Part of our self-reliant-retirement-lifestyle is growing our own organic vegetables. It helps to round out our food budget without having to pay high prices at the supermarket for organically grown. But, what I truly love are the many health benefits that home-grown vegetables provide. (Find out how a vegetable garden can benefit you.)
Summer of 2018 produced a variety of fresh vegetables with cucumbers as the standout crop. It was fantastic to see cucumber vines dripping with fruit.
It was fantastic because we live in a cold climate and growing cucumbers is a challenge. Until now, we’ve had no success. So, you can imagine how happy Rebel Retiree and I were with our colossal cucumber harvest.
Whenever I have an abundance of vegetables, I research how to preserve them for long term storage.
As a result, I discover many new ways to prepare them. Additionally, this gives me the opportunity to learn more about a given vegetable.
(It’s important to note that cucumbers flower and contain seeds, they are actually fruits, not vegetables.)
Subsequently, this season I learned about the many health benefits of cucumbers and what to do with them if you have too many.
Do cucumbers have any nutritional value?
Initially, I thought cucumbers lacked any real nutritional value or exceptional health benefits.
Because cucumbers are not leafy greens, like spinach, or dense root vegetables, like broccoli, I took it for granted that they are basically a free food that makes delicious pickles and adds crunch to salads.
I was wrong!
Nutritional benefits of cucumbers for your aging body.
>Cucumbers are 95% water which makes them an excellent source for hydration and keeping cool. Everyone’s heard the expression “cool as a cucumber”. Because cucumbers are juicy and full of water, like watermelons, they cool you down fast. If you’re suffering from menopausal hot flashes, keep an arsenal of cooling cucumbers handy as a home remedy for dousing the flames.
>If you’re fighting middle-aged spread, cucumbers can help you with that too. With about 16 calories per 1 cup of sliced cucumbers, they are great for helping you maintain a slim waistline.
>Suffering from constipation? Cucumbers are a good source of dietary fiber which means they can help make elimination easy. The most concentration of fiber is in the peel. So for best health benefits, eat the cucumber with the peel on.
>Is dragon breath a problem? Chow down on a cucumber to sweeten bad breath. How do cucumbers help with halitosis? Cucumbers are watery, fibrous fruits. Eating them boosts saliva production. All of the swishing around in your mouth helps to wash away odor-causing bacteria leaving you with fresher breath.
> Cucumbers contain a host of B vitamins which studies show are good for heart health. B vitamins are also known for helping your body maintain a healthy nervous system. This is why many people take a B-Complex supplement.
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Now that we have a better idea of what is nutritionally sound about cucumbers, let’s take a look at some novel uses for them.
Handy ideas for using cucumbers.
Especially if you have too many!
- Smoothies – Add cucumber to your favorite green smoothie recipe.
- Freeze them – It’s easy! Peel. Slice in half. Remove seed. Put in freezer bags for long-term storage.
- Rub on your mirror – Does your bathroom mirror fog up when you take a shower? Rub it with a slice of cucumber to get rid of the fog.
- Bake spiced cucumber nut bread – Get the recipe here.
- Shine your faucets – Rub a slice of cucumber on your faucets or stainless steel sinks to give them a streak-free shine.
- Cucumber Magic Eraser – Use the skin of cucumber to erase pen and crayon marks.
- Polish your shoes – A freshly cut cuke contains chemicals that provide a quick water repellent shine!
I’ve concluded that the health benefits of cucumbers shouldn’t be taken for granted. They are an excellent source of water, soluble fiber, B vitamins, and antioxidants. They help with various concerns such as relieving hot flashes, bad breath, and constipation.
And if you have an abundance of cucumbers, there are many useful ways to take advantage of your good fortune such as shining your faucets or polishing your shoes.
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