Raita is a cooling addition to any meal in the summertime – especially if the dish is a little spicy. Cucumbers help reduce heat, especially the heat of Pitta. So, take a little Raita with each bite of your meal to cool it down. Perfect for hot sunny days when you need to cool down, chill out and reduce Pitta.
Eastern View: When we analyze the properties of cucumber based on ayurvedic principles, it pacifies pitta dosha.
Pitta dosha is associated with heat. Pitta when aggravated can cause acidity, heartburn, high blood pressure, irregular sleep pattern, acne, irritability, and emotional disturbances – especially irritability and anger.
Cucumber helps to reduce the aggravation of Pitta and cools down the body, and regular consumption aids in the elimination of toxins. Cucumber is also used as a herbal remedy for erectile dysfunction.
Western View: Cucumber rehydrates the body and replenishes vitamins – Cucumbers are 95% water so keeps the body hydrated and helps the liver in detoxification process.
Research has shown that cucumber contains three types of lignans and these lignans reduce the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancers. Cucumber also contain various phytochemicals. These compounds help to relieve bad breath and aid in weight loss and digestion. Adding cucumber to your meals can also help to relieve constipation.
Cucumber reduces cholesterol and controls blood pressure – cucumber juice contains a hormone that is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin which has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Researchers found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help to reduce cholesterol levels. Cucumber contains a lot of potassium, magnesium, and fiber. These work effectively to reduce blood pressure. This makes cucumber good for treating both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.
Cucumber also works on erectile dysfunction – it has been shown that the causative factors for erectile dysfunction are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, lack of minerals, and vitamins. Regular consumption of cucumber helps to control all these causes.
Cucumber promotes joint health, relieves gout and arthritis pain – Cucumber is an excellent source of silica which is known to promote joint health by strengthening the connective tissues.
This mighty vegetable is also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C and D, folate, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. When mixed with carrot juice they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering uric acid levels.
Cucumber, due to its cooling nature can be used for skin irritations and sunburns. The silicon and sulfur in cucumbers help to stimulate hair growth too.
Raita – Cucumber Relish
- 2 medium-size cucumbers
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cups plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
- Peel cucumbers, remove seeds and slice thinly
- Mix all ingredients together.
- (Salt, pepper, and mint to taste)
- Place in the refrigerator 30 minutes or more to allow all the flavors to blend.
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