You’ve probably heard of the numerous benefits of cucumber. Well, if you haven’t, we will be breaking them down for you. Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus), which were commonly thought to be vegetables, are actually fruits. They contain seeds and grow from the ovaries of a plant(flowering plants). They are popular, lean, and green garden fruits. Cucumbers are creeping vine plants of the Cucurbitaceae gourd family that produces cucumiform fruits, which may sometimes be used as vegetables.
Furthermore, there are various types of cucumbers with different colors. The edible ones are classified as either slicing or pickling cucumbers. They’re of the same family as watermelons, squashes, pumpkins. In addition, they’re rich in beneficial nutrients and contain some plant compounds and antioxidants essential to human health. Cucumbers are generally low in calories and have a good amount of soluble fiber, making them ideal for promoting hydration and helping with weight loss. In addition to these benefits, they contain numerous compounds that can help with conditions ranging from cancer to diabetes.
Types of Cucumbers
Slicing cucumbers: The slicing cucumbers, sometimes called the “European cucumbers,” are often eaten fresh and are used in salad. They may be 12 inches or longer and usually have smooth skin. In addition, they contain a small amount of cucurbitacin, which makes them mild.
Pickling cucumbers: They are much smaller than the slicing cucumbers and are generally used to make pickles. They are 3-8 inches long and can have bumps or spines on their skin. In addition to their mineral and vitamin composition, they also contain other important substances that are very useful to human health.
Below are some other health benefits of cucumber;
They contain antioxidants and micronutrients
Most fruit and vegetables, including cucumbers, contain beneficial antioxidants. Cucumbers contain a group of polyphenols called lignans, which may help treat estrogen-related cancers. Besides that, they also contain other antioxidants like vitamin C, manganese beta carotene, triterpenes, and flavonoids. All these antioxidants help fight inflammation and protect cells from all sorts of chronic diseases.
It promotes hydration
One of the most mentioned benfits of cucumber is hydration. Water is vital for every human as it’s crucial to the body functions and plays numerous functions. Most cucumbers are composed of about 95% water and other important electrolytes. Thus, cucumbers increase hydration and help you meet your recommended daily fluid needs. In addition, cucumbers are one of the most hydrating foods and are a great way to rehydrate in hot weather.
Cucumbers contain approximately 20 milligrams(mg) of calcium making them ideal for bone health. In addition, they also contain about 19% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K- which are essential substances for bone health. The human body uses vitamin K when building bones, and its effects are more important in young children and women. Vitamin K helps improve calcium absorption, and together with other nutrients, bone health is greatly improved.
It supports cardiovascular health
Eating fruits and vegetables of all kinds, including cucumbers, is related to a reduced risk for many health conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, heart diseases, and obesity. They’re a good way to add fiber and potassium to your diet. Potassium helps reduce pressure levels, while fiber helps keep cholesterol levels low and improves satiety. Several studies have also linked the consumption of cucumber to reducing hypertension, and the cucurbitacins in cucumber prevent atherosclerosis. In addition, cucumbers also contain folate(an essential B-vitamin) that reduces stroke risk and vitamin k, which is essential for the blood-clotting process.
It helps with weight loss
Yeah, benefits of cucumber include weight loss. How? Cucumbers are generally low-calorie foods with high water content. They can potentially help you lose weight in different ways. Eating foods with high water and low-calorie contents may lead to a significant decrease in body weight. Each one-cup (105 gram) serving of cucumbers contains just 18 calories, while an entire 12-ounce (300-gram) cucumber contains only 46 calories. The high water content could aid weight loss as well. In addition, cucumbers can also add freshness and flavor to your salads, sandwiches, and side dishes.
Improves blood sugar control
Cucumbers are the best food categories for diabetes patients- since they’re generally non-starchy fruit. The American Diabetes Association(ADA) recommended daily intake of non-starchy goods is about four to six servings of non-starchy vegetables per day, and that’s just the minimum.
Apart from hydration, the benefits of cucumber are also utilized in cosmetics. Some recent research has confirmed that cucumber contains nutrients that benefit skin health. They’re safe for most people to use, and they rarely have negative effects on the skin. It can help prevent sunburn. In addition, applying sliced cucumbers directly to your skin may help relieve and soothe the skin and reduce swelling and irritation. Nowadays, people use them around the eyes to help decrease morning puffiness.