Know Why Cucumbers Are Essential In Your Summer Diet

In the sweltering heat of the Indian summer, finding ways to stay cool and hydrated becomes a daily challenge. One of the simplest and most effective solutions lies in a humble vegetable that graces our plates regularly: the cucumber. Crisp, refreshing, and hydrating, cucumbers are a staple in Indian households during the hot months. Not only do they provide relief from the heat, but they also come packed with numerous health benefits. Let’s explore why cucumbers are essential during summer and how to store them correctly to keep them fresh. 

Why Cucumbers Are Essential During Summer 

Cucumbers are more than just a crunchy addition to salads; they are a powerhouse of hydration and nutrition. Here’s why they are a summer essential: 

Hydration: Cucumbers are composed of about 95% water, making them an excellent source of hydration. Consuming cucumbers helps replenish the body's water levels, crucial during the hot summer months to prevent dehydration. 

Cooling Effect: The natural cooling properties of cucumbers help reduce body heat. Eating cucumbers can help soothe your digestive system and maintain a cool internal body temperature. 

Rich in Nutrients: Cucumbers are low in calories but high in essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. These nutrients are vital for maintaining overall health and well-being. 

Detoxification: Cucumbers act as a natural detoxifier, flushing out toxins from the body. The high water content and fibre aid in digestion and cleanse the digestive tract. 

Skin Health: The antioxidants in cucumbers, including vitamin C and caffeic acid, help to rejuvenate the skin. They combat inflammation, reduce swelling, and promote a healthy, glowing complexion. 

5 Ways to Store Cucumbers Right 

Store in the Refrigerator 

The most effective way to store cucumbers is to keep them in the refrigerator. Place them in the crisper drawer, which is designed to maintain an optimal humidity level. Store them in perforated plastic bags or wrap them in a damp paper towel to retain moisture without causing excess condensation. This method can keep cucumbers fresh for up to a week. 

Avoid Storing Near Ethylene-Producing Fruits 

Cucumbers are sensitive to ethylene, a natural gas produced by some fruits like apples, bananas, and tomatoes. Exposure to ethylene accelerates the ripening process, causing cucumbers to spoil faster. Store cucumbers separately from these fruits to extend their shelf life. Keeping them in a designated vegetable drawer can help prevent premature ripening and spoilage. 

Wrap in Aluminium Foil 

For longer storage, wrap cucumbers individually in aluminium foil. This method helps retain their moisture while allowing some air to circulate, preventing them from becoming slimy. Wrapped cucumbers can stay fresh for up to two weeks. Ensure the foil is wrapped snugly but not too tight to allow for slight air circulation. 

Store in a Jar of Water 

An unconventional but effective method is storing cucumbers in a jar of water. Slice the cucumbers and place them in a jar, then fill it with cold water. Seal the jar with a lid and store it in the refrigerator. Change the water every couple of days to keep the cucumbers crisp. .This method is particularly useful if you’ve already sliced the cucumbers and want to keep them fresh. 

Pickling for Extended Storage

For those who want to enjoy cucumbers beyond the summer season, pickling is an excellent option. Slice the cucumbers and place them in a brine solution made of water, vinegar, salt, and spices. Store the pickled cucumbers in sterilised jars and keep them in the refrigerator. Pickling not only extends the shelf life but also adds a tangy flavour, perfect for adding zest to your meals.