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. Therefore, eating cucumber can help you in hydration and weight loss.
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.
In fact, cancer and heart, lung and autoimmune disease were associated with the oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
In particular, eating fruits and vegetables, including cucumber, 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.
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.
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:
- 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 comprise around 96 percent water.
We should eat cucumbers, unpeeled, to maximize their nutrient content. Peeling them decreases the fiber content, as well as some vitamins and minerals.
3. Can Aid in Weight Loss
Eating cucumber 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.
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.
4. It Can Promote Hydration
Water is vital for your body, and it plays several important roles. It involves in processes such as controlling temperatures and transporting waste products and nutrients.
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.
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.
Since cucumbers comprise approximately 96 percent water, they are especially effective in promoting hydration and can help you meet your daily fluid needs.
5. Improves Regular Bowel Movement
Eating cucumber 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.
Cucumbers are high in water, so they encourage hydration. Staying hydrated can improve the consistency of stools, prevent constipation, and help maintain regularity.
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.
6. It May Lower Blood Sugar
Several animals and test-tube studies have found that eating cucumber 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.
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.
Furthermore, one test-tube study found that eating cucumber could be effective in reducing oxidative stress and preventing complications associated with diabetes.
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.
Eating cucumber is a healthy, nutritious addition to any diet which is versatile. Cucumbers are low in calories, but they contain many essential vitamins and minerals and a high content of water.
Free radicals, antioxidants in disease and health. Int J Biomed Sci. 2008.
In Vivo Antioxidant Properties of Lotus Root and Cucumber: A Pilot Comparative Study in Aged Subjects. J Nutr Health Aging. 2015.
Free Radical Scavenging and Analgesic Activities of Cucumis sativus L. Fruit Extract. J Young Pharm. 2010.
Link between Food Energy Density and Body Weight Changes in Obese Adults. Nutrients. 2016.
Water as an essential nutrient: the physiological basis of hydration. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010.
Hydration and physical performance. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007.
Contribution of fruit and vegetable intake to hydration status in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013.
Mild dehydration: a risk factor of constipation? Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003.
Water, hydration, and health. Nutr Rev. 2010.
Anti-hyperglycemic effect of some edible plants. J Ethnopharmacol. 1995.
Protective role of three vegetable peels in alloxan induced diabetes mellitus in male mice. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2010.