Top 10 Cucumber Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts
We may often see cucumber slices in salads and other veggie dishes, but most of us do not have any idea how nutritious they are. Some of the nutrients included in cucumbers are vitamin K, molybdenum, pantothenic acid, potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, biotin, phosphorus, and vitamin B1. They are low in calories and very hydrating for you. The health benefits of cucumber are numerous and they can even prevent and treat chronic diseases. If you want to improve your overall health, it is a great idea to include cucumber nutrition into your diet.
In 2 minutes or less, you can get the diet plan that will turn your body into a fat burning machine.
Health Benefits of Cucumber
Here are the best reasons why you should eat more cucumbers. The health benefits range from simple hydration to reducing the risk of developing cancer.
Hydration is important because it plays a vital role in different bodily functions. Cucumber and other fruits and vegetables can be a good source of water. Cucumber is made up mostly of water, which can help keep you hydrated, especially during the summer months. By being well hydrated, you can improve your metabolism, temperature regulation, and the transport of nutrients and waste products in your body. In one study, researchers found that increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables can improve hydration. If you are having problems meeting your daily fluid intake, you should include cucumber into your diet.
Helps You Lose Weight
Cucumber is very low in calories. This means that you can eat a lot of cucumbers without gaining more weight. A one-cup serving of cucumber contains only about 16 calories. Also, cucumbers are rich in soluble fibers which dissolve in your gut causing the digestion to slow down. This will make you feel fuller for a long period of time, thus helping you to control your weight. Several studies have proven that consuming foods containing a lot of water and low in calories was closely associated with significant weight loss.
Good for Your Skin
You’ve probably seen some people putting cucumber slices on top of their eyes. This is because cucumber has an anti-inflammation effect that can decrease the puffiness or swell around the eyes. When used topically, cucumbers are known to be soothing to the skin, which makes them very effective when treating sunburns. Cucumber also contains skin-friendly minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and silicon, which makes this fruit a very popular ingredient in many cosmetic products.
Improve Bone Health
Cucumber is a good source of vitamin K, which is an important nutrient for bone health. One cup of cucumber contains around 19 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K. Studies have shown that vitamin K can boost bone health and prevent fractures. When vitamin K and vitamin D work together, they can increase the bone density, as well as the calcium balance. Researchers found that the body utilizes vitamin K to build bones, and this is very much apparent in women. One study has discovered that low levels of vitamin K are closely linked to high rates of hip fractures in middle-aged women. In order to strengthen your bones and avoid fractures, especially for the elderly, you should consume more cucumbers.
Lowers Your Risk of Cancer
This is one of the best health benefits of cucumber, which helps lower your risk of developing cancer. Cucumber has high levels of polyphenols, which are called lignans. These lignans can reduce the risk of prostate, breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer. Cucumber also contains powerful phytonutrients called cucurbitacins, which help fight cancer. These phytonutrients have the ability to block signaling pathways that are crucial for the survival of cancer cells. This means that these cucurbitacins can stop and kill cancer in its early stages.
Improve Digestive Health
The two most important elements needed to improve digestion are water and fiber. Cucumber is both rich in water and fiber, which can definitely help improve your digestive health. Cucumber skin is rich in soluble fibers, which adds more bulk to your stool. This allows the food to move quickly through the digestive tract, improving the elimination process. Eating cucumbers can also prevent constipation. Since cucumber has very high water content, it helps with the stool consistency, thus preventing constipation.
Good for the Brain
Cucumber nutrition is also good for your brain and memory. Cucumber contains an anti-inflammatory flavonoid called fisetin, which has been found to protect nerve cells, thus improving memory and lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Fight Free Radicals in the Body
Another reason why you need cucumbers in your diet is due to its high antioxidant content, which fights harmful free radicals. Antioxidants can allow your body to function at its most optimal level. These antioxidants in cucumbers include vitamin C, manganese, and beta-carotene. There are also antioxidant flavonoids present in cucumbers such as quercetin, kaempferol, luteolin, and apigenin, which have added benefits for your health. Kaempferol is known for fighting cancer and chronic diseases, while quercetin can prevent histamine release. Free radicals in the body can cause so many health problems, but they can be reduced and controlled by antioxidants.
