Although cucumber is thought as a vegetable, but it is a fruit. It’s high in beneficial nutrients, and certain plant compounds and antioxidants that can help treat some conditions and even prevent them. In addition, the cucumbers are low in calories and contain a decent amount of water and soluble fiber, making them suitable for hydration promotion and weight loss aid. Here are the 6 health benefits of eating cucumber.
1. Cucumber Contains Antioxidants
Antioxidants are molecules that block oxidation, a chemical reaction that forms highly reactive with free radicals known as unpaired electrons. The accumulation of these harmful, free radicals can lead to several chronic diseases (1).
In fact, cancer and heart, lung and autoimmune disease were associated with the oxidative stress caused by free radicals (2).
In particular, fruits and vegetables, including cucumbers, are rich in beneficial antioxidants which can reduce the risk of these conditions. One study measured the cucumber’s antioxidant power by supplementing the cucumber powder in 30 older adults.
At the end of the study, cucumber powder caused a significant increase in antioxidant activity and improved antioxidant levels (3).
It’s important to note, though, that the cucumber powder used in this study probably contained a greater dose of antioxidants than you would consume in a typical cucumber serving.
Another test-tube research examined cucumber’s antioxidant properties and found that they include flavonoids and tannins, two classes of compounds that are especially successful in blocking harmful free radicals (4).
Cucumbers contain antioxidants, including flavonoids and tannins, that prevent harmful free radicals from accumulating, and can reduce the risk of chronic disease.
2. It’s 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 the following (5):
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 comprise around 96 percent water (6).
We should eat cucumbers, unpeeled, to maximize their nutrient content. Peeling them decreases the fiber content, as well as some vitamins and minerals (7).
Cucumbers are low in calories but high in nutrients, and many vitamins and minerals of great importance. Eating the unpeeled cucumbers provides the highest nutrient value.
3. Can Aid in Weight Loss
Cucumbers might help you lose weight in several ways. They are primarily low in calories. Each single-cup serving (104-gram) contains only 16 calories, while a whole 11-unce (300-gram) cucumber contains only 45 calories (8).
This ensures you can eat plenty of cucumbers without the extra calories. Cucumbers can add freshness and flavour to salads, sandwiches and side dishes and can also be an alternative to higher calories.
In addition, the high concentration of cucumbers 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 (9).
The cucumbers are low in calories, high in water, and can be used for many dishes as a low-calorie topping. These can all help in weight loss.
4. It Can Promote Hydration
Adequate hydration will affect anything from physical activity to metabolism. Although most of your fluid needs are met by drinking water or other liquids, some people get as much as 40 percent of their total water from food (12, 13, 14).
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 (15).
Since cucumbers comprise approximately 96 percent water, they are especially effective in promoting hydration and can help you meet your daily fluid needs (16).
Cucumbers comprise about 96 percent water, which will improve hydration and help you meet your everyday fluid requirements.
5. Improves Regular Bowel Movement
Eating cucumbers can aid in regular bowel movements. Dehydration is a major risk factor for constipation, since it can alter your water balance and make it difficult to pass the stool (17).
Cucumbers are high in water, so they encourage hydration. Staying hydrated can improve the consistency of stools, prevent constipation and help maintain regularity (18).
In addition, the cucumbers contain fiber that helps to control bowel movements. Specifically, pectin, the soluble fiber found in cucumbers, can help increase frequency of bowel movements.
In one study, the researchers gave pectin supplement to 80 people. It found that pectin improved intestinal muscle movement, even while feeding the beneficial bacteria in the gut to enhance digestive health (19).
Cucumbers have a healthy fiber and water content, both of which can help avoid constipation and improve regularity.
6. It May Lower Blood Sugar
Several animals and test-tube studies have found that cucumbers can help decrease blood sugar levels and avoid certain diabetes complications. One animal research looked at the effects on blood sugar of various plants. The Cucumbers have been shown to minimize and control blood sugar levels effectively (20).
Another animal study induced diabetes in mice and then supplemented with cucumber peel extract. Cucumber peel reversed most of the changes associated with diabetes and caused blood sugar to drop (21).
Furthermore, one test-tube study found that cucumbers could be effective in reducing oxidative stress and preventing complications associated with diabetes (22).
The current evidence, however, is confined to test-tube and animal studies. We need further research to assess how cucumbers can affect human blood sugar.
Test-tube and animal studies show that cucumber can help lower blood sugar and prevent complications caused by diabetes, it requires, although more work.
The Bottom Line
Cucumbers are a healthy, nutritious addition to any diet which is versatile. They are low in calories, but they contain many essential vitamins and minerals and a high content of water. Eating cucumbers can contribute to many health benefits, including weight loss, adequate hydration, regularity of digestion and lower levels of blood sugar.
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