The humble cucumber if from the family Cucurbitaceae and is botanically recognised as Cucumis sativus. The cucumber is a popular plant used extensively as a fresh food as well as pickles.

Cucumbers are a vine that can be grown along the ground or trained along a trellis or other structure such as a garden arch or wooden frame. They are typically left to creep along the ground in most garden environments.

Like most members of the cucurbitaceae family, cucumber is a fruit but is typically used as a vegetable or in savoury dishes.

There are many and varied assumptions on the history of cucumber. It is most likely assumed that cucumber has been cultivated for consumption for more than 3,000 years. It is most likely that the cucumber was first seen around what is now present day India.

The unique taste of cucumber is found predominantly in the seed and the protective covering that surrounds the seed.

Cucumbers have a broad spectrum on nutrients. They are rather low in Dietary Fibre, Protein and Fat. They are a good source of Thiamine (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), Vitamin 6 and Folate (Vitamin B9). Cucumbers are also a good source of Vitamin C.

Cucumbers have basic minerals including Calcium, Zinc, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium and Phosphorous. They also average around 4% carbohydrate.

Cucumbers are great in salads and make excellent sandwiches. Old English parties and gatherings would not be complete without triangle cucumber sandwiches with crusts removed of course.

Cucumbers make excellent pickles either chunky or thinly sliced.

Cucumber has many benefits for our health. It has a potassium level that may assist in the maintenance of symptoms associated with high blood pressure and heart related health benefits.

Cucumber may assist in the treatment of symptoms associated with mouth ulcers as well as other dental and problems.

Some Interesting Facts about Cucumbers
- Cucumbers are more than 90% water, a natural diuretic they aid in assisting the promotion of the flow of urine.

- Because the most flavour is in cucumber seeds, the medium and smaller sized varieties tend to have more flavour.

- Some people assume the skin is poisonous on cucumbers. My father would always peel cucumber before slicing it. He would also cut the first inch off the end of cucumbers with a similar belief that they were poisonous. The skin is actually quiet high in nutrients and adds a small amount of flavour.

- Cucumbers are a fruit, but are typically treated as a vegetable.

- Cucumbers are amongst the oldest of cultivated vegetables.

Author's Bio: 

Eric J. Smith is an Experienced Horticulturalist with a keen interest in Organic Gardening. Eric's interest in Organics also shows in his interest in Organic Nutrition and Organic Skincare. More information can be found on these by visiting his websites for Organic Health related products and information on living an Organic Lifestyle for general health information and articles on living a Healthy Lifestyle.

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