The Unsung Benefits of a Cucumber Salad

When most think of the foods highest in health benefits, we often don’t focus on cucumbers. In fact, this fruit (yes, it’s technically a fruit) hardly gets the attention it deserves in comparison to other members of its family, such as melons and squash – but it should! Cucumbers are essential to healthy skin and nails due to its high amount of the mineral silica.

What else does silica do? It helps to increase bone mineral density, making us less prone to osteoporosis. In addition to helping us with strong bones and nails, cucumbers are low in calories and high in fiber, making it one of the best foods around if you’re looking to lose a few pounds!

Cucumber-Tomato Salad
Makes 10 Servings (Serving Size: 1/2 cup)

Ingredients
6 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh garlic, fine chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp fresh jalapeño pepper, minced, skinless & seedless*
2 cups cucumber, small dice, peeled and deseeded
2 cups fresh tomatoes, small dice
1 cup sweet onion, small dice

Directions
In a large mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in extra-virgin olive oil. Add cilantro, jalapeño, and mix until blended. Add cucumbers, tomato and onion, mix well and serve.

*Jalapeño chili preparation: It is best to wear vinyl or synthetic gloves or wash hands frequently while handling jalapeno peppers. Begin by placing jalapeño peppers under broiler or above open flame just until the skin blisters; do not over-blacken. Wrap in cellophane or plastic wrap and allow to “sweat” and cool for two minutes. Scrape off and remove the blistered, lightly blackened skin without rinsing (to preserve roasted pepper juice/flavor), cut in half, remove seeds, chop and use as directed.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories: 160
Sodium: 280 mg
Sugars: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 1 g
Carbohydrate: 6 g