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13 Ways To Use Cucumbers

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13 Ways To Use Cucumbers

Ah the humble cucumber–it sits patiently in the crisper drawer while its flashier cousins are being scooped up and devoured for dinner. The cucumber just waits and waits in all of it’s watery, melon-tinged mild manner. Maybe someone will make some pickles, maybe Mom will slice off a few rounds for her tired eyes…but really, aside from pickles and eye treatments, what is a cucumber’s claim to fame?

Maybe it’s the spike in temperature here in the now-steamy Northeast, but I have been going gaga for cucumbers lately–I never knew how fond I could be of the fresh-tasting and cool, albeit sometimes lackluster, fruit. It’s been taking center stage in chopped salads, finding its way into dips, and providing the base of a number of chilled soups. But why stop there? The cucumber is really a pretty amazing piece of work, both in the kitchen and in the bathroom where it can perform a multitude of beauty tasks.

The flesh of the cucumber  is mostly water, but also contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid, both of which help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling–these acids prevent water retention, which may explain why cucumbers applied topically are often helpful for swollen eyes, burns and dermatitis. Cucumbers are a great treat for the skin. They have the same pH as the skin so they help restore the protective acid mantle–they also possess hydrating, nourishing and astringent properties.

The skin of a cucumber is rich in fiber and contains a variety of beneficial minerals including silica, potassium and magnesium. The silica in cucumber is an essential component of healthy connective tissue, which includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone. Cucumber juice is often recommended as a source of silica to improve the complexion and health of the skin, plus cucumber’s high water content makes it naturally hydrating—a must for glowing skin.

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

749 comments

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2:31PM PST on Feb 17, 2015

Thank you for the interesting article, I already laid some cucumber slices on my face when I had a light sunburn, the humidity cools the skin, and the minerals help it recover, but most of all I love the old-fahioned recipe for cucumber salad from my mum: cucumber, sour cream, some vinegar, a bit sunflower oil + some herbs, nom-nom, I love it, often make it in summer!!!

10:07AM PST on Feb 16, 2015

very good info, thank you

9:47PM PST on Feb 15, 2015

Thank you for the cuke info

12:49AM PST on Feb 15, 2015

Thanks

8:28PM PST on Feb 14, 2015

FULL OF INFORMATION
THANKS!

7:52PM PST on Feb 14, 2015

Vegetables, good for what ails you.

2:28PM PST on Feb 11, 2015

Thank you Melissa, I love cucumbers!

8:45AM PST on Jan 27, 2015

thanks

11:11AM PST on Jan 22, 2015

Was not a huge fan of cucumbers... but they are growing on me (so to speak)

7:33PM PST on Jan 16, 2015

Thank you.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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