Celebrating true African beauty

Getting to know the cucumber

A cucumber is a fruit that is green in colour and grown much like pumpkins or water melons. While cucumbers can be eaten fresh, you can eat them as pickles, after they must have passed through a process of brining. People do this by soaking the cucumbers in salt and water solution or vinegar. Did you know that cucumbers are actually fruits which are classified as vegetables in culinary terms? I bet many of us have always thought of cucumbers as vegetables and not fruits. But they are fruits.

Are you one of those who consider cucumbers as bitter and let it inhibit you from eating them? Well, one cannot accurately define the cucumber’s taste as bitter but in my opinion, while some bitterness maybe felt as a result of phenylthiocarbamide organic compound found in cucumbers, they have near-bland watery state.

The cucumber, your health and beauty

The cucumber is 90 percent water so it is very good for your health. Its contains vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, silica, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, among others. Do you know that you can use cucumbers to relief skin irritation? The silica found in cucumbers is very vital for the health of connective tissues such as ligaments, cartilage, the muscle or the bone. I know a number of supplements can be found in health shops and pharmacies that help with keeping the connective tissues healthy but imagine what you could do for yourself if you took a cucumber a day.

You do know that water is good for glowing skin and glowing complexion right? I know we African women are obsessed with toning lotions or even bleaching creams. Imagine if you spent less on these creams and concentrated more on taking cucumbers instead? Remember, cucumbers are 90 percent water so they not only are good for hydration, but they aid to improve our skin condition. We all can agree that a beautiful skin can only be a result of a healthy lifestyle so if we really want to look and feel beautiful, then increasing our intake of water and water-saturated fruits/vegetables like cucumbers is a good step in the right direction.

Masking with cucumber

Both ascorbic acid and caffeic acid are the compounds found in cucumber that heal the skin, especially in skin irritations. Now you can understand why cucumbers are recommended to reduce puffiness around the eye or any swelling around the eye. So besides placing two slices of cucumbers on both eyes, I also blend cucumbers into a paste and apply it on my face as a mask. It not only helps to “wake” the face but helps to make the skin feel subtle and sweet. While you can eat the cucumber fresh and raw, you can also combine it with other fruits/vegetables in a smoothie form. You can also make good vegetable salad with them. Whichever way you like it, just make sure you take a cucumber a day.

If you have any healthy and beauty tip on cucumbers, please do share with us.

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