Health Red and Green: Benefits of cucumbers and tomatoes for your health
It has been scientifically proven that as the proportion of plant fiber in the diet increases, the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer decreases significantly. But did you know that it is tomatoes and cucumbers that occupy extremely stable positions here?
Cucumbers, which came to us from ancient India, were historically grown not only for food, but also for medicinal purposes. The fact is that this plant, which has a mild, refreshing taste, contains a lot of water that is rich in electrolytes. And they play a key role in maintaining intestinal health, preventing constipation and kidney stones.
Vitamin K in cucumbers helps with blood clotting, potassium normalizes blood pressure, calcium supports bone health, magnesium protects against fatigue. Meanwhile, one medium-sized cucumber can give us 60% of the daily ratio of vitamin K and more than 10% of the daily dose of potassium, calcium and magnesium.
And cucurbitacin, the chemical that gives cucumbers that bitter taste, not only has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects, but also lowers blood sugar levels. Cucumbers in general have a low glycemic index score because they provide our bodies with essential nutrients without adding carbohydrates. The caloric value of cucumbers is extremely low (14 kcal per 100 grams), which makes them an ideal dietary product.
The beneficial effects of cucumber on the skin are also widely known. Cucumber slices applied directly to the face can help cool and soothe the dermis, reducing swelling and irritation.
It is also important to note that cucumber is a low-allergenic product. And that makes it safe for most people.
In addition, recent scientific research shows that cucumbers contain lignans – antioxidants that help remove free radicals from the body that can trigger various types of ailments.
Cucumbers are usually eaten fresh. Their delicate taste is perfectly combined with most food products: meat, fish, cheeses, cereals – which makes them a versatile additive to almost any dish.
And what about the tomato? It is truly a superfood that not only tastes great, but also a rich set of nutrients for the benefit of all systems of our body.
In comparison with cucumber, tomato is a very nutritious vegetable food, since it is almost twice as high in calories. However, both vegetables remain extremely low-calorie foods, which makes them a favorite of anyone who intends to get rid of excess weight.
The tomato also wins in the content of most vitamins with the exception of vitamin K. For example, vitamin A, which is responsible not only for vision, but also for skin and bone tissue, is 10 times more in tomatoes, and vitamin C is 2.5 times more.
Tomatoes also differ in that they are well tolerated by mechanical and heat treatment. Grinding them for sauces and juices, stewing them, we only contribute to the release of lycopene, an antioxidant that lowers blood cholesterol, stabilizes blood pressure, and also has anti-cancer properties.
The combination in tomatoes of vitamin C, potassium, fiber and choline, a vitamin-like substance that prevents Alzheimer's disease, is important for heart health. That's why tomatoes are one of the elements of the Mediterranean diet, known for its effectiveness in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Along with cucumber, tomato contains a large amount of water, which is critical for the stable functioning of the kidneys and bladder. Combined with fiber, this moisture works great for cleansing and normal intestinal function. Rich in B vitamins, tomatoes help improve complexion, smooth out wrinkles and rejuvenate the skin as a whole.
If you add to this pleasant taste, bright "summer" color and the ability to add to almost any dish from sandwiches to soups, it becomes clear why tomatoes are in the top five most popular vegetables on the world market.
Tomatoes, like cucumbers, should definitely be on our menu regularly. As do most other vegetables. After all, it is this variety that provides us with a balanced diet, which means stable health and the necessary level of energy.