Although commonly considered a vegetable, cucumber is actually a fruit.
It is rich in beneficial nutrients, as well as certain plant compounds and antioxidants that can help to treat and even prevent certain diseases.
In addition, cucumbers are low in calories and contain a good amount of water and soluble fibre, making them ideal for promoting hydration and weight loss.
This article takes a closer look at some of the main health benefits of cucumbers.
Here are some of its benefits
1. Very High in Nutrients
Cucumbers are low in calories but rich in important vitamins and minerals.
An 11 ounce (300 gram) unpeeled raw cucumber contains the following (1):
Total fat: 0 grams
Fuels: 11 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Vitamin C: 14% of RDI
Vitamin K: 62% of RDI
Magnesium: 10% of RDI
Potassium: 13% of TDI
Manganese: 12% of RDI
2. It helps with hydration
Water is essential to your body’s function, playing many important roles.
It is involved in processes such as temperature regulation and the transport of waste and nutrients.
In fact, good hydration can affect everything from physical performance to metabolism.
Even if you meet most of your fluid needs by drinking water or other liquids, some people can get up to 40% of their total water consumption from food.
A very good source of water in our diets are fruits and vegetables.
A study assessed the hydration status of 442 children and collected data on their diet. They found that increased consumption of fruits and vegetables was associated with improved hydration status.
Since cucumbers are made up of about 96% water, they are particularly effective in promoting hydration and can help you meet your daily fluid needs.
3. It has Antioxidants
Cucumbers contain antioxidants, including flavonoids and tannins, that prevent the accumulation of harmful free radicals and can reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Antioxidants are molecules that block oxidation, a chemical reaction that forms highly reactive atoms with unpaired electrons called free radicals.
The accumulation of these harmful free radicals can lead to several types of chronic diseases.
In fact, oxidative stress caused by free radicals has been associated with cancer, heart, lung and autoimmune diseases.
Fruits and vegetables, including cucumbers, are particularly rich in beneficial antioxidants that can reduce the risk of these conditions.
A study measured the antioxidant power of cucumber by supplementing 30 elderly people with cucumber powder.
At the end of the 30-day study, cucumber powder caused a significant increase in several markers of antioxidant activity and an improvement in antioxidant status.
However, it is important to note that the cucumber powder used in this study probably contained a higher dose of antioxidants than you would in a typical cucumber serving.
Another test tube study studied the antioxidant properties of cucumbers and found that they contain flavonoids and tannins, which are two groups of compounds that are particularly effective in blocking harmful free radicals.
4. It helps in Weight Loss
Cucumbers are low in calories, high in water and can be used as a low-calorie garnish for many dishes. All these elements can contribute to weight loss.
Cucumbers have the potential to help you lose weight in different ways.
First of all, they are low in calories.
Each serving of one cup (104 g) contains only 16 calories, while a whole 11-ounce (300 g) cucumber contains only 45 calories.
This means that you can eat a lot of cucumbers without taking the extra calories that lead to weight gain.
Cucumbers can add freshness and flavour to salads, sandwiches and side dishes and can also be used as a substitute for more caloric alternatives.
In addition, the high water content of cucumbers may also contribute to weight loss.
An analysis of 13 studies involving 3,628 people found that the consumption of water-rich and low-calorie foods was associated with a significant decrease in body weight.