Cucumber is a great fruit (no, it’s not a mistake, cucumber is not a vegetable, but a fruit) that can be an addition to your salad, but can also help you fight cancer and heart diseases. You can eat as many cucumbers as you can since it is very low in calories and it had much more to offer than electrolytes and water.
It has been cultivated for thousands of years and t is the fourth most cultivated vegetable in the world. It’s been originally grown in northern India around 4,000 years ago. Cucumbers belong to the squash, melon and gourd family.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has reported that in the beginning, cucumbers were used as a medicine, rather than as food, to treat nearly everything. Today, modern laboratories have turned their attention to cucumber’s potential medicinal purposes.
Even though they aren’t a great source of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, they do contain high levels of bioactive phytochemicals such as cucurbitacins, lignans and flavonoids. Many of these compounds have anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, antibacterial, anti-fungal, painkilling, wound-healing and laxative properties, making cucumbers an ideal cure-all.
According to scientific findings, cucurbitacins can block the signaling pathways that are essential for cancer cell growth and survival. Scientific World Journal published a 2010 research review according to which these findings may lead to the possibility of cucurbitacin being used as a future anticancer drug.
According to a study published in The Journal of Cancer Research, cucurbitacin B inhibits the growth of pancreatic cancer cells by up to 81 percent.
The researchers of the study stated that unpurified cucurbitacins have been used for centuries as folk medicine in Asian countries such as China and India. Since
pancreatic cancer is poorly treated by conventional therapies, cucurbitacin B can be a game-changer thanks to its ability to inhibit tumor growth and induce cancer cell apoptosis.
Recent studies have shown that besides cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, cucumbers are a good source of different types of lignans too. Furthermore, cucumbers contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol and secoisolariciresino – three lignans linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease as well as several types of cancer. These include breast, uterine, ovarian and prostate cancers.
According to a 2010 study published in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, these three compounds could protect your heart by lowering vascular inflammation and endothelial dysfunction.
Being consisted of 96% water, which is more than any other fruit or vegetable there is, cucumbers are excellent choice to keep you hydrated all day long.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac reported that an average-sized cucumber contains the equivalent of a 10-ounce glass of water, and only adds 16 calories per cup.
Cucumbers are also known to soothe sunburns, reduce puffy eyes and freshen the breath.
You can grow them in your own backyard or on your balcony. It’s easy, cheap and organic.