Eating cucumbers can contribute to many health benefits, including weight loss, adequate hydration, regular digestion, and lower levels of blood sugar.
Although cucumber is thought of as a vegetable, it is actually a fruit.
It’s high in nutrients, and certain plant compounds and antioxidants that can help treat some conditions and even prevent them.
Therefore, eating cucumbers can help you with hydration and weight loss.
In This Article
1. Contains Antioxidants
Antioxidants are molecules that block oxidation, a chemical reaction that forms highly reactive free radicals known as unpaired electrons.
The accumulation of these harmful, free radicals can lead to several chronic diseases. In fact, cancer, heart disease, and lung disease were associated with the oxidative stress caused by free radicals (1).
In particular, eating fruits and vegetables, including cucumber, is rich in beneficial antioxidants, which can reduce the risk of these conditions.
Cucumber’s antioxidant power was measured in one study by supplementing the powder with 30 older adults.
At the end of the study, cucumber powder caused a significant increase in antioxidant activity and improved antioxidant levels (2).
It’s important to note, though, that the cucumber powder used in this study probably contained a greater dose of antioxidants. It is much more than you would consume in a typical cucumber serving.
Another study conducted in test tubes examined cucumber’s antioxidant properties and found that it includes flavonoids and tannins, two classes of compounds that are especially successful in blocking harmful free radicals (3).
2. High in Nutrients
Cucumbers are low in calories but high in many significant minerals and vitamins. One unpeeled 11-ounce (300 grams), raw cucumber contains (4):
- Calories: 45
- Total fat: 0 grams
- Carbs: 11 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Vitamin C: 14% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 62% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 10% of the RDI
- Potassium: 13% of the RDI
- Manganese: 12% of the RDI
The typical serving size is about one-third of a cucumber, though, so eating a standard portion would provide about one-third of the above nutrients.
In addition, the cucumbers have a high content of water. The cucumbers contain around 96% water (5).
You should eat cucumbers, unpeeled to maximize their nutrient content. Peeling them decreases the fiber content, as well as some vitamins and minerals.
3. Promotes Weight Loss
Eating cucumbers might help you lose weight in several ways. They are primarily low in calories.
Each single-cup serving (104 grams) contains only 16 calories, while a whole 11-ounce (300 grams) cucumber contains only 45 calories (4).
This ensures you can eat plenty of cucumbers without the extra calories.
Cucumbers can add freshness and flavor to salads, sandwiches, and side dishes and can also be an alternative to foods with more calories.
In addition, the high concentration of cucumber water may also help in weight loss.
One review looked at 13 studies involving 3,628 people and found a substantial decrease in body weight correlated with consuming high water and low calorie content foods (6).
4. Promotes Hydration
Water is crucial for your body, and it plays several important roles. It involves processes such as controlling temperatures and transporting waste products and nutrients (7).
Although most of your fluid needs are met by drinking water or other liquids, some people get as much as 40% of their total water from food (5).
In particular, fruits and vegetables can be an excellent source of water in your diet. They assessed hydration status in one study, and they collected diet records for 442 children.
The study found that increased consumption of fruits and vegetables was related to improved hydration status (10).
Since cucumbers comprise approximately 96% water, they are especially effective in promoting hydration and can help you meet your daily fluid needs.
5. Improves Bowel Movement
Cucumbers are high in water, so they encourage hydration (12).
Staying hydrated can improve the consistency of stools, prevent constipation, and help maintain regularity.
In addition, the cucumbers contain fiber that helps control bowel movements.
Specifically, pectin, the soluble fiber found in cucumbers, can help increase the frequency of bowel movements. In one study, the researchers gave pectin supplements to 80 people (13).
They found that pectin improved intestinal muscle movement, even while feeding the beneficial bacteria in the gut to enhance digestive health.
6. Lowers Blood Sugar
Several animal and test-tube studies have found that eating cucumbers can help decrease blood sugar levels and avoid certain diabetes complications.
One animal study looked at the effects on the blood sugar of various plants (14).
The cucumbers have been shown to minimize and control blood sugar levels effectively.
Another animal study induced diabetes in mice and then supplemented them with cucumber peel extract (15).
Cucumber peel reversed most of the changes associated with diabetes and caused blood sugar to drop.
One test-tube study found that eating cucumbers could be effective in reducing oxidative stress and preventing complications associated with diabetes (16).
The current evidence, however, is confined to test-tube and animal studies. We need further studies in humans to assess how cucumbers can affect human blood sugar.
Eating cucumber can provide several health benefits, and it is a nutritious addition to any versatile diet.
Cucumbers are low in calories, but they contain many essential vitamins and minerals and a high content of water.
Eating vegetables and fruits will cut the risk of many diseases.