The cucumber is part of the family of the Cucurbitaceae, known scientifically as cucumis sativus and normally from its cultivation, it tends to come out also the zucchini, the pumpkin and the watermelon. The plant from which this wonderful fruit comes out is creeping, which develops different cylindrical and edible fruits throughout the year.
Cucumbers are usually eaten both fresh and pickled, and most are sliced and eaten that way. The size of cucumbers varies depending on the crop they were previously in and if their harvest was totally good, the size of the cucumber will be larger than others. On the other hand, the skin of cucumbers can vary between green, yellow and white colors, in the same way, it can be smooth or furrowed, depending mainly on the variety they belong to.
Inside the skin of the cucumber you will find a totally pale green flesh, which in turn, turns out to be thick and watery, crunchy and intact when consumed. Cucumbers are usually elongated in shape, becoming longer at both ends, measuring a total length of between 15 and 25 centimeters, while 5 centimeters in diameter; the weight of cucumbers can range from 30 to 300 grams, all this depending on the variety they belong to.
Cucumbers, in general, like many fruits, have high levels of water in their composition, so they also turn out to be foods with caloric contributions well below the stipulated, since they do not supply notorious amounts of carbohydrates, turning out to be an ideal food to regulate the weight in people. The cucumber also stands out for its great amount of fiber, both soluble and insoluble, in the same way, it is a fruit that provides notorious amounts of vitamins A, C, E and B, resulting in a perfect food for the eyes, for the skin and for the hair.
Within the classification of fruits, cucumber belongs to the following: fruits rich in fiber, fruits that provide the human body with potassium, fruits with vitamin C, fruits that provide vitamin K, diuretic or natural purifying fruits, fruits good for digestion, slimming fruits, among others.
Origin of the Cucumber. Fruit or Vegetable ?
Cucumbers originated in India, approximately more than 10,000 years B.C., and are currently grown in different countries around the world. Cucumber is one of the fruits mostly traded in the international market, so it is often found in markets and fruit shops.
In ancient civilizations, mostly from Egypt, Rome and Greece, cucumber was a very popular fruit, so it was used not only for food, but also for home remedies. The American colonists were in charge of taking this fruit along with the pumpkin to Latin America.
But mainly, in tropical areas of South Asia was where this variety originated, more than all the wild cucumber; exploited mostly on the banks of the Mediterranean Sea, specifically in Egypt, where it would become in centuries later in important food for the pharaohs.
Its introduction to the New World came mainly from the Spanish colonizers, in their respective journeys during the 16th century. Nowadays, cucumber is a food mostly cultivated in Europe and Latin America, occupying the fourth position in the world production, only surpassed by tomato, pumpkin and cabbage.
Within the main nutritional properties of this wonderful fruit as it is the cucumber you get the following:
- The cucumber is characterized by providing low calories to the human body, reducing the levels or all that content in carbohydrates and compared to other foods, is a fruit with high water content.
- It is a food that provides fiber to the body, likewise, provides small amounts of vitamins C, provitamins A and in turn, vitamins E; it is a fruit capable of providing amounts of beta-carotene, however, is not a fruit that stands out for this.
- The vitamin A that cucumber provides to the human body is essential for vision, for the good condition of the skin, for the mucous membranes, for the bones and for the shine of the hair, in the same way, it is ideal for the good functioning of the immune system in general.
- On the other hand, cucumber is able to provide a large amount of vitamin E, so it acts on the stability of blood cells, as well as on the fertility of women.
- Cucumber is a food that has antioxidant actions, thanks to its high levels of vitamins, mainly vitamin C, will intervene in the formation of collagen, as well as promote the absorption of iron and increase resistance to various infections.
- Likewise, cucumber is not considered a food rich in potassium but it provides small amounts needed by the body; in less proportion, cucumber also provides amounts of phosphorus and magnesium. All of them help to the transmission and generation of the nervous impulse in the organism, as well as, in the muscular activity of the people.
