Cucumbers are popular for long, thin, and green vegetables in the garden. Technically, they are fruits from the same family as watermelons and pumpkins, but most people consider them to be vegetables. Cucumbers are native to India, have a watermelon-like taste, and can sometimes be slightly sour.
Benefits of Cucumber
It Contains Antioxidants
Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit oxidation, the chemical reactions that make up the most active atoms with unpaired electrons known as free radicals. The accumulation of these free radicals can lead to several types of chronic diseases. In fact, oxidative stress caused by free radicals has been linked to cancer and heart, lung, and autoimmune disease. Fruits and vegetables, including cucumbers, are rich in beneficial antioxidants that can reduce the risk of these conditions. One study measured the antioxidant power of cucumber by injuring 30 adults with cucumber powder.
At the end of the 30-day study, powdered cucumber caused a significant increase in several markings of antioxidant activity and improved antioxidant status. However, it is important to note that the cucumber powder used in this study may contain a greater amount of antioxidants than can be consumed in a normal serving of cucumber. Another test-tube study investigated the antioxidant properties of cucumbers and found that they contained flavonoids and tannins, which are two groups of compounds that are most effective in preventing harmful free radicals.
Promotes Water Supply
Water is essential to the functioning of your body, playing a key role. It is involved in processes such as temperature control and the transport of waste and nutrients. In fact, proper hydration can affect everything from physical activity to body modification. While you meet your many fluid needs by drinking water or other beverages, some people can get up to 40% of their total water intake from food.
Fruits and vegetables, in particular, can be a good source of water for your diet. In another study, hydration status was assessed and food records were collected from 442 children. They found that increased consumption of fruits and vegetables was associated with improved hydration. Because cucumber is made up of about 96% water, it is very effective in promoting hydration and can help you meet your daily fluid needs.
It Can Help With Weight Loss
Cucumbers can help you lose weight in a few different ways. First, they have low calories. One cup (104-gram) each contains 16 calories, while the whole 11-ounce (300-gram) cucumber contains only 45 calories. This means you can eat more cucumbers without packing them for extra calories leading to weight gain. Cucumbers can add freshness and flavor to salads, sandwiches, and side dishes and can be used to replace high-calorie alternatives. Also, the high water content of cucumber can help to lose weight. One study looked at 13 studies involving 3,628 people and found that eating a high-fat diet with low-calorie content was associated with significant weight loss.
It May Lower Blood Sugar
Several animal and test-tube studies have found that cucumbers can help lower blood sugar levels and prevent other complications of diabetes. One animal study examined the effects of various plants on blood sugar. Cucumbers have been shown to effectively reduce and control blood sugar levels. Other animal studies have shown diabetes in mice and added cucumber peel extract. The cucumber leaf delayed many changes related to diabetes and caused a decrease in blood sugar.
Also, one test-tube study found that cucumbers can be effective in reducing oxidative stress and preventing diabetes-related complications. However, current evidence is limited to tube testing and animal studies. Further research is needed to determine how cucumbers can affect blood sugar in humans.
It Can Promote Dehydration
Eating cucumbers can help support regular bowel movements. Dehydration is a major risk factor for constipation, as it can alter your water balance and make cell flow difficult. Cucumbers are very watery and promote spraying. Staying hydrated can improve bowel consistency, prevent constipation and help maintain normalcy. Also, cucumber contains fiber, which helps regulate bowel movements.
Essentially, pectin, a type of soluble fiber found in cucumbers, can help increase the frequency of bowel movements. One study had 80 participants adding pectin. It found that pectin accelerated the movement of intestinal muscles, all while nourishing the beneficial bacteria in the stomach that improve digestive health.
Cucumbers can have anti-inflammatory benefits. Inflammation is the work of the immune system.
Experts believe that inflammation can help initiate the development of various health conditions, such as:
- cardiovascular disease
Some studies have suggested that cucumber nutrients can provide skin health benefits. Applying sliced cucumber directly to the skin can help to soothe and soften the skin and reduce inflammation and irritation. It can reduce sunburn. Put on the eyes, it can help reduce morning swelling.
Some cucumber beauty tips include:
Toner: Blend and sieve cucumber to collect natural toner juice. Leave on the skin for 30 minutes, then wash off. Cucumbers may have irritated areas and may help clear pores.
Facial Package: Combine an equal amount of cucumber juice and yogurt to create a facial pack that helps reduce dry skin and dark heads.
Cucumber is safe for most people who can use it on the skin. People should start by using a small amount. If they do not receive a negative response, it is probably safe to use it.
