vitamin D, increases bone density.
· They contain antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene and manganese, which strengthen the immune system.
· Contains potassium, a mineral key to heart function.
· Aside from helping to hydrate the skin from within, it is a powerful decongestant when used externally. A cucumber slice on dark circles is one of the most efficient home remedies to erase the signs of a bad night.
How to buy and keep cucumbers
Cucumbers are very sensitive to heat so, if possible, it is best to buy them somewhere where they are refrigerated.
They should be smooth and firm, with rounded tips and no wrinkles, the color should be more or less dark bright green, but not yellow. Those that are wrinkled or soft and those that are wet on the outside should be rejected
At home, if they are very fresh, they will keep for a few days in the freezer.
How to cook cucumbers
Another benefit of cucumber is that its preparation in the kitchen hardly requires time, since it is usual to consume them raw in cold soups such as gazpachos or in salads, although they can also be used in cooked dishes such as creams and sauces.
But one important thing must be taken into account when we are going to consume cucumbers, and that is that it is always advisable to peel them for two reasons:
· Use of pesticides, unless they are cucumbers from organic farming.
· Use of waxes to preserve their appearance, which are allowed in both organic and conventional agriculture, with the only difference that in the first case the waxes have to be of completely natural origin.
Recipes to take advantage of the benefits of cucumber
To finish, I remind you of some very easy recipes to make it easy for you to eat cucumber without being boring:
· Andalusian gazpacho
· Green apple gazpacho
· Turkey and vegetable gratin
· Satay salad with chicken
· Tunisian salad
· Rolled spinach
· Cucumber cream with smoked salmon
· Light turkey and cucumber sandwich
· Yogurt sauce
· Cucumber smoothie
· Melon salad with ham and cucumber
· Natural homemade soft drinks
· Salad in pot
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