Benefits of Cucumber
Among the main benefits of cucumber for the human body, you get the following:
- Cucumber is good for the brain, since it contains an element called flavonol, which is an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that directly favors neuronal connectivity, taking care of the brain.
- Similarly, cucumber helps to combat fatigue and stress as it provides B vitamins, effective in relaxing people.
- Cucumber also helps to improve digestive health, thanks to its high water and fiber content; on the other hand, it intervenes in the care of the stomach pH and directly fights reflux. It is a fruit that also takes care of people’s weight, being an ideal food for slimming diets.
- Likewise, cucumber helps protect the heart, thanks to its potassium content, which regulates blood pressure. Let us not forget that potassium works as a positively charged ion that regulates cellular functions, balancing the correct transmission of the nerve impulse.
Types of Cucumber
Within the different types or varieties of cucumber people get the following:
Cucumbers According to their Size
Short Cucumber or Spanish Gherkin
This type of variety is extremely small, reaching a maximum length of 15 centimeters for each fruit and an average weight of 125 grams. Its skin turns out to be green with yellow stripes or in many occasions, white. It is frequently used for the elaboration of pickles.
French Medium Long Cucumber
This type of variety reaches a length of 20 to 25 centimeters; within this type of cultivation two varieties are differentiated, those that have a cucumber with thorns and those that have cucumbers with extremely smooth skin.
Long Dutch Type Cucumber
This type of cucumber reaches a total of 25 centimeters in length, weighing up to more than 2 kilos. The skin of this type of cucumber is extremely smooth, and more or less furrowed in its texture.
Cucumbers According to their Consumption
Within this classification of cucumbers come fresh consumption cucumbers, which are mostly large, all bark both green or yellow, also get the gherkins, which are smaller and are usually consumed in pickles.
Similarly, there are also for consumption, the cucumbers of greenhouses, which have an elongated and straight, thin skin and few seeds, the cucumbers of ridge, contains few seeds but not as much as the greenhouses, its skin is thick and bright green.
Oval Type Cucumbers
Within this category people get the most widespread cucumbers worldwide mostly in Russia, Greece and India, among which are the Bonneauil cucumber, the Russian cross-cut cucumber and the oval cucumber.
Cucumbers of Medium-Long Cylinder Type
Among the varieties mostly cultivated of this class of cucumbers the following stand out: the Ashley cucumber, the Alpha cucumber, the Champión cucumber, the Palomar cucumber, the Dasher cucumber, the Calhorra green cucumber, among others.
It is no secret that today you can find different types of cucumbers, among them, long cylindrical cucumbers, in which the long white cucumbers from Paris, the Duke of Bedford cucumbers, the long green English cucumbers, the crown cucumbers, among others, stand out.
This kind of crop is predominantly dark green, and when it reaches the point of maturity, its color changes to a bright yellow. Its extremities are the same, it is a rough fruit, with grooves and few thorns. On the other hand, it has a rounded shape, and its length is 18 to 20 centimeters, while its flavor is totally bitter.
This cucumber is yellow and is one of the most sold varieties in the markets. Its thorns do not tend to prick, and in this case, they are white, although in most cases they are excessively scarce. This kind of cultivation is cylindrical in shape, with longitudinal edges, measuring up to 30 centimeters for each piece.
It is a small crop which is intended for pickling, its color is light green, has different black spines, in addition to its striations, which are longitudinal and rough. Its size can be up to 12 centimeters for each fruit.
The cucumber is known scientifically as Cucumis Sativus, turning out to be a creeping plant of the pumpkin family, and is widely cultivated to be a totally edible fruit. This plant can be cultivated in different frames or trellises, as well as, it does not vary by the climates, but, it is recommendable to cultivate it in greenhouses, mainly cold climates.
The cucumber plant is tender, with a rough stem, totally succulent and extremely creeping. It has different hairy leaves, between 3 and 5 lobes, all pointed, while in the stem, they have different branched tendrils, which help support this plant. On the other hand, the cucumber flowers are all yellow, forming a total of 5 petals per branch, being these unisexual, producing different types of berries which are known as pepo.
