Don't forget about Cucumbers!

January 29, 2019

 

Cucumbers have some wonderful, nutritional properties. Like avocados, they are a fruit that has beneficial chlorophyll. They are found in the Bible:

 

Numbers 11:5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:

 

By God's power and wisdom, the Israelites were incredibly strong and fertile, alarming the unhealthy, weaker Egyptians. When the Jews later left Egypt and dwelt in the wilderness, they should have trusted God to provide food that was as good, or better, than what they were eating in Egypt. However, we should not miss the fact that the foods mentioned in Numbers 11:5 are mentioned for a reason. Fish is included in the list, revealing that the foods mentioned in this verse are very healthy, and ordained by God for us. Cucumbers are mentioned again in Isaiah:

 

Isaiah 1:8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.

 

This same verse mentions a vineyard. As a vineyard provides healthy grapes and grape-juice, a garden of cucumbers is likewise beneficial to our bodies.

 

Unlike many vegetables, cucumbers are not a danger to the thyroid, hormones, or mineral absorption. They can also be fermented or pickled, in salt water and/or vinegar, adding some additional benefits. They are low in nitrates:

 

"The highest mean nitrate concentrations were found in radishes (2132 mgkg(-1)), butterhead lettuce (1725 mg x kg(-1)), beetroots (1306 mg x kg(-1)) and iceberg lettuce (890 mg x kg(-1)), whereas the lowest were found in cucumber (32 mg x kg(-1))…"
(Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2014;65)

 

"Cucumber has a low caloric value...but it is a moderate source of vitamins (A, C, E, K and B complex) and a good source of minerals (K, Ca, P, Mg, Fe, Na and Zn)...Cucumber can be highly useful for both high and low blood pressure conditions due to its high content of potassium (147 mg 100 g-1 fresh matter), (Ahmed et al., 2007)…Generally, vegetables consumed as roots, stems or leaves are considered to be more susceptible to nitrates accumulation…Cucumbers are classified as low nitrates concentration…In a study performed by the Scientific Panel on Contaminants in the Food chain, requested by European Commission (EFSA, 2008), cucumber was found to contain the third lowest median concentration of nitrate…"
(Not Bot Horti Agrobo, 2016, 44(2):541-547)

 

Notice some other benefits:

 

"It has potential antidiabetic, lipid lowering and antioxidant activity. Cucumber has a cleansing action within the body by removing accumulated pockets of old waste materials and chemical toxins."
(Fitoterapia. 2013 Jan)

 

"The whole fruit homogenate of Cucumis sativus L. had anti-inflammatory activity and no dose-dependent side effects."
(British Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. 8. 1-8. 10.9734/BJPR/2015/19700.)

 

Like melons, cucumbers contain some L-citrulline. This gets converted into L-arginine and nitric oxide in the body. These compounds strengthen the immune system and improve blood flow. In various animals studies, cucumbers have been shown to have anti-diabetic properties, helping to reduce blood sugar levels, etc. (e.g., J Ethnopharmacol. 1995 Aug 11;48; and, Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2010 Sep;65):

 

“It can be concluded that C. sativus [cucumber] has protective effects in diabetes complications and can be considered a safe and suitable candidate for decreasing the oxidative stress and carbonyl stress that is typically observed in diabetes mellitus.”
(Bioimpacts. 2016; 6(1))

 

Cucumbers can also help maintain a healthy weight and BMI. Among other things, they contain tartronic acid, which inhibits the conversion of sugars into fat:
 

“Rats maintained on a natural fat-deficient diet form fat from carbohydrate to an abnormal degree…The results are considered to demonstrate an action of tartronic acid in reducing fat formation from carbohydrate…”
(Endocrinology, “The Effect of Tartronic Acid On Abnormal Fat Formation From Carbohydrate,” 1950)

 

Conventional (non-organic) cucumbers are exceptionally high in pesticides, so be sure to choose organic or home-grown. If you eat the peel, watch out for the so-called “wax” that is often used on cucumbers, apples and other produce to make them shiny, etc. (who knows what it is really made of).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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