Monday, June 21, 2010

Revenge of the Nerd

Is it possible to be a food nerd? I think perhaps. I think, perhaps, I may be one.

Let's survey the scene. I spot a brilliant green, not fully forest green, yet deeper and richer than emerald. The landscape is smooth, but not without its tiny ridges, shallow dips; a gentle terrain. Hearty. Certain. Further exploration unlocks a cool oasis, refreshing, hydrating, and brilliantly light. The soft aroma of a summer day's respite wraps the senses, and I think, "Surely, it is here that my heart delights."

But what joy is this? Ah, the mighty cucumber.

Yes, seriously. You may feel that you can answer my opening question already, but read on, for no man is an island.

The cucumber is a mighty vegetable, indeed. For starters, the cucumber is a very alkalizing vegetable. Acid-alkaline balance, or pH, is a major point of interest when it comes to health. Did you know that the body maintains a pH of just about 7.35? It must, or you would not be reading this now. That means that, with 7.0 being neutral, we are slightly alkaline. Yet much of the modern day diet is acid forming, meaning that the foods are acidic once processed by your body, including foods like meat, dairy, refined sugar, grains, coffee, soft drinks, and so on.

Have you heard that soda leeches calcium from the bones? I grew up knowing that, though not why. Here's why. The body has a store of alkalizing power, and this is calcium, stored in the bones. When the internal homeostasis is threatened by a tip towards acidity, the body will rapidly adjust to stabilize the environment by utilizing this alkalizing mineral. Over time, this breakdown can lead to conditions like osteoporosis.

What's more, an acidic environment is a great breeding ground for many diseases, like cancer, and even overgrowth of microbes, like Candida albicans, a yeast present in the body that can become a fungus and invade the system if not kept in check. Candida overgrowth is another widespread condition that may be at the root of a multitude of symptoms and conditions.

Cucumber is a great help in keeping a good balance that prevents these complications to health. But there's more! Cucumber is also rich in silica, the mineral that is used to rebuild bones. That's fighting power against the loss of bone density times two! This also brings great benefits for the skin, hair and nails.

Those with challenges in the area of blood sugar levels such as Diabetes and hyperglycemia also benefit from the cucumber. The skin of this vegetable contains phytochemicals (plant chemicals) that help the body to better utilize its own insulin. The organic cucumber is the best choice in order to avoid the pesticides and wax that coat the commercially grown cucumbers.

I recognize that my excitement may not be reflective of everyone's, but seriously! You're not excited? Sure you are.

I can admit it, own it: I am a nerd. But I know I am not alone.

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