The cucumber is the fruit formed by rather tall stems and leaves that alternate along the whole trunk: the fruit has an elongated shape (measuring from 20 to 30 cm).
It is covered with small bumps, dark green skin, and light green inner flesh with white seeds that are slightly watery and bitter taste. Get the collection of cucumber coloring pages here.
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The first cultivations of this vegetable date back to 5000 years ago and were located at the foot of the Himalayas.
The plant, belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, was probably introduced into the Mediterranean basin by the Egyptians.
Smaller cucumbers are generally used for pickling. When you decide to buy some cucumbers, it is good to choose them, not too big or small.
Make sure they are not dented or shriveled because, in that case, the flesh will be less firm and more watery, and therefore, the taste will be particularly bland.
If you are not particularly fond of the seeds they contain, remember to choose the smaller ones because they have a smaller quantity.
Usually, the cucumber is eaten raw and cut into thin slices, but it can also be cooked. When it is still small and, therefore, particularly tender, it can be used for preserving in oil, pickled, or under salt.
Since it is difficult to digest, some suggest cutting it into slices the day before consumption and then sprinkling it with a bit of salt and leaving it to dry on a sloping surface.
On the other hand, I believe it is necessary to consume it immediately after cutting it to digest it.
Cucumbers are rich in water, so they are considered particularly refreshing and purifying. This characteristic is essential for the activity of our kidneys.
Also, they have very few calories and are therefore widely used in slimming diets. They contain provitamin A, the B complex vitamins, vitamin C and are rich in potassium, iron, calcium, iodine, and manganese.
They help the kidneys to eliminate liquids and toxins improve the activity of the liver and pancreas. Cucumber pulp is used as a diuretic and detoxifier.
The water and mineral salts it contains are beneficial to counterbalance acidic foods. The ancients also used it to eradicate intestinal worms and to lower fever.
Cucumbers are also well used for gout, a disease due to excessive uric acid in the blood and tissues (which makes the limbs swell).
The enzymes in cucumbers help the body assimilate proteins, purify, and detoxify the intestine. The same active ingredients also help prevent the formation of kidney and bladder stones.
By eating cucumbers regularly, constipation is combated. They are also handy for intestinal cleansing and lubricating the joints.