Japanese Cucumber Diet May Aid Weight Loss

Cucumbers have been used since ancient times for weight loss benefits due to their high water and low-calorie content.

In addition to containing rich nutrients, cucumbers can help people to maintain an ideal weight, according to renowned Japanese physician Dr. Takashi Tsurumi, who is famous for his research on enzyme nutrition and introducing a simple cucumber weight loss method.

The method involves grinding cucumber into a pulp and including it in every meal.

“By incorporating plenty of enzymes from grated cucumbers and raw vegetables, which govern our vital functions, our metabolism is boosted, our intestinal environment is improved, and we achieve better health and maintain an ideal weight,” Tsurumi explains in his book “すりおろしキュウリダイエット (roughly translated as Grated Cucumber Diet).”

The secret Tsurami claims lie in enzymes, which are abundantly found in raw vegetables, fruits, and fermented food.

cucumber in glass dish
Cucumbers not only contain rich nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and vitamin E but also digestive enzymes that boost metabolism and improve our intestinal environment. (HandmadePictures/Shutterstock)

“Particularly, we discovered that cucumbers contain an enzyme called “lipase” which aids in breaking down fats,” Tsurumi said.

The main function of the digestive enzyme is expelling waste and toxins from the body, promoting metabolism, and breaking down dietary fat and excreting it from the body.

Lipase is also present in other vegetables like cabbage, kefir, and avocadoes, but Tsurumi says his research points to cucumbers having a stronger ability to break down fat compared to other foods containing lipase, and grinding cucumber into pulp breaks the cell membranes, which multiples the enzyme and increases its fat burning activity.

How the Diet Functions

Epoch Times Photo
Grated cucumber can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. (The Epoch Times)

The cucumber method involves adding grated cucumbers to daily meals.

“Mix them into dressings or use them as a substitute for grated daikon with grilled fish or meat,” Tsurumi advised.

“Simply chewing a whole cucumber slowly and thoroughly can also generate more enzymes than usual.

Tsurami advises that his research suggests that the best results are seen after following the “routine for at least a month.”

Making it Stick

However, nutritionist and registered dietitian Cynthia Sass says the cucumber diet is unlikely to satisfy the daily requirements for a number of key nutrients, including fibre and zinc, so she is doubtful that the results will stick in the long term.

Instead, she recommends a more balanced approach, such as cutting out processed foods made with sugar and refined carbohydrates and eating smaller portions.

But Tsurumi addresses this problem, saying that to make the cucumber weight loss method work over the long haul, people should try to accompany the cucumbers with a variety of other foods which contain nutrients that cucumbers lack, such as fat and proteins.

Eating them with meat, eggs, rice, noodles, salads, or as a smoothie may also prevent you from getting bored of eating them for a month.

Cucumber salad. (Shutterstock)

Diet Not For Everyone

Avoid heating the cucumber as the lipase enzyme in cucumbers is heat-sensitive and will break down when heated. If heating is necessary, ensure the temperature is below 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), as the activity of lipase will be lost above this temperature.

Although cucumbers have powerful benefits, they may not be suitable for everyone. People with weak spleen and stomach, diarrhea, and liver diseases should be cautious when consuming cucumbers.

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