Is Cucumber a Fruit or a Vegetable?
Cucumber is considered a vegetable in terms of how it is frequently prepared and consumed.

Cucumbers are both fruits and vegetables. They are classified as vegetables due to their vast range of culinary applications, which include salads, sandwiches, pickles, and hamburger toppings.

Cucumber pickles are considered savory rather than sweet when eaten alone. Vegetables, in general, are less sweet than fruits, and this applies to fruits that are also vegetables. However, because of the way they grow, they are classified as fruit.

What are the nutritional contents of cucumber?

Cucumbers are low in calories but high in many important vitamins and minerals.

Table. The nutritional content of cucumbers
Nutrient Amount
Calories 30
Total fat 0 grams
Carbohydrates 6 grams
Protein 3 grams
Fiber 2 grams
Vitamin C 10 percent of the daily value (DV)
Vitamin K 57 percent of the DV
Magnesium 9 percent of the DV
Potassium 12 percent of the DV
Manganese 9 percent of the DV

Cucumber classification criteria

Botanical

Cucumbers are considered fruits in botany because they grow from a flower and contain seeds. So, a cucumber is a fruit by that definition.

  • In botanical terms, a fruit is a seed-bearing product that originates from the ovaries of a flowering plant, or fruit is a plant's technique to disperse its seeds.
  • Cucumbers are considered a fruit under this classification because they contain microscopic seeds in the center and grow from the cucumber plant's flower.

However, a vegetable does not have a specific definition, but rather is a broad phrase that includes all other edible components of the plant, such as the roots, stems, and leaves.

Culinary

Cucumber is considered a vegetable in terms of how it is frequently prepared and consumed.

It is more typically used to make salads, stir-fries, and other vegetable recipes than recipes that call for fruits. Cucumbers, in the perspective of chefs all around the world, are a vegetable.

A vegetable, in culinary terms, has a rougher texture and blander flavor and is frequently used in stews, soups, and stir-fries.

A fruit, however, has a soft feel and is sweet or tangy and commonly eaten raw or as desserts or jams.

Horticultural

When it comes to horticulture, fruits come from woody plants, whereas vegetables come from herbaceous plants. Cucumbers are classified as a vegetable by most horticulturists because they grow from herbaceous plants.

Cultural

Though some botanists argue that cucumber is a fruit, most of the population consider, refer to, and consume cucumbers as vegetables.

QUESTION

According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

10 health benefits of cucumber

Cucumbers are quite popular in ancient Egypt and Greece. Cucumber is rich in nutrients, plant compounds, and antioxidants that help treat and reduce certain diseases.

  1. Weight loss: Cucumber is low in calories and contains a good amount of water and soluble fiber. It hydrates and helps lose weight by reducing appetite.
  2. Reduce risk for cancer: Lignans (pinoresinol, lariciresinol, and secoisolariciresinol) are polyphenols found in cucumbers that may help reduce the incidence of breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancer. Cucurbitacin, a phytonutrient found in them, has been shown to have anticancer properties.
  3. Good for diabetes: Cucumbers contain a hormone that the beta cells need to produce insulin. Cucumbers have a glycemic index of zero. The glycemic index is a metric that measures the presence of carbohydrates and their impact on the body.
  4. Improve hair and skin health: Cucumbers are high in vitamins C and K, which are beneficial to the skin.
    • Cucumber slices applied to the skin soothe the skin and reduce swelling and inflammation.
    • The scalp, like the skin, requires moisture; hence, cucumber's water content helps moisturize the scalp.
    • Cucumber contains silicon, salt, sulfur, and potassium, which are vital minerals for hair growth. They strengthen the hair follicles, reduce hair loss, and make the hair shiny.
  5. Body detoxification: Cucumber is known to have excellent cleansing properties. Those properties actively eradicate accumulated toxins from the body system. Cucurbitacin promotes healthy liver and digestive functions. The liver is responsible for organically cleansing the body.
  6. Strengthen bones: Cucumber is high in vitamins and minerals that promote bone health.
    • Cucumber contains calcium, which helps strengthen bones and reduce the risk of bone disease and loss.
    • Vitamin K aids in the absorption of calcium, bone production, and the prevention of osteoporosis.
    • All the other nutrients and vitamins help improve bone health, repair damaged bones, and prevent bone loss.
  7. Reduce puffiness around the eyes:
    • Cucumber has two potent antioxidants, ascorbic and caffeic acid, which help reduce puffiness and swelling around the eyes by lowering water retention.
    • Cucumber slices are sufficient to relieve puffiness.
  8. Constipation relief: Constipation is primarily caused by a lack of fiber and water in the diet.
    • Cucumber contains 95 percent water and two grams of fiber, which restore the body's fiber and water content, avoiding constipation and facilitating smooth bowel movement.
  9. Advantages for the nervous system: Cucumbers are high in vitamins and nutrients, making them suitable for neural system function.
    • Cucumber soothes and relaxes the neurological system, reducing tension, and anxiety.
    • Cucumber has B vitamins, which help lower stress levels.
  10. Oral health benefits:
    • It aids in the cleaning of the teeth and gums. Because dental health affects overall health, maintaining good oral hygiene is a must.
    • Cucumber has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory characteristics that are helpful after an installation or adjustment of a brace.
    • Cucumber phytochemicals fight microorganisms in the mouth, reducing bad breath.

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Medically Reviewed on 6/24/2022
References
Image Source: iStock image

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Pulse.ng. Cucumber: The health benefits of this fruit will leave you speechless. https://www.pulse.ng/lifestyle/beauty-health/cucumber-the-health-benefits-of-this-fruit-will-leave-you-speechless/gc10qxy

Narayana Health. Health Benefits of Cucumber. https://www.narayanahealth.org/blog/health-benefits-of-cucumber/

Star Health Insurance. Cucumber – Nutrition and Health Benefits. https://www.starhealth.in/blog/cucumber

DiLonardo MJ. Cucumber. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/cucumber-health-benefits