Getting Healthy In The Kitchen With Cucumbers

The Healthy Cucumber

If you are looking for healthy foods to add to your regular diet, then cucumber is an excellent option. Cucumber belongs to the botanical family Cucurbitaceae, alongside watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew. Cucumbers hold a special place in the regular diet of many people around the world and for good reason: they have some amazing health benefits. It is made up of 95.2% water and is typically low in sodium, fat, calories and cholesterol. Despite their water content, cucumbers are also nutrient dense.

Here are the top 10 health benefits of cucumbers:

1. Helps You Stay Hydrated

Cucumber is an ideal food to include in your diet during the hot summer months to avoid dehydration. This is because it has 92.5% water content and is full of essential electrolytes. In addition to drinking plenty of water, it is also advisable to drink cucumber water, which makes your body feel fresh and rejuvenated.

2. Good Source of Vitamins

Cucumbers are a good source of most of the vitamins that the human body needs throughout the day. These include Vitamins A, B and C, which are vital for the proper functioning of the immune system. These vitamins also provide you with energy and keep your body healthy. You can make it even more powerful by mixing cucumber juice with carrot and spinach. Remember to leave the covering on as it contains a significant amount of vitamin C.

3. Boosts Heart Health

Cucumbers can help lower one’s blood pressure because they contain potassium (152 mg per cup). Studies have shown that a high intake of potassium is linked with lower rates of cardiovascular disease and can also reduce the risk of stroke. Since most people do not consume the recommended amount of potassium each day, eating cucumbers can be a great way to increase your potassium intake.

4. Protects Your Brain

Cucumbers contain an anti-inflammatory compound called fisetin, which is also present in grapes and strawberries. Recent studies have shown that fisetin helps to protect the brain from neurological diseases. It has been suggested that this substance has the ability to minimize the impact of neurological diseases on the proper functioning of the brain, even in old age. It is also said to help boost cognitive function in individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

5. Aids in Digestion and Prevents Constipation

Cucumber is also made up of fiber, which boosts the digestion process. Therefore, the problems of acidity, indigestion, heart burn and gastritis can also be reduced and even cured by adding cucumber to your daily diet. Consuming cucumbers on a daily basis can also help cure chronic constipation.

6. Fights Cancer

Cucumbers contain polyphenols known as lignans, which can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. These lignans (lariciresinol, secoisolariciresinol and pinoresinol) have a long history of medical research related to reduced risk of various types of cancer, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer.

7. Eases Pain

The tannins and flavonoids present in cucumbers have strong anti-inflammatory properties and have shown to reduce the production of free radicals in the human body. Originally, cucumbers were used to treat headaches while its seeds have cooling properties. Consumption of cucumbers on a regular basis can help treat pain. The fruit juice is credited with nutritive and demulcent properties.

8. Reduces Bad Breath

Bad breath is normally caused by anaerobic oral bacteria. Water and fiber-rich vegetables like cucumbers can increase the production of saliva in your mouth, which consequently helps to eliminate the bacteria responsible for the foul smell in your mouth.

9. Promotes Healthy Bones and Joints

Since cucumber is a great source of silica, it promotes healthy bones and joints by repairing and strengthening the connective tissue. For better results, cucumber can be mixed with spinach and carrot juice. This mixture can help ease gout and arthritis pain by reducing the amount of uric acid in the body.

10. Aids in Weight Loss

Cucumbers have low amounts of calories and they also have high fiber content. Foods that have high fiber content can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. In addition, cucumber is a great food choice for individuals who are struggling to lose weight because of its low caloric and high water content.

Now that you know the many health benefits of cucumbers, go ahead and add them to your daily diet. There are many ways to consume cucumbers: you can eat them raw or use it in salads, add them to your juicing recipes, or create appetizing yogurt dips. This is one powerhouse food that you can benefit from if you make it part of your culinary routine.

Fruity Ice Cream Recipes Sure To Delight Your Date

fruit-ice-cream

Buying an ice cream maker for your kitchen is one of the best investments that you can make. Is there anyone out there who does not love the taste of an indulgent bowl of ice cream. The great thing about today’s top machines is that they can do a lot more than just make ice cream. They are frozen dessert makers capable of making gelato, sorbet, frozen yogurt, and more. You will find that the kids will also be eager to help making the entire experience a worthwhile family activity. The best ice cream makers are also quite affordable, meaning you will not have to break the bank to get in on the fun of making homemade ice cream. For those that have already discovered the magic of owning your very own ice cream machine, it is now time to experiment with some fruit flavored recipes that the entire family will enjoy.

Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Avocado Ice Cream

Ingredients

– 2 medium – large sized avocados
– 1 medium banana
– ¼ cup coconut butter or oil
– 2 table spoons of maple syrup
– 1 tablespoon peppermint
– 5 tablespoon chocolate chips

How to prepare

Scoop the avocados and peel the banana and have them in the blender. Add all the other ingredients except chocolate chips and blend them until even. Peppermint is used to give the ice cream a pepper flavor and hence an optional ingredient. Put the mixture into a large bowl then add the chocolate chips as you stir. Once thoroughly mixed, place the mixture into the freezer and stir the mixture after every 30 minutes. After two and half hours, the mixture should be ready to serve or store in the freezer for use at a later time.

Blueberry Protein Ice Cream

Ingredients

– 1/2 cup cottage cheese
– 1/2 banana
– 1/3 cup blueberries
– 3 tablespoon almond milk
– ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
– 7 drops liquid stervia
– 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (used to thicken)

Preparation

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until they acquire a smooth mix. Put the mix into a freeze for approximately two to three hours. Remove the thick mix and add your desired toppings. Toasted coconut or peanut butter offers a perfect choice.

