By guest blogger Rachel Caine, MS, Dietetic Intern, Mount Auburn Hospital
Cucumbers are cool and refreshing. Technically a fruit, but treated as a vegetable, cucumber can be used in a variety of dishes with either other fruits, other vegetables, or on its own. When eaten as a pickle, you’ll also benefit from the probiotic effects of pickling, helping to improve the health of your GI system.
Cucumbers are members of the same family as melons and summer squash and come in several different varieties, including slicing and pickling. They have a thin skin, small seeds, a crunchy texture and contain a lot of water.
Cucumbers contain many vitamins and minerals and also contain phytochemicals called lignans, which have been shown to reduce risk of of heart disease and certain cancers.
Cucumbers are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A and folate lending them many anti-inflammatory properties and making them good choices for healthy skin and hair.
The entire vegetable is edible and is most often eaten raw or pickled. Cucumbers can also be used cosmetically, as they reduce inflammation when applied topically. Try placing slices of cucumbers on eyes to reduce puffiness!
How can I use cucumbers?
- Make your own pickles
- Chop and use in a veggie or fruit salad
- Blend in a smoothie
- Mix into yogurt with herbs to make a dip or sauce
- Use as a sandwich topper
- Blend into a chilled soup
- Add to water or other summer beverages for a cooling drink
- Chop and use in a refreshing salsa
- Strawberry Cucumber Salad (recipe) »»