Food FYI - Cucumbers

Cucumber.  Like 'em, love 'em, hate 'em?  Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with them.  As in love them mixed in with foods, hate them plain.  But, whatever your palate prefers, cucumbers are undeniably one of nature's superfoods.

Cucumbers originated in India.  They were spread to the Roman Empire from there, in fact Emperor Tiberius has a favoritism towards cucumbers, eating them daily during the summer and winter months.  He had developed an artificial system similar to greenhouses to grow the cucumbers in the off seasons. Through the Romans it was spread to Western Europe and then eventually to the Americas.

They are actually a gourd, though we would not think of them as such because of their soft skin and water content.  Yup!  Cucumbers are 95% water!  They are a great source of vitamin B.  The skin contains vitamin C.  It has anti-inflamatory properties.

Cucumbers contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol. These three lignans have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer. 

Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin which has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Researchers found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help reduce cholesterol levels. Cucumbers contain a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber. These work effectively for regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumbers good for treating both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.

You add these with all the water cucumbers contain and you've got an awesome hydration system that helps your body eliminate toxins at the same time!  So if you don't like to just eat them raw, sliced, what can you use them in?  I use them in Tzatziki, a Greek yogurt and cucumber based dip used frequently with meats and fish.