In his writings Waverley Root describes the cucumber as being as close to neutrality as a vegetable can get without ceasing to exist. While one may agree or disagree with the culinary tastes of Mr. Root, cucumbers have been popular for their nutritional value.
The rich green Cucumis sativus is one of the most widely planted species of the gourd. The cucumber is a popular culinary item which has high nutritional value as well.
Originating from South Asian Indian subcontinent, the cucumber spread all over the word and today it is readily available in every country. Many biblical references to this plant also exist and it is one of the most ancient edible vegetables known to man.
Cucumber grows on a vine. It is basically cylindrical in shape and has an elongated structure. The seed of the cucumber is embedded in the center of its flesh. Cucumber, technically, is a fruit however it is used like a vegetable in food. The skin of the cucumber is usually pigmented deep green however some varieties are also tinged yellow. The skin is either smooth or ridged, depending on the plant variety.
The high water content (~90%) gives cucumber a watery taste. The flavor is mild, bordering at the edge of neutral. However the cucumbers may also develop a bitter taste and thus be rendered inedible.
Nutritional Value of Cucumbers
Many accounts in history describe the nutritional value of cucumbers and the lengths to which some of the ancient royalty went so as to benefit from it. Here is a brief account of the nutritional value of the cucumbers:
- Vitamins: The high amounts of vitamins A, C, and K account for the nutritional value of cucumbers.
- Essential Nutrients: The essential nutrients including folate, niacin, betaine and choline in cucumber are essential for the normal daily functioning of human body.
- Minerals: Cucumbers contains minerals like Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Ferrum (Fe), Phosphorus (P), Natrium (Na), Zinc (Zn), Kalium (K) and Selenium (Se) and fluoride which gives you all the more reason to add cucumber to your plate.
Caloric Ratio Pyramids
More than 80% carbs and about 10% proteins makes it an ideal food for dieting and weight loss. It provides with essential nutrients while keeping your health in check.
Fight the cancer with Cucumber
The essential lignans contained within cucumber aid in fighting diseases like breast and prostate cancer. Added advantage of the vegetable is its miraculous effects for the cardiovascular patients.
Hydrate your Skin
The high water content is perfect to give a glow and radiance to your skin. On the other hand, cucumber masks are excellent for restoring life to your skin and give it a fresh and healthy look.
Effective against Alzheimer
Research has proven cucumbers to be effective against Alzheimer’s and further research is being carried out to explore more about it.
Cucumbers sandwiches are popular in many parts of Europe. Other ways of serving cucumbers are in salads. The cucumbers may be seasoned with salt and pepper, tossed with oil and vinegar and eaten as a side dish. They may also be used with yogurt. Those who want to shed some weight must add cucumber juice to their diets and see the miracle of cucumber for themselves. Cucumbers, especially baby cucumbers, are pickled and eaten with the main course. Another use of cucumber is in soups where they lend texture and taste to it.
Cucumber is a wholesome culinary item that is beneficial for health. The benefits and nutritional value of cucumber is indicative of the fact that it must be a part of daily diet.