Chai Coconut Ice Cream

Ingredients

– 4 bags of aslam or regular tea
– 28 ounces of fat coconut milk
– 1/2 cup of honey (used to sweeten)
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
– 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
– Some pinch of sea salt
– ¼ teaspoon of cloves
– ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
– ¼ teaspoon of allspice
– 1 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot starch

Preparation

Dip the teabags into one cup of boiling water and let them steep for 4 minutes before removing them. Which the coconut milk, honey, tea, vanilla, spices and sale until they form a perfect mix. You might require to heat the mixture over medium heat to mix with the cream effectively. Add the arrowroot starch and a few tablespoons of coconut milk. Heat the mixture over medium heat as you stir to achieve a thorough mix. Once mixed add the heat while stirring frequently for one minute. Once done, remove it from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature before placing in the freezer.

Vegan Chocolate and Hazelnut Ice Cream

Ingredients

– 2 cans of full fat coconut milk
– 12 pitted dates
– 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
– Cocoa powder
– Hazelnuts
– Vegan dark chocolate

Preparation

Mix the coconut milk with the dates and blend using a high powered blender. And the vanilla and cocoa powder and continue blending until it is even. Transfer the mix to a bowl and freeze for approximately one hour. Roast the hazelnuts I the oven at 4000F for about 10 – 15 minutes. This should make the nuts turn golden brown and fragrant. Chop them after they cool down and keep them aside. Churn the frozen ice cream until frozen then top with hazelnuts and chocolate.

Coffee Coconut Ice Cream

Ingredients

– 3 1/2 cups of full fat coconut milk
– 1/2 cup raw sugar
– 1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee
– 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Whisk the combination of coconut milk, raw sugar and coffee in a small pan over medium heat until well mixed. Remove the mix from heat and whisk in vanilla. Transfer the mix to a bowl and let it cool to room temperatures before transferring to the freezer. Let in chill in the freezer for at least six hours but if possible overnight. After chilling, transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions after which you can transfer your ice cream to freezer safe container for storage or serve while it is fresh. After storage for some days, you need to keep the ice cream in normal temperatures for at least 15 minutes to allow it to soften for ease in serving.

The Almost Magical Powers of Cranberries

cranberry-juicing

If you are looking to make a little magic in the kitchen, then the cranberry can be the perfect choice. Not only does it have a delightfully tart taste, but it offers the body tremendous heath benefits. From ice cream desserts, to your juicing recipes, this little fruit is extremely versatile and packed with the nutrients that your body needs.

For anyone who has just started to get into juicing and is looking for ingredients to help maximize the benefits of their new activity, cranberries are a wonderful option. For years they have been used to flush and cleanse the liver, but they can do so much more. Adding cranberries to your juicing recipes can add both flavor a wide variety of health benefits. Along with a little tartness, this fruit comes packed with essential nutrients that everyone should take advantage of with their juicer.

Cranberry Basics

Cranberries are fruits of low vine plants that are of the berry type. It is deep red in color when ripe. It has a sour and bitter taste that may be too strong if eaten raw and by itself. These are usually processed into juices, sauces, or jellies in order to lessen its natural tart taste.

Health Benefits

Cranberries contain proanthocyanidin. It is a flavanoid that helps prevent the development of urinary tract infections. The bacteria E. coli uses its p-type fimbriae to latch on the lining or wall of the urinary tract. Proanthocyanidin prevents UTI by binding to the frimbrae of the said bacteria. This hinders them from attaching to any area of the urinary tract because their organ for attachment is already occupied. If the bacteria cannot attach themselves, it will be flushed out by the urine and therefore, no infection occurs.

This fruit is also high in vitamin C. This vitamin plays many roles in maintaining the health of individuals. It functions as an antioxidant which may help prevent cancer. It is also needed in the production of collagen which is important in repairing damage and slowing of the aging process. In addition, this boosts the immune system. A strengthened immune system helps prevent the onset of diseases.

Cranberries have high fiber content. Fiber is needed by the body to flush out toxins from the gastrointestinal tract. This is also needed to lower the levels of low density lipoproteins, also known as bad cholesterol, in the body. Furthermore, fiber can promote good bowel movement which lowers the risk of colo-rectal cancers.

Manganese can be found in this fruit. Manganese is a trace essential mineral needed by the body. It functions as a cofactor of various enzymes in the body. Without this vitamin, the enzymes cannot assume their role as catalyst. As a result, proteins or other chemicals that are needed by the body will not be produced thus leads to diseases.

Cranberries have a decent amount of vitamin K in them. This vitamin is necessary for blood to clot.

It also contains vitamin E.. This vitamin also acts as an antioxidant. It helps protect the cell membranes from free radicals that can cause damage to cells. This also protects the body from cancer. Aside from these functions, it is also necessary for the development of healthy muscles, skin, and hair. This vitamin is also associated with beauty because consuming ample amounts of this will result to prevent early signs of aging and maintain the youthful look.

For years cranberry juice has been used a liver cleanser, and was believed to be best for removing toxins from the liver and other digestive organs, but it also can have a positive impact in other areas of the body.

Consuming cranberries on a regular basis can help you achieve and maintain good health. Adding them to your juicer is a wonderful way to take fully advantage of their health benefits. Below is a video containing just one of many recipes that you can try with cranberries.