Cucumbers – A Fat Magical Wand – Wave It Inside and Out for Health and Beauty

As the summer heat wilts your skin, your smile, and your appetite, focus on cool fruit and vegetable snacks.  My favorite summer skin refresher is the cucumber.   The more I learn about cucumbers there more astounded I am by all of its magical properties. Who knew?!

Cucumbers, scientifically known as Cucumis sativus, belong to the same botanical family as melons (including watermelon and cantaloupe) and squashes (including summer squash, winter squash, zucchini and pumpkin).  I became addicted to them thanks to the innovative cooking of the Serbian grandmother of my child.  At every meal grandma serves a cucumber salad. Sometimes the cucumbers are chopped and mixed with plain yogurt, dill, lemon juice and olive oil and sometimes with mint and feta.

Cucumbers are an excellent palate cleanser and refresh the mouth and breath.  (They are also a fantastic flirtation-starter for those of you who like to send a suggestive message to the opposite sex in the vegetable aisle of the store… Though some men may wilt when faced with the more intimidating specimens of Cucumis sativus, a little fondling of the impressive cucumber may rev your engines…And who knows what could happen then?)

But why are they so magical?? Here are 30 reasons:

cucumbers

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Anti-Aging Chef Francois Bronn’s Latest Recipe: Warm Roasted Pumpkin Salad

Everything about this salad is magical!  The key is to serve the pumpkin straight from the oven, with warming aromas of spice and citrus perfuming the air.   It’s the perfect way to start an autumn evening.
The nutrients in pumpkin are first class. Extremely high in fiber and low in calories, pumpkin packs an abundance of disease-fighting nutrients, including potassium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and vitamins C and E.   Pumpkins are a super foods because of their synergistic combination of carotenoids. Pumpkin contains one of the richest supplies of bio-available carotenoids known to man. Indeed, a half-cup serving of pumpkin gives you more than two times the recommended daily dietary intake of alpha-carotene and 100% of the recommended daily dietary goal of beta-carotene.  Be sure to save the seeds by the way.  Pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses wrapped up in a very small package, with a wide variety of nutrients ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc.  They contain a wide array of beneficial plant compounds known as phytosterols and free-radical scavenging antioxidants. Continue reading