Refreshes the Mouth and Eliminates Bad Breath
Cucumber is not only cool and soothing to the skin, but it can also freshen up your mouth. Since cucumber is rich in water and fiber, it can boost the saliva production, thus helping to wash away the bad bacteria in your tongue and the insides of your mouth that causes bad breath. Cucumber can also treat diseased gums, which makes your mouth smelling good all the time.
Help Manage Stress and Anxiety
Cucumber can help alleviate some of the damaging effects of stress. Cucumber is rich in B vitamins, such as vitamin B1, B5, and B7 or biotin. These B vitamins are helpful in easing the feelings of anxiety and stress.
Since cucumber has high amounts of anti-inflammatory flavonoids, it has the ability to reduce pain. This is also the reason why some old folks use cucumber as a treatment for headaches.
Helps Balance the Body’s pH Level
Cucumber is considered as a top alkaline food that can help balance the body’s pH level. If you have an acidic diet, then cucumber can help counteract the effects of acidity. Usually, an acidic diet is composed of sugar, fried foods, and refined carbohydrates. By eating cucumber and other alkaline-forming foods, this can protect your body from the diseases caused by too much acid. A balanced pH level can reduce the leptin levels, which is a hormone that is associated with appetite control, hunger, and inflammation.
Cucumber Nutrition Facts
Cucumbers are very low in calories and almost no fat included. Just one-half cup serving of sliced cucumber with skin on contains about 8 calories. They also contain many essential vitamins and minerals, as well as high levels of water. Here is the complete cucumber nutrition profile that will give you more reasons to eat this amazing superfood.
A 300-gram unpeeled cucumber contains the following nutrients:
- Calories – 45
- Zero fat
- 2 grams of protein
- 11 grams of carbohydrates
- 2 grams of fiber
- Vitamin C – 14% RDI
- Vitamin K – 62% RDI
- Potassium – 13% RDI
- Magnesium – 10% RDI
- Manganese – 12% RDI
- Cucumber is made up of 96% water, which means that this food is great for hydration. Half a cup of sliced cucumber can contain about 50 grams of water per serving. If you are having trouble achieving your recommended daily water intake, you should eat more cucumber. Remember that water is important for most of your bodily functions and it can significantly improve your overall health.
- If you want to maximize the cucumber health benefits, you should eat them unpeeled. Removing the skin may only lessen the amount of fiber and vitamins and minerals in the cucumber.
- In terms of vitamins, cucumber is rich in vitamin K, A, C, and folate. Half a cup of sliced cucumber contains about 8.5 micrograms of vitamin K, which is 10% of the recommended daily intake for adults.
- Cucumber is rich in mineral content. Just half a cup of cucumbers can contain about 12 mg of phosphorus, 8 mg of calcium, 7 mg of magnesium, and 76 mg of potassium. Potassium is an important mineral because it promotes a healthy digestive system and regulates the sodium level in your blood.
- The peel and the seeds of the cucumber are where most of the nutrients are concentrated. The cucumber peel and seeds are rich in fiber and beta-carotene. Fiber can aid with your digestion, while beta-carotene can help boost your immune system and lower your risk of cancer. The seeds are a very good source of calcium.
- Cucumber is low in calories but very high in fiber, which makes them the perfect food for digestion and weight loss.
- Cucumber contains fisetin, which is an anti-inflammatory flavonol that can boost brain health.
- Cucumber contains lignans, which is a polyphenol that helps lower the risk of prostate, breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer.
- The powerful polyphenols in cucumber can also slow down aging caused by oxidative stress.
- Contrary to what most people know, cucumber is a fruit and it is not a vegetable.
- Cucumber nutrition and high water content are known to detoxify and cleanse the body.