Though commonly thought to be a vegetable, cucumber is actually a fruit.
It’s high in beneficial nutrients, as well as certain plant compounds and antioxidants that may help treat and even prevent some conditions.
Also, cucumbers are low in calories and contain a good amount of water and soluble fiber, making them ideal for promoting hydration and aiding in weight loss.
This article takes a closer look at some of the top health benefits of eating cucumber.
1. It’s High in Nutrients
Cucumbers are low in calories but high in many important vitamins and minerals.
One 11-ounce (300-gram) unpeeled, raw cucumber contains the following:
-Total fat: 0 grams
-Carbs: 11 grams
-Protein: 2 grams
-Fiber: 2 grams
-Vitamin C: 14% of the RDI
-Vitamin K: 62% of the RDI
-Magnesium: 10% of the RDI
-Potassium: 13% of the RDI
-Manganese: 12% of the RDI
Although, the typical serving size is about one-third of a cucumber, so eating a standard portion would provide about one-third of the nutrients above.
Additionally, cucumbers have a high water content. In fact, cucumbers are made up of about 96% water.
To maximize their nutrient content, cucumbers should be eaten unpeeled. Peeling them reduces the amount of fiber, as well as certain vitamins and minerals.
Summary: Cucumbers are low in calories but high in water and several important vitamins and minerals. Eating cucumbers with the peel provides the maximum amount of nutrients.
It Contains Antioxidants
Antioxidants are molecules that block oxidation, a chemical reaction that forms highly reactive atoms with unpaired electrons known as free radicals.
The accumulation of these harmful free radicals can lead to several types of chronic illness.
In fact, oxidative stress caused by free radicals has been associated with cancer and heart, lung and autoimmune disease.
Fruits and vegetables, including cucumbers, are especially rich in beneficial antioxidants that may reduce the risk of these conditions.
One study measured the antioxidant power of cucumber by supplementing 30 older adults with cucumber powder.
At the end of the 30-day study, cucumber powder caused a significant increase in several markers of antioxidant activity and improved antioxidant status.
However, it’s important to note that the cucumber powder used in this study likely contained a greater dose of antioxidants than you would consume in a typical serving of cucumber.
Another test-tube study investigated the antioxidant properties of cucumbers and found that they contain flavonoids and tannins, which are two groups of compounds that are especially effective at blocking harmful free radicals.
Summary: Cucumbers contain antioxidants, including flavonoids and tannins, which prevent the accumulation of harmful free radicals and may reduce the risk of chronic disease.
It Promotes Hydration
Water is crucial to your body’s function, playing numerous important.
It is involved in processes like temperature regulation and the transportation of waste products and nutrients.
In fact, proper hydration can affect everything from physical performance to metabolism.
While you meet the majority of your fluid needs by drinking water or other liquids, some people may get as much as 40% of their total water intake from food
Surprising Health Benefits Of Sugarcane, Sugarcane Juice
Sugarcane is known for its high sugar content which makes it the main source for sugar production, and because of this reason, it has been debated by many whether it is good for health or not when consumed.
Sugarcane apart from its high sugar contents contains also some minerals which are of great benefits to the body which includes potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganeseand other nutrients and more which are mainly in low content. Its juice contains also vitamins.
The health benefits of Sugarcane are as follows:
1. Prevents Cancer
The minerals contained in sugarcane helps in the prevention of various kinds of cancer in the body because sugarcane is regarded as alkaline food which helps in maintaining and promoting the general health as it makes the environment not to be conducive for such growth.
2. Good for Diabetic Patients
Sugar-containing foods are one of the things a diabetic patient doesn’t need, so since sugarcane even as the name implies contains lots of sugar, is it still beneficial for health since it might as well cause other sugar-related problems?.
But the truth is that diabetic patients especially those suffering from type-2 diabetes or any other person should have no fear about the sugar content in sugarcane because it just a natural sugar and not only that, it is considered to have a glycemic index which is low compared with other foods that contain sugar, which literally means that it doesn’t trigger the rise in blood sugar because of its slow digestion and absorption rate in the body.
3. Protects the Liver
Just like some of the food, fruits and vegetables, sugarcane also contains antioxidants which help to prevent certain liver causing diseases due to high oxidative process in the body.
