When thinking about healthy foods most of us tend to think of avocado, or various nuts and seeds. One of the healthiest foods, that is technically a fruit, is often the last thing on everyone’s mind and it’s cucumber. Cucumbers can be an essential part of a healthy diet aimed to improve various conditions, ranging from your cholesterol levels to your skin and nail appearance.
Cucumbers contain high amount of silica. What silica does is it increases bone mineral density, making us less susceptible to conditions like osteoporosis. Additionally, it helps strengthen our bones and nails, and with the high content of fiber, cucumbers are also one of the best foods for losing weight.
Cucumbers can also be used to treat hypertension, a condition that often goes unnoticed for years. Hypertension, or high blood pressure as you probably know it, is a common condition in which the force of the blood against artery walls is so high that it can cause health issues over time. Blood pressure increases with the rate of your heart blood pumping, and the smaller your arteries are the higher blood pressure is. Prolonged hypertension leads to damage to the blood vessels, and eventually to heart damage.
It is estimated that over 70 million adult Americans suffer from hypertension, which makes 40 percent of people over the age of 25 in the United States. Two types of hypertension exist: primary and secondary. The primary type is slow to develop, and it takes years to escalate to a point it can even be noticed. The secondary type appears suddenly, and it’s most commonly caused by other health related issues, such as kidney disease, thyroid issues, sleep apnea, and different types of cancer.
High cholesterol often accompanies high blood pressure, both the primary and the secondary type. Risk factors for high cholesterol are the same ones that apply to high blood pressure: physical inactivity, obesity, stress, poor diet, vitamin insufficiency, and consuming alcohol and/or tobacco.
Instead of resorting to pharmaceutical substances filled with potentially harmful chemicals, you should try natural alternatives, such as garlic and cucumber to treat your high cholesterol and blood pressure issues. Here’s what these bring to the table:
- Garlic has been used for centuries in treating blood pressure issues, both high and low varieties. High cholesterol, heart conditions, poor blood flow, and plenty of other conditions are easily treated with raw garlic, as its active component allicin has the same effects as blood pressure drugs, and uses virtually the same mechanics to regulate blood pressure.
- Cucumber has extremely high water content, so it’s great for hydrating your body. It is also brimming with minerals and vitamins, such as potassium, magnesium, and fiber. Potassium is responsible for balancing the amount of sodium in our cells, which helps prevent atherosclerosis. Fiber reduces cholesterol, and prevents type 2 diabetes. It also helps with weight loss and regulating blood pressure.
The healthiest option for treating high blood pressure and cholesterol is to combine these two into a salad, and here’s the recipe for a simple, delicious, and most importantly healthy cucumber-garlic salad:
- 1 cucumber
- 3 cloves of garlic
- ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or to taste)
- Few spoons of water
- Wash the cucumber thoroughly and slice into small pieces
- Peel and crush the garlic
- Add both to a large glass bowl
- Add water and vinegar
- Serve with some mint leaves