Go to any spa and you’re likely to see cucumbers: in water, in lotion, sliced for eyes, sliced for eating, decoration—spas can get creative.
Sure, they’re good for puffy eyes, but there are a wealth of other health benefits cucumbers offer that spas aspire to associate with. Basically, spas only wish they could give you the benefits cucumbers can.
In one research paper, cucumbers were found to have these health benefits: prevention of constipation, soothing effects against irritated skin and reduced swelling or inflammation, cleansing of toxins and waste, antioxidant activity, potential anti diabetic, low calorie food, cooling to the body and soothing to sunburn.
So take your pick, a few hundred dollars for a spa visit or a $1 cucumber.
- Hydration — Cucumbers are about 95% water which means that just 5 ounces yields 4.8 ounces of water, or about 26% of your daily water intake through food already. This high water content means they juice really well so you get a lot for your money.
- Reduce bad breath — The best time to drink fresh juice is in on an empty stomach so the nutrients can quickly enter your system. Morning is ideal for this reason, and cucumbers are ideal for reducing bad morning breath. It was a pair meant to be.
- Heart health — Cucumbers contain potassium, which can help lower blood pressure. A report from Harvard Medical School said, “A number of studies have shown an association between low potassium intake and increased blood pressure and higher risk of stroke.”
- Skin health — Cucumbers have been shown be effective in anti-aging skin care products.
- Weight loss — At only 16 calories per cup, cucumbers are effective for maintaining or losing weight.
- Prevent constipation — All of that water and fiber can help keep the digestive tract moving along.
- Pain relief — Anti-inflammatory flavonoids, and tannins in cucumbers have been shown to reduce pain.
(Benefits h /t Huffington Post)
Mix that with a big dose of vitamin C from grapefruits and the zing from a little mint and you’ll have a healthy, refreshing morning.
CUCUMBER, GRAPEFRUIT, MINT JUICE RECIPE
- 2 medium cucumbers
- 3 ripe grapefruits (peeled)
- 8-10 mint leaves
Juice cucumbers (leaving skin on) and then grapefruit. Stir. Tear and bruise mint leaves. Add to juice. Stir again. Serve immediately over ice. Add extra mint as garnish if you want to make it look pretty.