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Cucumber is a vegetable of the Cucurbitaceae family of Asian origin whose origins are very remote; in fact traces of this vegetable have been found already more than 4000 years ago, when the cucumber was introduced in the feeding by the ancient Egyptians. Over the centuries, the cucumber took on greater importance so that the ladies of the sixteenth century used it for its emollient and relaxing characteristics on the skin while the doctors prescribed it to combat intestinal parasitic diseases or against constipation. This vegetable is often little considered but in reality it should always be present on our table because it is a mine of nutritional principles: it has a high water content that reaches almost 90% of its weight, contains mineral salts and vitamins such as B6, C essential pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium components for our cells.
When you decide to buy cucumbers, care must be taken in front of the fruit and vegetable counter for several factors: the peel must always be very shiny and consistent, it must not show any dents or wrinkles; it is necessary to choose medium-sized vegetables because they are the most mature ones and above all prefer our own and organic ones. The most widespread and cultivated cucumber qualities in our country are the "Parigino", "Verde lungo d'Italia" and "Mezzo lungo bianco".
Not all women are perhaps aware that cucumber has great anti water retention power which can be helpful especially during the days of the menstrual cycle; It has been scientifically proven that eating cucumbers 2 times a day, diuresis is stimulated, abdominal bloating is reduced along with the feeling of being heavy and having swollen legs. In the final analysis, cucumber also has silicon in its composition which relieves muscle and osteo-articular pain. The cucumber can be kept in the refrigerator for a week or alternatively in oil, in vinegar or in salt; It is preferable to consume vegetables as soon as possible because the passing of days leads to the loss of several nutrients contained in it.
Cucumber to lose weight and take care of your body
For its purifying and draining properties, it is one of the first foods recommended by nutritionist doctors to lose weight; in fact you can eat raw, inside a fresh lettuce salad with tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil but it can also be consumed after cooking in water, during the flu period or after diarrheal episodes to replenish the lost mineral salts. Among the many substances contained there is also tartaric acid which has a very particular function: this acid means that a small amount of carbohydrates that we take in the form of bread, rice or pasta is not used as a source of energy or as a source deposit but eliminated directly in the form of feces; It is important to know that tartaric acid is very sensitive to cooking and therefore to perform its function cucumbers must be eaten raw. The perfect combination recommended by dieticians to those who have problems with constipation or weight gain is the cucumber to salad as a dinner combined with 2 slices of wholemeal bread. If you have problems with digestibility, remove the outer skin and cut the cucumbers into small cubes, chewing them very slowly. If, on the other hand, you don't like the taste of bitter cucumber, you can proceed in this way: eliminate the two poles of the vegetable, and immerse the remaining part in a bowl containing cold water and a tablespoon of fine salt; after 5 minutes remove the water and the cucumber will certainly be much more tasty.
Cucumber for skin care
Cosmetic companies often use cucumber in their own creams for the great properties of this vegetable: anti-aging creams, creams for oily or dry skin and to combat annoying juvenile acne. Cucumber contains a high concentration of sulfur which allows to limit the appearance of spots on the face or freckles and to soothe redness caused by dermatitis or sun exposure. It is a very common practice that has been handed down to us by our grandmothers to put a cucumber washer on each eye for 10 minutes in order to alleviate the swelling due to moisture, reduce the hateful circles and get a brighter look.
The Cucumber: Two recipes for preparing a cucumber skin cream at home
Here are two simple recipes to prepare at home with cucumber for your skin. The first recipe is indicated for very oily skin: take a small pan where to chop a peeled cucumber; immediately after add a drizzle of olive oil and a drop of lemon juice; mix the mixture well. This cream will help to dilate the pores thus eliminating all blackheads and giving brightness to the skin, reducing the opaque effect typical of oily skin.
For irritated skin here is a second recipe: take a cucumber without peel, cut it coarsely and pass it to the mixer with a dash of water. Take a colander from flour and let the mixture just obtained filter and collect all the filtered juice. Pour the juice into a small bowl in which to add a teaspoon of wildflower honey and mix well. You can keep the lotion in the fridge for up to 5 days and spread it on your face with a little cotton wool and rinse with plenty of warm water.