Cucumber sea or commonly called sea cucumbers are marine animals full of nutrition. In Asian countries like China, these animals are often used as food ingredients and traditional medicine because they are believed to have good properties for the body.
Although the shape is less attractive, sea cucumbers are often used as exotic foods. These animals can be eaten while still fresh or can also be dried which is then used to become a traditional Asian food ingredient.
Nutrition found in sea cucumbers
- In 112 grams of sea cucumber there are nutrients as follows:
- Fat: less than 1 gram
- Calories: 60
- Protein: 14 grams
- Vitamin A, B2 (riboflavin), and B3 (niacin)
- Minerals, calcium and magnesium
Cucumber sea not only contains protein, vitamins and minerals but also contains several substances that are good for health. Phenols and antioxidant flavonoids found in sea cucumber have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body.
The benefits of sea cucumber that are rich in nutrients can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and neurological conditions due to aging such as Alzheimer’s. These marine animals are also rich in triterpena glycoside compounds which have antifungal, antitumor properties, and can enhance immunity.
Benefits of sea cucumber for health
1. Maintain heart health
Several studies have shown promising results about the benefits of sea cucumber to improve conditions of metabolic disorders, which cause cardiovascular disease. The results stated after testing rats with high blood pressure that were fed sea cucumber extract. Rats with hypertension have successfully shown a significant decrease in blood pressure, compared to mice that were not given food extracts of these marine animals.
From this study it can be concluded that the benefits of sea cucumber can cause a significant decrease in total cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL cholesterol levels. However, further research is needed to find out whether consumption of sea cucumbers by humans will have the same effect on heart conditions.
2. Treating cancer
Compounds found in sea cucumbers have the potential to have anticancer effects. The evidence obtained is only based on laboratory tests, but the initial results are considered quite promising. A study found that the compound frondanol-A5P in developing sea cucumbers helps treat pancreatic cancer. Tests on human pancreatic cancer cells show that sea cucumber extract can trigger apoptosis or death of cancer cells.
3. Prevents infections of the gums and mouth
The benefits of sea cucumber might prevent infection in the mouth due to the fungus Candida albicans. Fungal infections in the mouth can generally attack people with low body immunity such as, the elderly, people with HIV / AIDS, or people who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
In that study, eight adults were given jelly containing sea cucumber extract. While nine other adults were given placebo jelly. After consuming the jelly for seven days, both groups of study participants underwent a swab in their mouths. The result, the group given jelly with sea cucumber extract had a smaller number of Candida albicans mushrooms in their mouth when compared to the group that did not consume placebo.
However, further research is needed to determine whether holotoxins (active sea cucumber compounds that have the effect of eradicating fungi) can also be used to treat oral infections caused by germs.
In a series of laboratory tests showed that sea cucumber extract can inhibit the growth of E. coli, S. aureus, and S. typhi. Test results on mice even show the potential of sea cucumber extract to help fight sepsis or bacterial infections that spread to all organs of the body through the bloodstream.
5. Prevents wrinkles on the skin
Besides good for health, the benefits of sea cucumber can also prevent wrinkles on the skin. A study in the UK found that sea cucumber animals can overcome thin skin, fine lines and dry skin on adults. This happens because sea cucumber has a peptide containing collagen to soften skin tissue and keep the skin from being damaged.