Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hail to the lowly cucumber


My garden has produced an embarrassment of cucumbers this year. Friends and family have been inundated with my cucumbers for almost a month now.

One friend, a recipient of my cucumber largesse, said he gained a new appreciation for cukes after reading on the internet about them.

Here, then, are a dozen reasons to appreciate cucumbers:

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day. Just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, folic acid, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon? Put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers can provide that quick pick-me-up that lasts for hours.


3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive away garden pests.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes. The phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite.

6. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers were used for centuries by European trappers, traders and explorers for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

7. 
Have an important meeting and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe. Its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

8. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

9. 
Stressed out and don't have time for a massage or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water. The chemicals and nutrients will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress.

10. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath.

11. Looking for a green way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean. Not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks.

12. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the ink. Also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls.

So, no dissing of cucumbers around here.

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