Health Benefits Of Cucumber
Though commonly thought to be a vegetable, cucumber is actually a fruit. It’s high in beneficial nutrients, as well as certain plant compounds and antioxidants that may help treat and even prevent some conditions. Also, cucumbers are low in calories and contain a good amount of water and soluble fiber, making them ideal for promoting hydration and aiding in weight loss. This article takes a closer look at some of the top health benefits of cucumber.
Health Benefits Of Cucumber
It’s High in Nutrients
Cucumbers are low in calories but high in many important vitamins and minerals.
One 11-ounce (300-gram) unpeeled, 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
Although, the typical serving size is about one-third of a cucumber, so eating a standard portion would provide about one-third of the nutrients above.
Additionally, cucumbers have high water content. In fact, cucumbers are made up of about 96% water.
To maximize their nutrient content, cucumbers should be eaten unpeeled. Peeling them reduces the amount of fiber, as well as certain vitamins and minerals.
It Promotes Hydration
Water is crucial to your body’s function, playing numerous important roles.
It is involved in processes like temperature regulation and the transportation of waste products and nutrients.
In fact, proper hydration can affect everything from physical performance to metabolism.
While you meet the majority of your fluid needs by drinking water or other liquids, some people may get as much as 40% of their total water intake from food.
Fruits and vegetables, in particular, can be a good source of water in your diet.
In one study, hydration status was assessed and diet records were collected for 442 children. They found that increased fruit and vegetable intake was associated with improvements in hydration status.
Because cucumbers are composed of about 96% water, they are especially effective at promoting hydration and can help you meet your daily fluid needs.
It can Keep a Healthy Weight
All that water in cucumbers doesn’t just hydrate your cells. It also fills your belly, and that may help you eat less. A cup of sliced cucumbers has just 16 calories. That means it has very low “energy density.” People who eat more foods with low energy density often find it easier to lose weight.
Its Controls Blood Sugar
High blood sugar can help create too many cell-damaging substances known as ROS and ROC. Cucumbers have shown some promise, mostly in animal studies, in controlling this problem. Rats that ate more cucumbers made less ROS and ROC. More studies on people are needed to back up these results.
It’s Good For Heart Health
Cucumbers are good for your ticker when you include them with a well-balanced diet. Their antioxidant activity helps slow or stop heart-related disease. And some research seems to show that the unique mix of nutrients in cucumber seeds could help improve your cholesterol numbers, which could have a direct impact on heart health. So skip those “seedless” cucumbers and go for the real thing!
Reduce Risk Of Cancer
As a member of the Cucurbitaceae family of plants, cucumbers contain high levels of bitter-tasting nutrients known as cucurbitacin.
According to an article in the International Journal of Health Services, cucurbitacins may help prevent cancer by stopping cancer cells from reproducing.
A 133-g cup of chopped cucumber with its skin also provides around 1 g of fiber. Fiber may help protect against colorectal cancer.
It can keep your digestion going strong
Basically all the calories in cucumbers (and yes, there’s not that many) come from fiber. According to Perez, fiber helps improve gut health and bowel movement regularity, is beneficial in managing certain conditions like diabetes and high cholesterol, and will even fill you up to prevent you from overeating.
It keep your gut happy
As mentioned, cucumbers boast a lot of fiber, which is great for supporting a healthy gut. But when you eat them in pickle form, they’re really superstars in this category. ICYMI: Pickles are made of cucumbers plus the right mix of pickling spices, salt and vinegar. “The fermentation process makes them perfect fuel for your gut,” says Taub-Dix. Increasing the “good bacteria” in your gut is associated with a host of benefits like better immunity and functional bowels.
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