(NaturalHealth365) An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but a cucumber a day could just as easily keep your physician on hold. While you may not hear a lot about the health benefits of cucumber, this garden favorite is packed with a wide variety of nutrients – which offer a long list of health benefits.
Among those many health advantages appears to be a reduction in loss of memory and even the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have found that a component of cucumbers – a flavonol known as fisetin – has the ability to ward off memory loss. In addition, studies have found that cucumbers can inhibit the spread of cancer.
Prevent memory loss with a little-known ingredient in cucumbers
Like other fruits and vegetables, cucumbers are among the healthy choices you can make as a foundation for your diet, yet they typically receive little notice for their health benefits. Normally, cucumbers are popular additions to any tossed salad or added to a sandwich. And, while the taste of cucumbers can be a bit plain compared to other members of the squash family, they’re enjoyed for their thirst-quenching and cooling qualities. (especially in the summer)
But there’s more to cucumbers than just their ‘cool taste.’ A study out of Salk Institute for Biological Studies provides further evidence that memory loss does not have to be a natural part of the aging process. This study found that cucumbers can play a significant role in improving memory and even preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers studied mice that normally develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s, including memory loss. They found that memory loss and other impairments could be slowed or prevented by giving a daily dose of the flavonol fisetin – found abundantly in cucumbers and strawberries, but also in other plant-based foods.
In a surprising twist, the improvement was seen despite continued formation of amyloid plaques, the brain proteins thought to be behind the development of Alzheimer’s. Animals without signs of Alzheimer’s were also found to exhibit memory improvement when administered fisetin. These findings could have astounding implications for reducing the occurrence of Alzheimer’s and memory disorder in humans.
It is believed that fisetin improves memory by turning on a cellular pathway linked to the retrieval of memories in the brain. Previous studies spanning a decade or more have shown fisetin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant impacts on brain cells, helping to protect brain neurons from aging and age-related effects. Coupled with the latest study linking fisetin to the prevention of Alzheimer’s, cucumbers, strawberries and other fruits and vegetables containing this powerful compound may be highly beneficial for those at greatest risk for Alzheimer’s.
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Extra benefits of cucumber include hydration and healthy gut support
While the potential for cucumbers to be used in treating those at risk for Alzheimer’s is exciting, the health benefits of cucumber consumption goes even beyond these findings. Those with digestive problems may find that eating cucumbers will ease their discomfort. Cucumbers are known to be alkalizing – which will help to regulate the body’s pH and neutralize acidity.
This cool green vegetable has also been shown to regulate blood pressure and, in hot weather, normalize body temperature. Cucumbers have also been shown to contribute to the healthy structure of connective tissues in the body – including those found in ligaments, cartilage, tendons, bones and muscles.
Still, the list of documented health benefits continues. Cucumber juice is a natural diuretic – helping to prevent kidney stones. Plus, for those suffering from inflammation in the joints and other areas of the body, cucumbers have been shown to prevent the effects of uric acid deposits – which can cause pain.
Finally, as if the other benefits weren’t enough, cucumbers have been shown to promote healthy hair growth and skin tone. This perfect food can even help you reduce the effects of skin disorders, such as eczema, acne and psoriasis. So, what are you waiting for? (enjoy!)