Diabetes Diet: Why Cucumbers Belong In Your Shopping Cart
Cucumbers have a veggie flavor that is nearly not there.
“A cucumber is “...about as close to neutrality as a vegetable can get without ceasing to exist,” wrote food journalist, Waverley Root.
On top of it’s taste neutrality, cucumbers are not even a veggie. Cucumbers develop from the plant’s flower and contain the plant’s seeds, making this culinary-veggie a fruit.
5 Reasons To Shop For Cucumbers
Identity crisis aside, when it comes to health benefits cucumbers are hardly neutral. They are a highly beneficial addition to diabetes meal plans for several reasons.
- Reduce Inflammation. Many chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, and heart disease have been associated with increased systemic inflammation. Cucumbers help “cool” the body’s inflammatory responses.
- Stress Management. Because cucumbers contain a slew of B vitamins including B1, B5, and B7 (biotin), they help calm our tension and anxiety. The B vitamins may also guard against stress's harmful effects.
- Support Good Digestive Health. We all need plenty of water and fiber for good digestion, and cucumbers are loaded with both. The fiber in cucumber skin is the insoluble variety that helps food move through the digestive tract more efficiently, and aids elimination.
- Support Cardiovascular Health. Nerve signals, muscle contractions, and healthy heart function require concentrations of potassium in and outside our cells. Cucumbers are a good source of potassium.
- Help With Weight Control. An entire cup of sliced cucumber is only 16 calories, making it a great snack. Plus, the soluble fiber in cucumbers turns gel-like in the gut, slowing down digestion, and making us feel full longer.
Cucumbers are also good for brain health, contain phytonutrients that may reduce the risk of some cancers, provide antioxidants including vitamin C and beta-carotene, and can help freshen our breath.
If given the option, consider buying organic cucumbers. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that cucumbers are the 12th most pesticide-contaminated food in the U.S. Plus, most cucumbers are given a wax coating post-harvest. Organic cucumbers are coated with natural plant waxes, or beeswax, instead of the petroleum-based coatings often used on conventionally grown produce.