Cucumber is a long, green, and lean garden vegetable. Actually, it’s a fruit because it contains seeds and grows from the ovaries of flowering plants, but they are mostly considered veggies. Cucumbers are members of the plant family Cucurbitaceae, which also includes squashes and melons. The commercial production of cucumbers is divided into two types, slicing cucumbers and pickling cucumbers.
The slicing cucumbers are produced for fresh consumption, usually larger, and have thicker skins. While the pickling cucumbers are produced for eventual processing into pickles, are usually smaller and have thinner skins. The most common type of slicing cucumber found in a grocery store is the garden cucumber, Cucumis sativus.
Types of cucumbers
- Slicing cucumbers.
- Pickling cucumbers.
Slicing cucumbers: It refers to cucumbers sold fresh for immediate consumption usually a salad item. They produce the largest fruit with thick skins, which gives them longer shelf life. Harvested at 7-8” in length, they have an average number of spines and bumps distributed over the dark-green skin of the fruit. It is characterized by thick, uniform, dark green skins. They may also be called “seedless cucumbers” or “European cucumbers”.
Pickling cucumbers: It refers to cucumbers that are primarily used for processing or pickling. They have thin skins, are short, blocky, and usually have a color gradient from dark green at the stem end to light green at the bottom end. They can be 3-7 inches long, and they typically have bumps or spines on their skin.
Benefits of cucumber
People have grown cucumbers for food and medicinal purposes since ancient times, and they have long been part of the Mediterranean diet.
- Cucumbers help to stay hydrated: cucumbers contain 95% water which makes it a great way to stay hydrated, especially during summer or after work out. Adding cucumber and mint to water could make it more nutritional. It is important to stay hydrated so as to prevent kidney stones, constipation, and so on.
- Cucumbers promote bone health: Cucumber contains vitamin K, which is the key to bone health. One cup of cucumber with the peeling skin still on supplies over 20% of the recommended daily target of vitamin K. It is necessary for a blood clot and bone formation.
- Helps to fight free radicals: Cucumbers contain antioxidants such as beta carotene which helps to fight free radicals in the body, unpaired electrons that damage cells and can lead to disease.
- Cucumbers may help regulate diabetes: Cucumbers help to keep diabetes in check because they are rich in water, expand in the stomach, and reduce cravings for sugary snacks, which is a great way to regulate insulin levels.
Cucumbers are also beneficial to the skin. Putting them on the skin may help ease damaged skin, swelling, and sunburn pains. People do put a slice or two under their eyes, hoping to shrink bags.
Store cucumbers unpeeled in the refrigerator’s drawer. If they have a wax coating use them within a week. Don’t keep them at room temperature because they will become soft and limp.
Get yourself a nutritious CUCUMBER today, enjoy the goodness it contains, and stay healthy.