Many people are starting to explore their options for making dietary and lifestyle changes to improve their health. It has become increasingly clear that there’s a health crisis in America. There’s also a serious opioid addiction crisis. People take prescription drugs for many reasons. Some combat chronic pain, relieve anxiety or manage diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and more. This, in turn, can be problematic. For one, many of the drugs used to treat adverse health conditions, especially those involving pain, are highly addictive. Two, drugs usually treat symptoms but don’t cure illness. Finally, most commercial or synthetic products are toxic. Taking them often can create additional health problems. It’s always best to try adapting diet and lifestyle as a means of improving health. That’s why you should start eating more cucumbers!
Perhaps you cringed when you read that because you don’t like cucumbers. To you, I would say this: How often do you swallow pills or take nasty-tasting medicine to treat adverse health issues? Think of food like nature’s medicine because it truly is. In other words, who cares if you don’t like it if it’s super healthy for you? Eat it anyway!
Fight against kidney stones with cucumbers
If you’ve ever had a kidney stone or witnessed someone else having an attack, you know how absolutely debilitating the pain can be. My eldest son suffered from kidney stones several years ago. He is six feet tall and ONE. STRONG. DUDE. Yeah, well, he was no match for a kidney stone. The pain of it all crumpled him to his knees — literally! What do kidney stones have to do with cucumbers, you might ask. Cukes happen to be comprised of more than 90% water. High levels of hydration (with water, NOT soda) are needed to dissolve kidney stones and flush the renal system.
In fact, cucumbers are know to be one of the best food-based kidney cleansers on the planet! Studies show that regular consumption of cukes helps ward off kidney (and bladder) stones because they regulate uric acid in the body. So, eating them regularly helps prevent stones from the start. However, if you happen to develop a stone, eating cukes can flush the system and help dissolve it!
Keep blood pressure in check by eating more cucumbers
Potassium is a mineral that your body needs in order to properly function. It’s particularly helpful for muscles and nerves. Potassium also helps regulate your heartbeat. It helps transport nutrients into your cells. It also helps remove waste from your body. Pretty important things, no? Cucumbers are high in potassium. Whether you eat them or place slices of them in the water you drink, you can improve your blood pressure. High blood pressure is typically associated with high levels of sodium in the body. Potassium is an electrolyte, which means it regulates the amount of sodium in your kidneys. Hence, eating (or drinking water that contains) cucumbers helps regulate sodium, which, in turn, helps lower blood pressure.
The Lehigh Center for Clinical Research reports that migraine headaches are one of the most common ailments in the general population today. Lack of certain nutrients can cause headaches. Eating foods that contain those nutrients can help relieve and prevent headaches. Cucumbers are one such food. Because they contain a lot of water and other much needed nutrients, incorporating them into your regular diet can provide headache relief.
I recently read (but have not yet tested the theory) that eating a small bowl of cucumbers before bed at night helps prevent morning headaches that are often caused by nighttime sinus congestion and other issues.
Less inflammation in the body equates to a lower risk of cancer
Inflammation is an enemy to good health. One of the greatest benefits of eating cucumbers is that they have anti-inflammatory properties. Also, in addition to being an antioxidant, a cucumber contains both lignans and cucurbitacins, which are effective in preventing and fighting against cancer.
You’ve likely heard the term “free radicals” in conjunction with human health. Like inflammation, free radicals are bad. They increase the risk for developing cancer cells. Free radicals are caused by oxidative stress. Cucumbers are antioxidant, meaning they prevent and slow the damage such stress causes to your cells. Reduce oxidative stress and you lower the risk of free radicals. Get rid of free radicals and lower your risk for cancer. How can you lower oxidative stress and prevent free radicals? Eat more cucumbers!
Cukes can also help prevent neurological degeneration
Dementia, Alzheimer’s and other types of cognitive decline and neurological degeneration cause much suffering, especially in people who are age 55 and beyond. Cucumbers contain fisetin, which can help protect your brain. Other foods that have this property include grapes and strawberries. Why not mix all three together and enjoy a brain healthy salad?
Ways to prepare and eat cukes as part of your daily diet
Eating cucumbers is beneficial to health in many ways. Besides slicing them raw and adding them to a vegetable salad, you can incorporate them into your diet in many ways, such as:
- Add them to smoothies.
- Ferment or pickle them.
- Add slices to water to sip.
- Scoop out the flesh to make “boats,” dice it up and spoon it back in, mixed with hummus.
- Add chopped cukes to a tuna wrap.
- Make chilled cucumber soup.
Cukes have many additional health benefits than those mentioned in this post. If your goal is to improve your health and strengthen your immune system by making changes in your diet and lifestyle, you’ll definitely want to eat more cucumbers!