9 Surprising Health Benefits of Cucumber
Cucumbers immediately bring to mind the idea of coolness and refreshment (as in “as cool as a … ) but their high water content and occasional seediness seems to imply that they’re not stellar in the nutrition area. While it’s true that cucumbers don’t rank high in nutrient density, their high water content actually contains some valuable substances (notably silica) that make them better for you than you might have thought:
Hydration: Cucumbers are indeed about 96% water. But it has more going for it than plain water. Keeping the body well hydrated helps in flush out toxins from the system.
Dental health: The soft dietary fiber in cucumbers massages the teeth and gums, and the juice is also beneficial for the teeth and gums.
Skin benefits: A substance called silica is one of the magic ingredients in cucumbers. It’s fantastic for the skin, internally and externally — facial masks made with cucumber tone and tighten the skin. Along with the silica, vitamins A, B & C and the minerals potassium and magnesium make cucumbers an ally for the skin. Cucumber juice can help alleviate the discomfort of sunburn, as well.
Nail care: It’s the generous silica content of cucumbers that’s great for nail health — they help make fingernails and toenails stronger and less prone to splitting.
Treating puffy eyes: Cucumbers contain ascorbic and caffeic acids, which are good for bringing down under-eye puffiness and swelling under the eyes. That explains those common images of people relaxing with cucumber slices over their eyes while getting facials!
Alleviate digestive issues: If you suffer from heartburn, gastritis, or acid reflux, fresh cucumber juice is a home remedy you might like to try. The dietary fiber teamed with the high water content in cucumber cleanse the digestive system and aid digestion.
Joint health: That silica is good stuff — in addition to being good for the skin and nails, it benefits the joints by strengthening connective tissues.
Hair care: Yes, it’s the silica again — eating lots of cucumber can promote the growth of healthy hair. You can use the juice directly on the hair and scalp as well. Moisten hair with it as a kind of mask, leave on for 30 to 60 minutes, then shampoo and condition as usual.