Wait a minute! Cucumbers aren't herbs!

Actually the term "herb" is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as:

1.  a seed-producing annual, biennial, or perennial that does not develop persistent woody tissue but dies down at the end of a growing season

2.  a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities

So technically, a vegetable could also be an herb. Cucumbers are one of my favorite summertime vegetables and also provide many health benefits.

A folk remedy for splitting nails is to eat cucumber or drink the juice. Cucumber juice is also considered to be an effective treatment for kidney and bladder problems. Herbalists often recommend cucumber and carrot juice as a way to remove excess uric acid from the system, a common problem for those suffering from gout.

Want to lose weight? A large cucumber only has about 45 calories! Try munching on cucumber slices instead of potato chips. High blood pressure? Cukes are high in potassium and might therefore help reduce blood pressure.

Are allergies bothering your eyes? Lie down with a slice of cold cucumber over your eyes to relieve the itch, redness and puffiness. You'll feel refreshed and look younger too!

According to modern science, cucumbers have been determined to be high in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. They contain lignans, which have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and some cancers like breast, ovarian and prostate.

Even if you're perfectly healthy, cucumbers are a great way to rehydrate after a run in the sun or a day at the beach. And what's better than cool crisp cucumber salad or cucumber sandwiches on a hot summer day? 

I like to add cucumber slices to my smoothies and even to my iced water.

Check out my blog entry called, 6 Cool and Refreshing Summer Beverage Ideas for cucumber-infused water and other creative herb-infused waters.

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™