Cucumber: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Cucumber: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Overview

Cucumber is always outstanding among the most popular fruits in the globe, but wait a minute.

You may find something wrong here? No.

In fact, it is scientifically true that cucumber is a fruit, rather than vegetable as many of us have assumed for a long time.

Cucumber can be eaten raw, and it is also commonly used in many salad or main courses. The fresh and cool flavor of cucumber is really unique.

You may be so familiar with dark green, long and smooth cucumber everywhere that you assume there is only one type of cucumber.

But in fact, cucumber varies in sizes, shapes and colors. There are even yellow or orange cucumbers.

Whether the climate is tropical or temperate, cucumber can grow. As a result, it is quite difficult to define the first place where cucumber appeared.

According to some evolutionary evidence, cucumber is claimed to emerge first in Western Asia or the Middle East.

About 3,300 years after its first appearance, cucumber made its way to Europe and then, in the 1500’s, it was brought to North America by European explorers.

Nowadays, the number of cucumbers produced every year all around the world comes up to over 84 billion pounds.

China is the leading provider of cucumbers, followed by Iran and Mexico.

Nutrition Facts

Cucumber - Nutrition Facts

The main content of cucumber is water which accounts for over 95 percent (1).

Besides, cucumber is quite low in calories with only 15 calories per 100 grams of serving.

The amount of carbs and protein in cucumber is not considerable either.

There are moderate amounts of vitamins and essential minerals found in cucumber, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium or vitamins C, A, B6,…

Health Benefits of Cucumber

Since cucumber is very popular, you probably hear a lot of about cucumber nutrition and its health benefits. But if all what you are concerned about is its effect on the skin, you definitely need to know more.

Behind the habit of eating cucumber or drinking its juice regularly are various advantages that you can profit from.

Here are top 8 health benefits of cucumber that have been the heart of many studies for ages.

1. Constipation

One of the best health benefits of cucumber comes from its natural content of water and fiber.

Furthermore, the high content of water in cucumber is considered as even purer than ordinary water.

Thus, cucumber is suitable to deal with treatment for some digestive problems, namely, constipation (2) (3).

According to some reports, a considerable proportion of American population like including cucumber in salad to provide their body with enough fiber.

Besides, cucumber is loaded with vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and potassium, which are beneficial for digestion as well.

Bottom Line: Containing much fiber and water, cucumber is a great relief for those suffering from constipation and other digestive problems.

2. Skin

Cucumber - Skin Health

Undoubtedly, one of the most famous health benefits of cucumber is to improve the skin health.

We are probably very familiar with the image of women putting cucumber slices on their face regularly.

It is so common that we can easily see it whether on TV or in the real life.

Scientifically speaking, silica which is present in cucumber plays an important role in strengthening tissues in your muscles or bone (4) (5).

As a result, silica is responsible for a healthy and bright skin.

The abundance of vitamins in cucumber is also good for maintaining skin health and preventing dryness.

Moreover, with its watery content, cucumber can prevent dehydration, which is the main cause for many skin problems (6).

Bottom Line: Thanks to silica and other beneficial compounds, cucumber is a great choice to help you have healthy and flawless skin.

3. Blood Pressure

Among top health benefits of cucumber, it would be a flaw if we forgot its effects on the blood pressure.

Some research focused on the use of foods which are rich in fiber and minerals, like cucumber.

The results illustrated that the blood pressure in these people remained stable at normal level (7).

4. Dehydration

Because more than 90 percent of cucumber’s content is water, it is undeniable that one of the best benefits of cucumber is to avoid dehydration.

Dehydration refers to the condition in which your body experiences a lack of fluid.

A series of problems might be caused by dehydration, even the malfunction of the brain (8) (9).

The consumption of cucumber juice will supply your body with a sufficient amount of fluid which is even of better than water.

5. Weight Loss

Cucumber - Weight Loss

As cucumber is rich in water and low in calories, one of top health benefits of cucumber is to support weight loss.

Its watery content will keep your fullness for longer and thus, you can reduce the daily consumption of foods.

In addition, the amount of dietary fiber in cucumber is beneficial for digestive system, which accelerates the digestion of foods.

This will help you control weight more easily (10) (11).

There is a variety of ways to use cucumber in weight loss process. You can include it into salad or soup or even eat it raw.

Bottom Line: Cucumber which contains much water and less calories will have positive impacts on weight loss.

6. Diabetes

Cucumber has been famous to contribute to the diabetic treatment for thousands of years.

Regarding the Glycemic Index which measures the effects of foods on the blood glucose level, the score for cucumber is practically zero (12).

In other words, cucumber is one of the best ingredients for diabetic patients.

On the other hand, a diet which consists of much fiber is beneficial for diabetes as it lowers the risk by one-fifth (13).

Bottom Line: With low ranking in the Glycemic Index and its rich amount of fiber, cucumber can speed up the treatment for diabetes.

7. Against Cancer

The cucumber health benefits on the protection against cancer mainly results from its number of lignans.

For long, the effects of lignans have been researched.

Early results indicated the effectiveness of these compounds to reduce the risk of many types of cancer (14) (15).

For example, in one study, lignans are reported to be associated with a reduction in the exposure to breast cancer (16).

Nevertheless, it still takes more time to make a final conclusion about the use of cucumber to cope with cancer.

Bottom Line: Despite the need for further research, cucumber is still one of the most promising choices to prevent cancer.

8. Bone Health

Cucumber - Bone Health

When it comes to cucumber nutrition facts, it is imperative to remember that it is full of vitamin K as well.

Therefore, health benefits of cucumber on the bone health can be clear.

A lot of evidence proves that vitamin K is important to the bone health by fostering the density and strength of your bones (17).

Additionally, some studies even confirmed that vitamin K has protective impacts against osteoporosis (18).

Bottom Line: With the abundance of vitamin K, cucumber can help you stay away from bone loss and related problems.

Side Effects

You might be amazed at cucumber nutrition and health benefits of cucumber.

Nevertheless, you had better not concentrate on only good sides.

There are unwanted effects of cucumber as well and if you do not pay attention to them, the stake will be high.

First, although there are a lot of amazing cucumber health benefits, it is possible that you will get some toxic elements from it.

The presence of cucurbitacins in cucumber is regarded as dangerous if you take too much of it (19).

Second, if you consume cucumber excessively, your heart can be put in danger.

As the amount of water from cucumber will drive more blood into the heart, this will put more pressure on your blood vessels.

As a consequence, you might experience headaches or some breathing difficulties.

Third, the excessive intake of cucurbitacin in cucumber may result in some problems related to indigestion, such as bloating.

In fact, some people are even allergic to cucumber.

The consumption of it will accompany with some annoying symptoms, for example, swelling or pain.

Take Home Message

All above-mentioned side effects of cucumber are real. Therefore, it is a good idea to take notice before you use cucumber.

  • Cucumbers need to be washed carefully with clean water.
  • Its peels should be cut off so that you can eradicate the toxic chemicals.
  • Keep the consumption in moderation.

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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