it’s hard to be excited about the benefits of a cucumber but let’s talk about cucumbers in general now sometimes i will switch it up instead of having a big salad i’ll have a couple cucumbers and it’s interesting because the cucumber has 73 different phenolic compounds which are just a type of phytonutrient and another unique thing about cucumbers is they have certain phytonutrients that are in cruciferous vegetables but not in other vegetables except cucumbers .
there’s five basic benefits from cucumbers health-wise they help stabilize your blood sugars they help stabilize your cholesterol by helping reduce ldl increasing the decreasing triglycerides also they’re a good anti-inflammatory they are loaded with antioxidants very powerful antioxidants.
all these right here and plus they provide fiber to make butyrate so your microbes can take that fiber and turn it into small chain fatty acids and this helps with insulin resistance it feeds the colon cells it gives the colon cells energy, the question is how do we extract these phytonutrients and a lot of them are fat soluble now in order to extract these from plants.
there’s three main things you can do one is you can ferment them okay when you ferment a vegetable now that’s different from pickling which i’ll talk about in a second when you ferment them you actually release more phytonutrients.
you make more phytonutrients available for you to use so when you go to the grocery store the great majority of pickles are basically just cucumbers with some added acid when you do that you do not enhance the phytonutrients you don’t make them more available now when you eat pickled anything it’s going to help your digestion to some degree but you’re not going to get the maximum benefits of getting these right here.
but when you ferment them you will so one of the brands that i recommend is bubbies pickles they have sauerkraut really high quality product and that’s a true fermented product where they add a bacteria lactobacillus and then what happens it ferments the carbohydrate and you get lactic acid it takes longer but you have the release of these phytonutrients so i would always recommend if you’re going to eat pickles go with the fermented pickles it should say it right on the label you’ll just get more health benefits so that’s the first way to extract these fat soluble phytonutrients from vegetables.
the next way is to steam them a little bit don’t overcook them but when you steam them you will also release some of the phytonutrients which is interesting and the last thing you can do is you could eat them with fat and what i do is i do cucumbers with hummus not the typical hummus that has the soy oil or even the safflower oil i want it with the olive oil so i get my hummus from the farmer’s market or i will go to a healthy store to find it.
adding some of the tahini butter which isn’t a fat with cucumber will help you extract these phytonutrients now you can also add olive oil so you cut your cucumber on your salad add olive oil and you’ll extract it that way as well but these are the three ways to enhance the phytonutrients from plants.