Not only that, it also helps the liver to function well especially in removing bilirubin from the blood after the red blood cells must have been broken down and is passed through stool as bile.
Sugarcane juice also help to reduce high levels of bilirubin to its normal level in order to prevent liver diseases and damage.
4. Boost the Immune System
The antioxidants which sugarcane contains also helps to improve the immune system as it aids in fighting infections.
5. Good Source of Energy
Eat These 10 Foods For A Healthy Immune System
Your immune system helps protect you from various infections and conditions, such as colds and cough including other minor ailments, and is an important part of preventing allergies and cancers. In order to function properly, your immune system requires several nutrients that you can get from your diet every day. These nutrients include protein, vitamins A, C, and E, plus the minerals zinc and iron.
Probiotics are friendly bacteria found in some foods and can help balance the flora in your digestive system. They’re not nutrients, but they are also helpful.
A balanced diet should provide all the nutrients and probiotics you need, but to be on the safe side, you can add these ten foods to your weekly meal plan. Each one is high in two or more of the nutrients needed to keep your immune system healthy.
Almonds are easy to find in any grocery store. They’re perfect as a healthy snack and can be added to salads and yogurt. Almonds are high in vitamin E that acts as an antioxidant in your body and helps immune system function.
Almonds are also high in iron and protein that are also essential for your immune system.
Avocado is best known for being a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, similar to olive oil, but it’s also a good source of vitamin E, vitamin C, iron, and zinc. Add avocado slices to a sandwich, make guacamole, or top a healthy salad with cubes of avocado.
One cup raw chopped broccoli almost a full day’s worth of vitamin C, which is essential for immune system function because it helps stimulate the formation of antibodies. Broccoli is also an excellent source of vitamin A and is a good source of plant-based iron, which is also good for your immune system.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable that’s related to cauliflower, arugula, and broccoli. It’s rich in so many nutrients including vitamin A, which is important for healthy skin and mucous membranes.
Kale also has plenty of vitamins C and E, iron, and zinc.
Mangos used to be a bit on the exotic side and weren’t always easy to find in grocery stores. But, that’s changed and today they’re available in both the produce and freezer sections of most grocery stores. That’s good because mangos are loaded with both vitamins A and C, plus they offer vitamin E.
Oysters are good for your immune system because they’re very high in zinc and an excellent source of protein and iron. Oysters also have a bit of vitamin A. Try oyster stew for dinner or have raw oysters as an appetizer. You’ll find canned or fresh raw oysters in most grocery stores.
Red Sweet Peppers
Red sweet peppers are good for your immune system because they’re high in both vitamins C and A. They also offer vitamin E.
Red sweet peppers are also low in calories, so they make a great addition to any meal – add them to omelets or saute them as a side dish.
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, and they also offer quite a bit of vitamin C, vitamin E, and a bit of plant-based iron. Sweet potatoes can be baked in the microwave or conventional oven and served with a bit of butter or maple syrup.
Tuna is best known as a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, but it’s also high in zinc, selenium, and protein that are all essential for immune system function. Tuna is quite a versatile fish. It can be eaten raw, seared, or grilled, or you can keep a few cans of tuna on hand for sandwiches and salads.
Yogurt is probably the best-known dietary source of probiotics that can give your immune system a boost, but it’s also high in protein. You’ll also get a bit of vitamin A and zinc.
Keep your yogurt nutritious by choosing plain yogurt and adding nuts, berries, and just a little honey.
On a final word eating a healthy balanced diet is a great way to ensure you get all the nutrients you need for good general health, but it also helps to boost your intake of these nutritious foods to make sure your immune system has the nutrients it needs to work properly. Adapted from verywell.com
Health Benefits Of Garlic
Garlic does more than make our food taste good, it can aid in the healing and even prevention of certain medical conditions.
Garlic, for years, in movies, it has been keeping vampires at bay, but according to mountains of research, vampires aren’t the only things garlic can fend off. Joining the ranks are colds, cancer, heart disease, hypertension, infection and even impotence. Here we will take a look at the various benefits to our health of eating garlic.
Colds: One of the most common ailments garlic has been touted to treat is the cold.
Upon the onset of the sniffles, many people testify that consuming a clove or more of raw garlic takes them away. How can a clove of garlic possibly help? Studies have shown that garlic extract improves immune function, giving our natural defense , system a boost, and helping it conserve our levels of antioxidants in our system. It is this strengthening of the immune system that aids in its support for other health related conditions.
