Raaz K Maheshwari1, Lalit Mohan 2, Jayant Malhotra4, Bhavana Updhuay5, Bina Rani*5
1Department of Chemistry, SBRM Govt PG College, Nagaur, Rajasthan
2Department of Zoology, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Agra, UP
3Department of Chemistry, Govt College, Surat Garh, Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan
4Department of Zoology, Agra PG College, Agra, UP
5Department of Engineering Chemistry & Environmental engineering, PCE, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Cucumber (Cucumis sativas) is one of the very low calorie veggies; provide just 15 calories/ 100 g. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Cucumber peel is a good source of dietary fiber that helps reduce constipation, and offer some protection against colon cancers by eliminating toxic compounds from the gut. It’s found that the caffeic acid found in Cucumis sativas helps to prevent water retention and when applied topically, helps reduce puffy and swollen eyes. It is a very good source of K (- a heart friendly electrolyte helps bring a reduction in total blood pressure and heart rates by countering effects of Na), an important intracellular electrolyte. 100 g of cucumber provides 147 mg of K but only 2 mg of Na. Cucumbers contains unique anti-oxidants in moderate ratios such as β-carotene and α-carotene, vitamin-C, vitamin-A, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and ROS that play a role in aging and various disease processes. Their total antioxidant strength, measured in terms of ORAC value, is 214 µmol TE/100 g. Cucumbers have mild diuretic property. Surprisingly cucumber has high amount of vitamin K (17 µg of this vitamin/ 100 g). Specific phytonutrients provided by cucumbers include Flavonoids viz. apigenin, a luleolin, a quercetin; a kaempferol, Lignans viz. pinoresinol, lariciresinol, secoisolariciresinol, Triterpenes viz. cucurbitacin A; cucurbitacin B; cucurbitacin C, cucurbitacin D. These three types of phytonutrients found in cucumbers provide us with valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. We used to think that cucumber is too “cooling” for the bones. On the contrary, cucumber really helps counter inflammation in joints by removing the uric acid crystallization. Cucumber accomplishes this task by inhibiting activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes like COX-2, and by preventing overproduction of nitric oxide in situations where it could increase the likelihood of excessive inflammation. Research on the anti-cancer benefits of cucumber is still in its preliminary stage and has been restricted thus far to lab and animal studies. Interestingly, however, many pharmaceutical companies are actively studying one group of compounds found in cucumber called cucurbitacins in the hope that their research may lead to development of new anti-cancer drugs.
Keywords: Silica, Lignans, Ascorbic acid, Caffeic acid, ORAC, ROS, Vitamins & Minerals, Fibres, Diuretic, Antioxidants, COX2, Flavonoids, Terpenes.