There’s nothing quite as crisp and refreshing as a tall glass of water with sliced cucumbers and a squeeze of lemon. Aesthetics aside, do cucumbers offer any real health benefits? Like any fruit or vegetable, cucumbers provide a variety of health benefits and are super nutritious.
What Are Cucumbers
Though commonly thought of as a vegetable, cucumbers are a fruit. Cucumbers belong to the same family as melons and squashes. There are two ways in which cucumbers are consumed, either sliced, diced, and eaten raw, or pickling them, for eventual processing into pickles.
Cucumbers are super nutritious and loaded with powerful bioactive compounds and antioxidants including cucurbitacins, cucumegastigmanes I and II, cucumerin A and B, vitexin, orientin, and more [R].
Cucumber is naturally low in calories and heavily dense in water making them an ideal choice to help with satiation and hydration, which can help support weight loss.
Cucumbers contain robust amounts of vitamins and nutrients, including potassium, fiber, magnesium, manganese, vitamin A, C, and K. Cucumber seeds contain a wide variety of phytonutrients, including both carotenoids and flavonoids.
Cucumber contains different types of flavonoids such as apigenin, diosmetin, fisetin, luleolin, quercetin, kaempferol, luteolin, naringenin, theaflavanoside I, vicenin. It also contains different types lignans pinoresinol, lariciresinol and secoisolariciresinol and triterpenes like cucurbitacin A, cucurbitacin B, cucurbita- cin C, cucurbitacin D [R].
One cup or 104g of raw cucumbers contain
- Calories 16
- Protein 1g
- Fat 0g
- Carbohydrates 4g
- Vitamin K 19% DV
- Molybdenum 12% DV
- Pantothenic Acid 5% DV
- Copper 4% DV
- Phosphorus 4% DV
- Vitamin C 4% DV
- Biotin 3% DV
- Vitamin B1 3% DV
- Potassium 3% DV
- Magnesium 3% DV
- Manganese 3% DV
Cucumbers have a wide variety of potential therapeutic uses and benefits. Cucumbers can benefit and reduce swelling of your eyes on a day at the spa, providing better hydration, and even aid in digestion.
1. Cucumbers May Help Hydration
Cucumbers are 96% water, making them a great fruit to help with getting more water and hydration into your daily diet. Staying hydrated is crucial for optimal health and athletic performance. Water helps flush toxins and carry nutrients to your cells for muscle contraction and function, and helps metabolism.
While you meet most of your fluid intake by drinking water, some may get up to 40% of their total water intake from food such as fruit and vegetables [R].
2. Cucumbers Help Blood Pressure
Cucumbers are a great source of potassium, magnesium, and fiber. Studies have shown that these nutrients all help keep your blood pressure in check, thus reducing the risk for heart disease. High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less elastic, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and leads to heart disease. Moreover, decreased blood flow to the heart can cause, chest pain, also called angina. Adding some cucumber to your diet can help add valuable nutrients and fiber to reduce your blood pressure.
3. Cucumbers Help Digestion
Cucumbers act as a coolant for the stomach. The soluble fiber helps slow digestion, while the water content can help soften stool, which provides a great combination for digestion. Dehydration is a major risk in constipation. Since cucumbers are loaded with water they can help you stay hydrated and promote regularity.
4. Cucumbers May Aid Weight Loss
Cucumbers can benefit and aid in weight loss. Water rich fruit can promote satiation, supporting weight loss by reducing appetite and keep you full. Cucumbers are also naturally very low in calories and contain soluble fiber, which slows digestion. Therefore, by adding cucumbers to your yogurt, salad, or smoothies, the added water and fiber can help increase feelings of fullness aiding in greater weight loss.
Cucumber Benefits: Takeaway
With a fresh, clean, and refreshing taste, cucumbers can add a whole lot more benefit than just being used for your eyes next to your avocado mask. Cucumbers are low in calories, water, and are packed with phytonutrients that can help aid in digestion, hydration, and even help with weight loss and reducing your chance for heart disease. Adding more fruit and veggies to your diet will help with a healthy aging process, reducing your chance for chronic disease, and helping improve overall health and wellness. Add some cucumbers to your yogurt, or make a tasty and crisp tomato and cucumber salad. Either way, cucumbers are an incredibly versatile addition to any diet and can benefit your health and wellness.
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