Cancer: For years research has been conducted on the effects of garlic on cancer. A healthy immune system is necessary to fight cancer, and we already know conclusively that garlic supports that system. Studies have been done on the population and in animals, as well as in test tubes. What is determined is that garlic has the ability to reduce the formation of cancerous cells. Garlic is shown to actually block cancer causing compounds from forming, and slow the growth of tumor cells. Garlic is especially helpful in blocking esophageal, breast, stomach, prostate and bladder cancer. Research has proven that compounds in garlic not only slow the rate of growth in a tumor, but can reduce the tumor size by half. When studying the effects on breast cancer, these compounds can actually prevent carcinogens from attaching to breast cells. What are these wondrous compounds? They are diallye disulphide and sallycystein. These compounds form when garlic is crushed. Among the sulfur components of garlic there are some called ajoenes, which are also noted for their “antitumor” abilities.
Heart Disease: Just as there are many factors that cause heart disease, there are many benefits of garlic that aid in preventing and treating it. So how can gallic help keep our heart in check? First, it helps lower our cholesterol levels. It raises our HDL (good) cholesterol levels, prevents LDL (bad) cholesterol from building up on arterial walls. This reduces the chances of plaque forming in our arteries. It has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels by 9% in people who ate 2 cloves of garlic per day.
Recent studies have also shown it to protect the aorta. The aorta is the heart blood vessel that maintains blood pressure and flow while the heart is pumping. Age, poor diet and environmental factors such as smoking can damage the aorta, causing it to stiffen. Studies have also shown that regular consumption of garlic slows the aging of the aorta and helps keep it flexible.
Hypertension: Another heart benefit of garlic is its ability to help control our blood pressure by thinning our blood. Once again the chemical found in garlic, called ajoene, thins the blood and keeps clots from forming. Studies done with general populations have shown that where there is more garlic consumed in a population, there is also a reduced incidence of hypertension and heart disease. Although garlic’s heart healthy benefits may be new to some, for centuries Chinese herbalists have been using garlic to treat people with angina attacks and circulatory disorders.
Infection: Since 1858 garlic has also been known for its anti-bacterial properties. At this time Louis Pasteur discovered that bacterial cells died when they were saturated with garlic. Other cases of its use as an antibiotic in history include WW II, when British doctors used it to treat those wounded in battle, and Albert Schweitzer used garlic to treat typhus and cholera. Garlic is known to have not only antibacterial but antiviral and antifungal abilities as well. It is effective against intestinal parasites, recurrent yeast infections and the growth candida albicans is slowed by garlic. With this in mind, it should be considered only as an aid to antibiotics in fighting infections, as it is not enough to replace them. Garlic can help by stimulating T-cells that help fight infection.
Impotence: Garlic has also been found to be helpful to those dealing with impotence. Folklore dating back centuries has hailed garlic as an aphrodisiac, and now studies have proven this legend to be true. We know that garlic aids in blood circulation and keeps veins and arteries youthful, but that is only one way it helps with impotence. According to researchers, to obtain an erection an enzyme is required called nitric oxide synthase, and compounds in garlic stimulate the production of this enzyme in people who suffer from low levels of it.
Pregnancy: One can also benefit from garlic during pregnancy. According to a study done by doctors in a London hospital, garlic supplementation may help weight-gain for babies that may be at risk for low birth weight. The study also found that the chance of other at-birth risk factors could be reduced, such as pre-eclampsia, which is associated with hypertension.
The list of studies involving garlic and our health could go on and on. Continuous research is being done showing the association between garlic and improved memory and learning function, as well as findings that show it can help prevent the onset of “stress-induced hyperglycemia”. Recently, it has also been studied and found to help in detoxification of bodily systems, by increasing the levels of antioxidants in the body and decreasing the formation of toxic compounds.
So we see the many areas that garlic can help us, but what should we do now? Begin ingesting six cloves a day? First of all, one should never make changes to their lifestyle in regards to their health without consulting a physician first. Your doctor needs to know if you plan to begin supplementing garlic. If you are taking medication for high blood pressure or are scheduled for surgery, garlic intake can affect both of these things, due to its blood thinning and anticoagulative properties, so it is a must to consult with your physician before making any changes or additions.
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