It’s Easy to Add to Your Diet
Gentle with a glossy and refreshing flavor, cucumbers tend to enjoy fresh or soaked in saltwater in everything from salads to sandwiches. Cucumbers are often eaten raw as a low-calorie meal or can be mixed with hummus, olive oil, salt, or a salad dressing to add flavor. With just a little bit of creativity, cucumbers can be enjoyed in many ways.
The supply of cucumber – half a cup – is about 8 calories. They have low amounts of vitamin K and vitamin A and are 95% water. They also have several phytonutrients (plant chemicals) called lignans.
One uncooked cucumber inside, with the following:
- Calories: 30
- Total fat: 0 grams
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
Cucumber Side Effects
It Could Prove to be Toxic
The presence of the toxins, such as cucurbitacins and tetracyclic triterpenoids in cucumber is a thing to worry about. Studies have proven that these elements trigger the bitter taste of these wonderful veggies. Researches point out that consuming cucumber beyond moderation could even be life-threatening.
Excessive Loss of Fluid
Cucumber seeds are the source of cucurbitacin, an ingredient that is known to possess innate diuretic properties. Even though the diuretic nature is mild, excessive intake could prove to be less harmful to you. When ingested in large quantities, these diuretic ingredients result in excessive elimination of fluid from your body, hampering the electrolytic balance. In extreme conditions, it could leave you gravely dehydrated!
Side Effects of Excessive Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an immune-boosting element. Plus, it plays a major role in preventing and combating various health conditions, including flu and scurvy. It is also a powerful antioxidant. Nevertheless, exceeding the recommended limits comes with its own set of harmful effects. Vitamin C, when ingested in extremely large quantities, acts as a pro-oxidant against its innate anti-oxidative nature. This, in turn, triggers the growth and spread of free radicals. And, when free radicals roam around, you will be at a higher risk of cancer, acne, premature aging, and so on.
Harmful for Renal System
Hyperkalemia is a medical condition that arises due to the presence of high potassium content in the body. It leads to bloating, abdominal cramps, and intestinal gas, initially. The condition worsens over time, hampering the functioning of the kidneys in an effective way. This, in turn, puts your renal system at the risk of succumbing to damages.
Watch Your Heart
Cucumber, as you all know, contains more than 90% of the water. And drinking excess leads to excessive ingestion of this fiber-loaded veggie. The higher the water intake, the higher the net volume of blood will be. This, in turn, exerts pressure on the blood vessels and on the heart. The result – your heart and blood vessels will incur unwanted damages. The excessive presence of water could also create an imbalance in the electrolyte levels of the blood, which actually causes seepage in cells. This will lead to frequent headaches and obstructed breathing.
This sounds weird but true. Many a time, farmers use wax to coat the skin of these fragile veggies to safeguard it from insects as well as shipping damages. Wax is made up of numerous ingredients, including milk casein, soaps, and ethyl alcohol. People who are allergic to milk can demonstrate an allergic reaction to milk casein as well.
Bloating And Flatulence
Cucumbers, as mentioned above, contain an ingredient called cucurbitacin. This element can trigger indigestion in certain people, especially if they have a sensitive digestive system. Indigestion triggers bloating and flatulence, which your body tries to eliminate in the form of burps and farts. If you form gas in your stomach by eating onions, cabbage, and/or broccoli, then it is advisable to restrict the consumption of cucumbers as well.
Oral And Skin Allergy
A study conducted by the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology on the allergic reactions of cucumber on human beings suggests that people who are allergic to ragweed pollen, melons, chamomile tea, bananas, and sunflower seeds could also experience allergies after consuming this green-skinned veggie. Even though cooking or grilling cucumbers could possibly remove this threat, it is better to substitute zucchini for the same to avoid allergies.
It May Cause Sinusitis
If you have sinusitis or any kind of chronic respiratory condition, then it is advisable to stay away from eating cucumbers. If Ayurvedic practitioners are to be believed, the cooling effects of these veggies aggravate such conditions, leading to complications.
What happens when you eat a cucumber a day?
Cucumbers contain magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K. These 3 nutrients are vital for the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system. In taking magnesium and potassium can lower down blood pressure. A regular intake of cucumber has been found to decrease bad cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well.
Are raw cucumbers good for you?
Cucumbers are packed with them. In just a single cup of cucumber slices, you'll get 14% to 19% of the vitamin K you need for the day. You'll also get vitamins B and C along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.