The humble cucumber may not be one of the hot “superfood” options you see on many health lists, but wow do they ever pack a punch! Cucumbers are low in calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium. They have been a source of food and medicinal aids since ancient times, and in the hot summer months they are not only plentiful at farmer’s markets and local grocery stores, but they’re also refreshing and cooling.
Here are just some of the health benefits of cucumbers, plus an easy recipe to try:
They Help with Hydration
Cucumbers are loaded with natural electrolytes and consist mainly of water, so they are great for rehydrating you both on a hot day or after a workout.
They’re Great For Your Skin
Slice cucumbers and apply directly over your eyes to help soothe and reduce puffiness.
They’re a Natural Hangover Cure
Cucumbers contain Vitamin B and electrolytes, making them the perfect cure for a hangover and headache. If you’ve had a couple of drinks and are worried you might not feel so great in the morning, munch on some mini cucumbers before bed and let those electrolytes work their magic while you sleep.
They Reduce Inflammation
Cucumbers are anti-inflammatory. Eating them can help to reduce inflammation while also giving you a healthy serving of vegetables for your daily intake.
They’re Rich in Vitamins
Cucumbers not only hydrate the body, but they replenish the vitamins we lose throughout the day. Containing a range of B vitamins, vitamin A, and antioxidants, cucumbers are fat free, cholesterol free, and extremely low in calories— making them perfect for a snack between meals.
Looking to add more cucumbers to your daily menu but want to shake things up? Try this simple cucumber salad recipe – perfect for hot summer days!
Thin-Sliced Cucumber & White Balsamic Salad
A perfect side dish for a hot weather meal, this light, and easy cucumber salad is an excellent accompaniment to seafood, chicken or grilled red meat. This recipe was adapted from The Taste of Country Cooking by Edna Lewis. Recipe and photo courtesy of LeRoux Kitchen.
- 3 medium-sized tender cucumbers
- 1 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup white balsamic vinegar (preferably aged)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp finely cut chervil (french herb) or fresh tarragon or parsley
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- Wash cucumbers, leaving rind on if they have not been sprayed or waxed, and slice very thin with a sharp paring knife. Put the sliced pieces into a deep bowl. Sprinkle them with the salt. Mix a bit and set a heavy bowl on top of the cucumbers with a weight in it so that the cucumbers release their water.
- Put everything in the refrigerator. After the cucumbers have been sitting an hour or more, remove them from the refrigerator and drain off the water. Mix the vinegar and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Add to the cucumbers, sprinkle over with chervil (or substituted herbs) and return to the refrigerator until needed.
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