This type of creeping plant is extremely susceptible, so you have to be constantly aware of them because they can get bacterial and fungal diseases, either as hairy mildew or effective wilt.
It turns out to be an herbaceous, climbing plant with an infinite number of hairy stems; for its part, most of the leaves are heart-shaped, so it can be recognized from afar. It is an annual production plant and its edges are extremely jagged.
Does The Cucumber Get You Fat ?
Cucumber is low in caloric content, and due to its high proportion of water and its low presence of carbohydrates make this wonderful food an ideal fruit to include within the hypocaloric diet, so it is ideal for those people who want to lose weight in a healthy way.
Does the Cucumber Have Fiber ?
Cucumbers do not stand out for the amount of fiber they have, however, it is a food that provides small substances of soluble and insoluble fiber to the human body.
Soluble fiber is found mostly in plant cells, and helps slow down the emptying of the stomach, which benefits people to feel satisfied for longer. Thanks to the fiber that it provides to the body, it helps to reduce people’s cholesterol levels significantly.
On the other hand, thanks to the insoluble fiber, it helps to regulate the intestinal function, since in most of the cases, the cucumber is conferred by extremely laxative properties. According to studies, the fiber provided by cucumber, prevents or improves constipation levels in people, contributing to a good control of glycemia.
Does the Cucumber Have Sugar ?
Frequent consumption of cucumbers will cause blood sugar levels to increase, due to their high carbohydrate content. However, cucumbers supply the human body with low amounts of carbohydrates, so when consumed, they will not potentially raise blood sugar, making them an ideal food for diabetics.
Does the Cucumber Get Fat at Night ?
Cucumber does not make people fat, on the contrary, it keeps them in their ideal and healthy weight, since they are very low calorie foods, and when consumed, will leave everyone satisfied. In the same way, the soluble fiber that cucumber has, helps to slow down the digestion in individuals and thus, control the weight during the day or at night.
Is Cucumber Diuretic ?
This wonderful fruit works as a powerful depurative totally diuretic since they are rich in potassium and poor in sodium, conferring them a highly diuretic action, which favors the elimination of the excess of liquids of the organism.
Cucumber is a beneficial fruit for all those cases of hypertension, as well as hyperuricemia and gout, fluid retention or kidney stones. Due to the increased production of urine, not only liquids are eliminated, but also all those substances and dissolved wastes that are found in the human body, whether it be uric acid, urea, among others.
Is Cucumber Good For Digestion?
Cucumber is a fruit of easy digestion for the organism, since generally, it is a food that is consumed with extreme facility, and even, in many occasions, people digest it with the peel of the same one, as long as, this one is tender.
It is a fruit that besides working as an incredible digestive, it helps to move away the stomach acidity, it avoids in its totality the constipation and any pain of the stomach that appears frequently.
Does Cucumber Get You Lose Weight ?
Cucumber is an ideal fruit to include in slimming diets, being a basic ingredient in all low-calorie menus because it does not provide many calories to the human body, besides, its satiating power is extremely unique.
In the same way, thanks to its great contribution of water and potassium, it turns out to be a perfect fruit to eliminate liquids and serves as great help, to disappear the undesirable cellulite.
Within the composition for each 100 grams of edible portion of the cucumber, it contributes a total of 12 calories to the human body; also it is in charge to provide a total of 0.70 grams of proteins, 0.20 grams of fats, 1.90 grams of carbohydrates, fiber a total of 0.50 grams, potassium a total of 140 milligrams, magnesium a total of 9 milligrams and vitamin C a total of 6 milligrams.
History of Cucumber
Cucumbers can be found mainly in the tropical regions of South Asia, especially in India, where they have been grown for more than 3,000 years. Due to its exploitation as food, cucumber arrived in Egypt in time, becoming one of the favorite foods of the Pharaohs.
As time went by, this fruit began to be popular both in Rome and in Greece, of which the said inhabitants used this wonderful food for therapeutic purposes constantly. These last inhabitants were the ones who introduced it in the rest of Europe, extending soon to the Ancient China.
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