Include cucumber raita in your meals this coming summer. (Source: File Photo)
If you dread the change in weather and are looking for soothing options to keep yourself healthy, remember to include cucumber in your diet. Considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables that has an undeniable cooling effect, cucumbers are known for their ability to detoxify and cleanse the body along side several other benefits.
While many people prefer consuming cucumber or kheera in the form of a salad, an interesting way to savour it is to include it in a raita. This way you enjoy the benefits of cucumber as well as yogurt.
As a variation of raita that can also be used as a dip, cucumber raita is made by mixing together freshly chopped cucumber, green chillies, and yogurt, among other ingredients. It is quite popular in the summer months as it helps the body to beat the heat.
Here's why cucumber raita is good for you
Good quality yogurt is known to contain live bacterial culture such as Lactobacillus casei which helps strengthen the immune system. Yogurt also contains iodine, calcium and phosphorous. Cucumbers are a good source of caffeic acid and vitamin C which help prevent water retention in the body and reduce swelling.
Since cucumbers have a high water content with almost no calories, they are known for their antioxidant properties which lowers lipid profile. It is also effective against diabetes.
While cucumber is an ideal superfood for those looking to lose weight as they are not just low in calories but contain high amount of fibre, raita makes one feel fuller for longer, keeping hunger pangs away. This helps avoid unnecessary binge-eating.
Cucumber raita helps prevent constipation due to water and dietary fibre.
Since cucumber is a natural source of magnesium, fibre and potassium, it also helps keep blood pressure in check.
Here's how to make cucumber raita
2 - Cucumbers (Peeled, seeded, and chopped)
1 - Onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp - Salt
2 cups - Yogurt
1/2 tsp - Ground cumin
1 tsp - Black pepper
*Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and let it stand for half hour.
*Add yogurt, cumin, and pepper. Mix well.
*Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.