Although you may think of cucumbers as vegetables, they are indeed a fruit. They are part of the Cucurbitaceae plant family, similar to pumpkins and watermelons and basically grow from the ovaries of flowering plants.
The most common type of cucumber on the market is the Cucumis Sativus or garden cucumber. They are rich in essential nutrients, antioxidants and plant compounds that prevent many health problems.
Cucumbers are also low in calories and contain a good amount of water, making them an ideal food for hydration and weight loss. In fact, they are about 96% water.
Cucumber Nutrition Information
A medium raw, unpeeled cucumber contains the following nutrients:
- Calories – 30
- Water- 95%
- Carbohydrates – 6 grams
- Total fat – 0 grams
- Fiber – 2 grams
- Protein – 3 grams
- Vitamin C- 10%
- Vitamin K- 57%
- Potassium – 12%
- Magnesium – 9%
- Manganese – 9%
Some Awesome Health Benefits of Cucumbers
Besides having essential nutrients, cucumbers contain various important antioxidants, including lignans, flavonoids and triterpenes, which help fight cancer. Eating whole or peeled cucumbers also provides a good amount of fiber and beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps boost the immune system.
Here are some of the benefits of cucumber:
#1 Provides hydration
Water is arguably the best thing for quenching your thirst, but other water-rich foods like cucumbers are also great for providing proper hydration.
Since cucumbers are 95% water, they are good at rehydrating your body, especially during summers. You can snack on cucumbers after a long hectic day to replace the water and electrolytes your body needs.
#2 Regulates blood sugar levels
Cucumbers are non-starchy, which means they are one of the best foods for controlling blood sugar levels. Consuming non-starchy foods can potentially help satisfy cravings without raising blood sugar. The water, along with the fiber content of cucumbers, makes it an excellent choice for diabetic patients.
#3 Contains a high number of antioxidants
Antioxidants are primarily molecules that prevent oxidation and block free radicals that can lead to different types of chronic diseases.
The buildup of these free radicals has been linked to life-threatening diseases, such as cancer and autoimmune diseases of the lungs and heart. Cucumbers are full of excellent antioxidants that help reduce the risk of these health problems.
#4 Loaded with fiber
Cucumbers are one of the best sources of nutritious fiber that helps your body function efficiently. The excellent combination of water and fiber in cucumbers helps prevent digestive issues, such as constipation, and improves regularity.
#5 Promotes healthy skin and hair
Consuming cucumbers daily also provides benefits for skin and hair. They ensure healthy skin and keep acne, blemishes, wrinkles and fine lines at bay.
They can also be applied topically to the skin for rejuvenating and soothing purposes. Meanwhile, the silicon and sulfur present in cucumbers help give you strong and voluminous hair. Eating cucumbers regularly promotes good hair growth and results in soft, silky locks.
#6 Weight Loss Aid
Another great benefit of eating cucumbers is that they aid in weight loss and weight management. Since they are low in calories, you can eat them in abundance without consuming the extra calories that lead to weight gain.
You can also use them as a replacement for high calorie snacks. A cup of cucumber, about 104 grams, contains only 16 calories. Their high water content, on the other hand, also contributes to weight loss.
#7 Clear Kidney Stones Naturally
The water in cucumber helps flush out all the toxins from your body. It also prevents the formation of kidney stones and eliminates those that are already present in the bladder. Moreover, cucumbers also help in controlling uric acid levels in the body.
Cucumbers have a distinct, refreshing flavor and can be eaten fresh or included in sandwiches, salads and smoothies.
Often they are eaten raw as a low calorie snack combined with salt and olive oil to add an enhanced flavor. You can also hydrate your body with a glass of ice cold cucumber infused water or add mint and lemon to make a delicious and refreshing cucumber lemonade.
Dietitians and nutritionists recommend eating cucumbers with seeds without peeling the skin because they contain many essential nutrients and minerals that are beneficial for your body. Peeling the cucumber skin decreases the amount of fiber and other important minerals and vitamins.