The East London Garden Society

Cucumbers

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Cucumbers belong to the same plant family as squash, pumpkin and watermelon. They are made up of 95 percent water which means eating them on a hot summer day can help you stay hydrated. As the fourth most widely cultivated ‘vegetable’ in the world, cucumbers are technically a fruit, very easy to grow, even in a small area. Cucumbers will thrive in containers and produce ample produce from a small number of plants.

Protect your brain

Cucumbers contain an anti‐inflammatory called Fisetin that appears to play an important role in brain health. In addition to improving your memory and protecting your nerve cells from age related decline, Fisetin has been found to prevent progressive memory and learning impairment.

Fight inflammation

Cucumbers may help to cool the inflammatory response in your body. Studies suggest that cucumber extract helps reduce unwanted inflammation, in part by inhibiting the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes.

Antioxidant properties

Cucumbers contain numerous antioxidants including vitamin C and beta‐carotene.

Freshen your breath

Placing a cucumber slice on the roof of your mouth may help rid your mouth of odour causing bacteria.

Manage stress

Cucumbers contain multiple B vitamins including vitamin B1, B5, and B7. B vitamins are known to help ease feelings of anxiety.

Support heart health

Cucumbers contain potassium which is associated with lower blood pressure levels. A proper balance of potassium both inside and outside your cells is crucial for your body to function properly.

There are many ways to enjoy cucumbers, such as fermented or raw in vinegar based salads. If you are looking for something different, cucumbers make an ideal base for a vegetable juice due to their mild flavour and high water content.

Drinking fresh cucumber green juice is almost like receiving an intravenous infusion of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes because they enter straight into your system without having to be broken down. Should your body have an abundance of the nutrients it needs, and your pH is optimally balanced, you will feel energized and your immune system will get a boost.

A warning ‐ according to the Environmental Working Group, cucumbers have been ranked the 12th most contaminated food and the second in cancer risk due to their pesticide content. Cucumbers are also often waxed after harvest to withstand the long journey to market. Whilst the wax is supposed to be food grade and safe, different types are used such as Carnauba wax from the carnauba palm tree, Beeswax, Shellac from the lac beetle, Petroleum-based waxes.

The problem is that wax seals in pesticide residues and debris making them even more difficult to remove with just water. To reach the contaminants buried beneath the surface of your vegetables and fruits you need a cleanser that also removes the wax. Eat organically, not only cucumbers, but all fruits and vegetables.