by Nevine El-Chibini
The cucumber’s many health benefits have long been underestimated. It is time we unleash their power and welcome their numerous offerings.
At a mear 16 calories per cup, these super-hydrating fruits (yes they are fruits as they contain seeds) provide important nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants. Cucumbers are amongst many of the superstar choices that help us curb inflammation and enjoy optimal health. They also help us eliminate waste out of our bodies.
During cooking lessons, clients often ask me if they should peel and deseed cucumbers where most of their nutrition resides. My response is usually to wash them very well for 30 seconds under running water before consuming the whole thing.
Cucumbers including skins and seeds contain cucurbitacins and lignans, two examples of their bioactive compounds that can protect us against some cancers and promote heart health.
They are wonderful to grow in gardens as the non-organic ones in grocery stores are waxed and contain pesticides. Consuming organic varieties along with skin and seeds are a good choice whenever possible.
Here is a recipe for a salad that I love to make with this super-food:
Dice 2 cucumbers keeping skins and seeds
Add the juice and zest of 2 limes
1 diced Jalapeno
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Mix them all in a bowl and let them macerate for an hour in the fridge before enjoying.
What does it mean to be “cool as a cucumber”?
A person who is cool as a cucumber is said to be in total control. Cucumbers are largely comprised of water and remain cool to the touch, even in hot weather, their centers and seeds are cooler than the temperature around them.
Nevine’s Cucumber Tips
I like to use slices of cucumber likes sliders instead of crackers in order to increase nutrition while decreasing calories.
They also make a beautiful appetizer topped with wonderful and colourful dips.
At the end of the day when you are tired, slices of cucumber can be used to hydrate your eyes and skin reducing bags and dark circles.
Nevine El-Chibini is an optimal food coach (naturopath), a volunteer for a decade, a mother and grandmother who lives in Pierrefonds with her husband and cat. She loves to read, learn, write poetry and cook using her husband’s gardening hobby. She uses fun and creative real-life education, content-rich engaging talks and demonstrations to inspire people to join a nutritional wellness revolution. In addition to coaching people one-on-one and in groups, you will find Nevine in multiple venues in the community. Nevine also focuses on other facets of a healthy mind, body and spirit and so she takes long walks in the forest, jogs and practices yoga. www.facebook.com/nevinescuisine