With June being Men’s Health Month our minds naturally turned to the health benefits of cucumbers. No seriously. Cucumbers are great for your guy and for you and here’s the low-down on why.
Cukes, along with other misunderstood veggies like mushrooms and celery, have received a bad rap in the media. These low-calorie munchies have often been portrayed as nutritionally barren. But no more. With summer’s heat upon us, we are here to share the many, many good reasons to reconsider the cucumber this June.
Cucumbers are an excellent source of B-vitamins and antioxidants. These nutrients are essential for energy production and the health of our cells and also play a key role in egg quality. B-vitamins can be depleted by the use of oral contraceptives (part of many medicated fertility protocols) so ensuring ample dietary intake of these vitamins is essential.
Recent research has identified cucumbers as a great source of lignans, chemical compounds that have many health benefits including lowering cholesterol, preventing certain cancers and acting to limit inflammation. Lignans are also one of the favorite foods of the healthy bacteria in our gut. Eating a diet rich in lignans can support digestive regularity and may even help us to lose weight.
Cucumbers help us to hydrate. Don’t forget that cucumbers are about 95% water. This means that a serving of cucumber can help you meet your daily water consumption goals.
Great! You can use cucumbers as an inexpensive healthy, no-chemicals-added face scrub. Cucumbers have natural astringent properties that help to sooth and tone the skin.
But before we go we want to share a few cucumber caveats. First, cucumbers are one of the “dirty dozen” (produce with the most pesticide residue) so always peel your cukes. Second, this cooling astringent food can aggravate certain TCM diagnoses so, as in all things, use moderation. Finally, salads and cooling foods are delicious in the summer but make sure that your diet contains warming foods to balance out the salads and smoothies that come with summer eating.