Rich in water, antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins, cucumbers are a great on-the-go snack and provide a number of significant health benefits.
Cucumbers, although thought to be vegetables, are actually fruits belonging to the gourd family of flowering plants. The gourd family contains several other fruits and vegetables such as melons, squashes, and pumpkins.
What is the nutritional value of cucumbers?
One raw, unpeeled cucumber (about 8.25 inches, 310 grams) gives you the following:
- Water: 287 grams
- Calories: 45.2 kcal
- Fiber: 1.5 grams
- Protein: 1.96 grams
- Cholesterol: None
- Potassium: 442 mg
- Calcium: 48.2 mg
- Vitamin C: 8.43 mg
Cucumbers also contain some folate, B vitamins, vitamin A, fluoride, selenium, zinc, copper, and several other phytonutrients (including antioxidants such as flavonoids and tannins).
8 health benefits of cucumbers
- Promotes hydration: About 95% of the weight of cucumbers is made up of water. Cucumbers help you stay hydrated, which is crucial for skin health, stamina, and eliminating waste products from your body.
- Aids weight loss: Cucumbers are low in calories and rich in fiber, helping you feel full for longer. Substituting processed high-calorie snacks with cucumbers can help you limit your calorie intake and achieve healthy weight loss.
- Antioxidant-rich: Cucumbers are rich in antioxidants including flavonoids. Antioxidants help protect our bodies from the harmful effects of free radicals and play a crucial role in fighting inflammation and oxidative stress that can lead to premature aging, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, cancer, and other chronic diseases.
- Heart health: Cucumbers are naturally free of cholesterol, low in sodium, and rich in potassium, antioxidants, and fiber, making them beneficial for managing blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart health.
- Diabetes management: Cucumbers have a low glycemic index, which means they do not cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Moreover, they are packed with antioxidants that help fight oxidative stress. Their high water and fiber content help control cravings and prevent dehydration, making them great for people with diabetes.
- Gut health: Cucumbers are rich in fiber, so they help promote bowel movement and growth of good bacteria in the gut. Regular consumption of cucumbers helps prevent constipation, heartburn, and indigestion.
- Oral health: Cucumbers help prevent bad breath and dental cavities. Water content and vitamin C in cucumbers promote healthy teeth and gum and prevent mouth dryness. The fiber also helps gently scrub your teeth and promote saliva secretion. Increased salivary flow helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth.
- Bone health: Cucumbers contain calcium, vitamin K, magnesium, and vitamin C, which help maintain healthy bones and muscles. Your body needs these nutrients for maintaining bone density, healing fractures, and preventing diseases such as osteoporosis.
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