Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Uses for Cucumbers That Will Amaze You

Cucumbers are very easy to grow and make for a delicious treat. But did you know they can prevent hangovers, or clean the kitchen sink? Below is a list of tips and tricks you can do with cucumbers that you do not want to miss!

Cucumber Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits - Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day. Just one cucumber contains vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.

Cucumbers for Energy - Feeling tired in the afternoon? Put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours, not to mention the extra water - some research shows that as many as 40% of Americans do not drink enough.

Un-Fog Mirrors With Cucumber for a Spa-like Fragrance - Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

Get Rid of Grubs With an Aluminum Pie Tin - Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Some say that all you need to do is place a few slices of your new friend (the cucumber) in a small pie tin, and your garden will be free of grubs and some other pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

Cucumbers to Curb Hunger - Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

The Secret Super Cleaning Powers of the Mighty Cucumber - Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks, or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean; not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but it won’t leave streaks, and won’t harm your fingers or fingernails while you clean.

Hangover Cure - Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache-free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins, and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache. On top of that, they're 90% water, something your body will need after a little too much celebrating.

Freshen Your Breath (When There is No Mint in Sight) - Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath.

Emergency Shoe Polish - Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
Squeaky Hinge? - Out of WD-40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone - at least long enough for you to get your hands on a more enduring lubricant.

Steam Away Stress - Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial, or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water; the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

Magic Eraser - Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing. The outside of the cucumber also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls -- and when you're done, you can peel and eat the cucumber for a healthy and guilt-free snack.

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Health Benefits of Cucumber

"A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing," offered 18th-century author Samuel Johnson. Johnson’s commentary on the cucumber came well before selective breeding had eliminated much of the bitterness of the vegetable. The author also was lacking current knowledge of the considerable benefits of the now-mild tasting cucumber. The cucumber is a source of slow-release energy and a potent tool in your efforts to lose weight.

History and Background - Although the cucumber is famously held in high regard by the British, its early history lay in the Mediterranean region, where Greeks, Romans and Egyptians cultivated it since about 4000 to 3000 B.C. The cucumber migrated up to France and eventually to England by the 1300s. It was brought to the New World by Christopher Columbus and has made its way across the globe, appearing in cuisines around the world in salads, sandwiches, salsas, relishes and sauces, such as Indian raitas and Greek tzaziki.

A member of the squash family and cousin to zucchinis and watermelon, the cucumber has never attained the status or popularity of other vegetables that are eaten raw, such as lettuce, celery and carrots. Set aside whatever bias you might harbor, however. It’s time to invite the lowly cucumber to your daily plate, especially if you are trying to lose weight.