By Kristy Dusevic CHC
I am a huge supporter of seasonal eating. With each season a new crop of nutrition is readily available to us. This does not mean that everything you eat has to be “in season.” However, you should add some type of seasonal food with every meal. The benefit to that is that you are getting the nutrients out of local soil at the right time of year. This is a huge benefit to your overall health. With that being said, summer brings so many delicious, nutritious goodies. Cucumbers are in abundance right now and ripe for the picking.
Cucumbers originated in India some 10,000 years ago. They are actually a fruit from the Cucurbitaceae family. This is actually the same family as zucchini, watermelon, pumpkin and other summer squashes. Cucumbers are 95% water which makes them a wonderful hydrating cooling summer food. Cucumbers are also low in calories and the skins have a good amount of fiber which makes them useful for both weight loss and digestive health.
There are plenty of reasons to enjoy cucumbers all year long; they pack a good amount of potassium, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamins B1, B5, and B7 (Biotin.) The B vitamins are known to help ease feelings of anxiety and buffer some of the damaging effects of stress. Cucumbers are also rich in Silica which is an essential component that aids in developing strong and healthy connective tissue in the muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and bones.
A little fun fact about this nutritious fruit is that studies have shown that placing a cucumber slice on the roof of your mouth may help rid your mouth of odor-causing bacteria. According to Ayurveda principles, cucumbers may also help to release excess heat in the stomach which is said to be a primary cause of bad breath.
If you suffer from acid reflux, slice some cucumbers and add them to your water and watch the symptoms subside. I have personally seen this with every person I have recommended it to.
* aids in weight loss
* helps detoxify the body
* full of antioxidents
* high nutrient value low calorie food/snack
* hydrates and soothes the skin
* helps with digestion and relieves constipation
And that is the short list of the numerous benefits that cucumbers offer.
So now that we know all of that, we need to keep on (or start) enjoying these babies now. I enjoy making pickles with my cucumbers. Well truth be told, I like fermenting many many things but that’s for another post. It’s simple to do and the health benefits of real pickles are amazing.
I use a quart size mason jar
make the brine first
4 cups of boiling water
1 Tablespoon of good quality sea salt
Let this cool to room temperature while preparing the cucumber mix
Pack the jar with the following:
4 to 6 small pickling cucumbers (thick slices or spears)
1/4 onion sliced thin
2-3 chopped garlic cloves
4-5 fresh springs of dill
Grape leaves or loose black tea ( once everything is in the jar and water added, place this on top) This helps keep the pickles crunchy.
Feel free to leave any of those ingredients out or add in what you might like. Once the water has cooled to room temperature, gently pour it into the jar. Close the lid securely and let them sit for a minimum of 3 days. It will probably take closer to 7 for the process to take place.
If real pickles are not for you, try this simple delicious salad:
1 med cucumber (chopped)
2 med tomatoes (chopped)
1 small bunch of cilantro
1 teaspoon of mayo or plain yogurt
Salt and pepper
Mix it all together and enjoy with your hydrating cucumber water.
If you would like to learn more about how nutrition can help you live a life that truly thrives, I am available for consultations. I can help you set up a plan that’s doable, healthy, and tasty. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.