Cucumber is said to have come to India and other parts of Asia along with the explorers and travellers. It is said to have originated in South Asia more than 10,000 years ago. In the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Greece and Rome it was not only used as a food, but also for its skin healing properties. Louis the XIV was so fond of cucumbers that he initiated its green house cultivation. It was introduced to United States by the early colonists. During early times, Spain was one of the countries pickling cucumbers and the Romans were said to have imported from them.
The gerkhin variety of cucumber is said to have been developed from a plant native to Africa. Sea cucumbers are not cucumbers at all. They are sea creatures shaped as a cucumber. The botanical name is Cucumis sativus which belongs to the gourd family.
96% of the cucumber consists of water. It also contains ascorbic acid caffeic acid fibre, silicia potassium, and magnesium. The skin of the cucumber is more rich in it’s contents.
Consumption of cucumber helps in various ways—
- Good fibre content.
- Builds healthy connective tissue, which includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone.
- A Radiant Complexion.
- Improves the complexion and health of the skin.
- High water content in it makes it a naturally hydrating agent—a must for glowing skin.
- Cucumbers are also used topically for various types of skin problems. including swelling under the eyes and sunburn.
- Helps to control cases of eczema.
- Prevents water retention.
- Helps to bring down High Blood Pressure.
- Protects summertime dehydration and heat exhaustion.
- They’re the perfect low calorie food. Cucumbers are the perfect food for weight loss. One medium cucumber has only forty-two calories.
- It is diuretic, and has cooling and cleansing property.
- Helps to heal illness of the lung, and chest.
- Ailments of the alimentary canal too are alleviated by consuming the cucumber.
- Aids in healing gout and arthritis.
- Helps in eliminating tapeworms.
- Reduces heartburn or sooth acid stomach and gastritis or ulcer.
Cucumbers are most often eaten raw as salads along with green lettuce and celery thus making the meal wholesome. When used in pickles it looses much of its nutrients and so is less effective. Many cosmetic products have now been launched using the cucumber.
So be as cool as a cucumber and make the most of it!!