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The cucumber, originally from India, is a widely cultivated creeping vine which bears edible fruit when ripe. Among fruits and vegetables, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more versatile food item, as it has not only a countless number of nutritional benefits, but also household uses that can save you both time and money. Below you’ll find some self-evident nutritional benefits of cucumbers, along with some lesser-known uses that will leave you both scratching your head in disbelief and ecstatic that something so accessible and inexpensive has so many practical uses.
1. Aid in weight loss: Due to its low calorie and high water content, cucumber is an ideal diet for people who are looking for weight loss.
2. Hydration: They are 95% water but far more nutritious.
3. Diuretic: It encourages the elimination of waste products from the body through urination. Regular intake of cucumber helps to dissolve bladder or kidney stones.
4. Nutrition: They contain vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folic acid, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
5. Energy: They are a good source of B-vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up when needed!
6. Skin care: The high water content, antioxidants, and the presence of certain minerals like magnesium, potassium, and silica make cucumbers an essential part of skin care. Facial masks containing cucumber juice can be used for skin tightening. Ascorbic acid and caffeic acid present in cucumbers can bring down the water retention rate which in turn diminishes the puffiness and swelling under the eyes. Cucumber skin also can bring relief to the skin caused by sunburn or windburn.
7. Anti-fog: Rub a slice of cucumber on mirrors to prevent fogging.
8. Fight cancers: Cucumber are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol which are linked to a reduced risk of several types of cancer.
9. Pest control: Place a few slices in a small pie tin in your garden soil and the scent produced from the reaction with the aluminum drives grubs and slugs away
10. Control blood pressure: Cucumber juice contains a lot of potassium, magnesium, fiber, and phytonutrients that work effectively for regulating blood pressure.
11. Diminishing cellulite: Try rubbing a slice of cucumber along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and instantly reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!
12. Stimulate hair growth: They contain silicon and sulphur and thus a regular intake of cucumber can help promote healthy hair growth. For best results, mix cucumber juice with the juices of carrot, lettuce or spinach.
13. Appetite control: They are filling, yet low-calorie. They’ve been used for centuries–they were used by European trappers, traders, and explorers for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
14. Shoe polish: Rub a cucumber slice over you shoes to provide a quick and durable shine.
15. Teeth and gum health: They are a good source of dietary fiber and this fiber massages the teeth and gums.
16. Natural WD40 (lubrication): need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic area.
17. Relaxer: Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water. The chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown by studies to reduce stress in new moms and college students during final exams.
18. Halitosis control: Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath. The phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
19. Shining metals: Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on faucets, sink, stainless steel, or surfaces you want to clean. It will remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine.
20. Ink eraser: Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing; also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls.
21. Aid digestion: Their high water and dietary fiber are very effective in driving away the toxins from the digestive system. Daily consumption of cucumbers can be regarded as a remedy for chronic constipation.
22. Promotes joint health: Cucumbers are an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promote joint health by strengthening the connective tissues.
23. Treat tapeworms: Cucumber seeds are used as a natural remedy for treating tapeworms. Bruised cucumber seeds mixed with water are also effective in the treatment of swellings of the mucous membranes of the nose and the throat.
24. Nail care: The high silica content of cucumbers also helps to prevent splitting and spoiling of nails of the fingers and toes.
25. Relieve gout and arthritis pain: Cucumbers are rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering uric acid levels.
26. Helps diabetes: Cucumbers contain a substance needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin.
27. Reduces cholesterol: Researchers have found that sterols in cucumbers help reduce cholesterol levels.
28. Teething toy: Frozen slices of cucumber help soothe babies’ gums. (adult supervision at all times)