Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: December 2019

Cucumbers

Cucumbers’ high content of water, fiber, and caffeic acid rejuvenate skin and support healthy blood sugar and immunity.

By Laurie Mathena

With a water content of 96%, cucumbers are a low-calorie, nutrient-packed health food.

They originated in Ancient India around 2,000 BC, and were brought to the “New World” by Christopher Columbus in 1494. Now, they are enjoyed both raw and fermented all over the world.

As part of a healthy diet, cucumbers may provide a variety of health benefits, including helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels and rejuvenating the skin.

Raw Cucumbers

Because cucumbers are high in water content and low in calories, they are an ideal food for weight loss. A meta-analysis showed that eating these kinds of “low energy” foods could help obese individuals lose weight.1 And because of their high water and fiber content, cucumbers can also help prevent constipation and maintain regularity.2

In addition, two animal studies demonstrated that consuming cucumbers and other plants may help support healthy blood sugar levels.3,4

Skin Health

Cucumbers have a long history of use for treating dark circles and puffiness under the eyes. They contain caffeic acid, which is regarded as a promising substance for dermal use because of its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and collagen-production stimulating activity.5

Fresh cucumber juice has been used to nourish the skin, and it gives a soothing effect against skin irritations and reduces swelling.6 Cucumbers have also been shown to help restore the skin’s natural elasticity, making it valuable for helping prevent wrinkles.7

References

  1. Nutrients. 2016 Apr 20;8(4):229.
  2. Nutr Rev. 2010 Aug;68(8):439-58.
  3. J Ethnopharmacol. 1995 Aug 11;48(1):25-32.
  4. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2010 Sep;65(3):284-9.
  5. Comb Chem High Throughput Screen. 2017;20(8):675-81.
  6. Fitoterapia. 2013 Jan;84:227-36.
  7. Arch Dermatol Res. 2011 May;303(4):247-52.

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