Cucumbers: Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts


Few meals are as cool as a cucumber. These low-calorie veggies include many dietary advantages, together with hydrating properties and priceless vitamins.


There are a whole bunch of types of cucumber, and so they are available dozens of colours, however the edible sorts are categorised as being for both slicing or pickling, in keeping with Cornell College’s Rising Information. Slicing cucumbers are cultivated to be eaten recent, whereas pickling cucumbers are supposed for the brine jar. Slicing cucumbers are normally bigger and thicker-skinned than pickling ones.


In america, generally planted forms of slicing cucumber embody Dasher, Conquistador, Slicemaster, Victory, Comet, Burpee Hybrid and Dash, in keeping with the World’s Healthiest Meals web site. Generally planted forms of pickling cucumber embody Royal, Calypso, Pioneer, Bounty, Regal, Duke and Blitz.


Whereas most individuals consider cucumbers as greens, they’re really a fruit. They include seeds and develop from the ovaries of flowering vegetation. Cucumbers are members of the plant household Cucurbitaceae, which additionally contains squashes and melons. The most typical sort of slicing cucumber present in a grocery retailer is the backyard cucumber, Cucumis sativus, in keeping with World’s Healthiest Meals. 


Cucumbers are good sources of phytonutrients (plant chemical substances which have protecting or illness preventive properties) such flavonoids, lignans and triterpenes, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer advantages, in keeping with World’s Healthiest Meals. 


“We must always positively hunt down meals which are nutrient-rich, utilizing the optimistic method of what to place in your plate vs. what to maintain off,” stated Angela Lemond, a Plano, Texas-based registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Vitamin and Dietetics. The peel and seeds are essentially the most nutrient-dense elements of the cucumber. They include fiber and beta-carotene. “Beta carotene is an antioxidant that helps with immunity, pores and skin, eye and the prevention of most cancers,” stated Lemond. A research printed within the Pakistan Journal of Vitamin discovered that cucumber seeds have been a great supply of minerals, and contained calcium.


“Cucumbers are naturally low in energy, carbohydrates, sodium, fats and ldl cholesterol,” stated Megan Ware, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Orlando, Florida. There are simply 16 energy in a cup of cucumber with its peel (15 with out). You’re going to get about four p.c of your day by day potassium, three p.c of your day by day fiber and four p.c of your day by day vitamin C. Additionally they “present small quantities of vitamin Ok, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, manganese and vitamin A,” Ware stated.


Listed here are the diet details for cucumbers, in keeping with the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration, which regulates meals labeling via the Dietary Labeling and Training Act:










Vitamin Info


Cucumber, with peel, uncooked

Serving dimension: half cup, sliced (52 g)


Energy eight

  Energy from Fats zero


*% Day by day Values (%DV) are based mostly on a 2,000 calorie eating regimen.


Amt per Serving

%DV*

 

Amt per Serving

%DV*

Whole Fats 0g

zero%

 

Whole Carbohydrate 2g

1%

Ldl cholesterol 0mg

zero%

 

  Dietary Fiber 0g

zero%

Sodium 1mg

2%

 

   Sugars 0g

 

Protein 0g

 

 

 

 

Vitamin A

1%

 

Calcium

1%

Vitamin C

2%

 

Iron

1%


Hydration


Cucumbers are 95 p.c water, in keeping with Ware. This makes cucumbers a good way to remain hydrated, particularly through the summer time. A cup of cucumber slices is “almost as thirst-quenching as a glass of water,” in keeping with Consuming Nicely journal. 


“They are saying we will get 20-30 p.c of our fluid wants via our eating regimen alone, and meals like these actually assist,” added Lemond. “Not solely are they excessive in water content material, additionally they include necessary vitamins that play an element in hydration like magnesium and potassium.” 


The anti-inflammatory compounds in cucumbers assist take away waste from the physique and cut back pores and skin irritation, in keeping with the Cleveland Clinic. Preliminary analysis additionally suggests cucumbers promote anti-wrinkling and anti-aging exercise, in keeping with an article within the journal Filoterapia. 


Most cancers prevention


Cucumbers include two phytonutrient compounds related to anti-cancer advantages: lignans and cucurbitacins. Lately, pharmaceutical firms have been paying particular consideration to cucurbitacins, hoping to make use of them in new most cancers medicine. In accordance with a 2010 analysis overview printed in Scientific World Journal, scientists have discovered that cucurbitacins may help block the signaling pathways which are necessary for most cancers cell proliferation and survival. 


Cucurbitacins can even inhibits the expansion of pancreatic most cancers cells, in keeping with a 2009 research printed within the Journal of Most cancers Analysis checked out cucurbitacin B (which cucumber comprises) on human pancreatic most cancers cells and located that cucurbitacin dietary supplements inhibited the expansion of seven pancreatic most cancers cell strains by 50 p.c, and likewise elevated apoptosis, or “demise by suicide,” of pancreatic most cancers cells. 


In accordance with World’s Healthiest Meals, lignans could defend in opposition to most cancers via working with the micro organism within the digestive tract. The micro organism take the lignans and convert them into compounds resembling enterodiol and enterolactone, which might bind onto estrogen receptors and presumably cut back the danger of estrogen-related cancers, resembling ovarian, breast, endometrial and prostate cancers. The analysis shouldn’t be but clear on whether or not lignans really assert anti-cancer advantages. 


A 2009 meta-analysis printed within the British Journal of Most cancers discovered little or no affiliation between lignan consumption and decreased breast most cancers danger. Equally, most research haven’t discovered vital correlations between lignan consumption and decreased prostate most cancers danger, in keeping with the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State College, although one research of older Scottish males printed within the British Journal of Vitamin confirmed that consuming an enterolactone-containing serum decreased the danger of prostate most cancers. 


Alternatively, a Journal of Vitamin research of almost 800 American girls discovered that these with these with the very best lignan consumption had the bottom danger of ovarian most cancers. Moreover, a research printed within the Journal of the Nationwide Most cancers Institute checked out almost 1,000 girls within the San Francisco space and located that postmenopausal girls with the very best lignan intakes had the bottom danger of endometrial most cancers.


Pores and skin


You’ve got in all probability seen footage of individuals at a spa enjoyable with cucumber slices over their eyes. It turns on the market’s science behind this pampering ritual. Ware defined, “Cucumbers have a cooling and soothing impact that decreases swelling, irritation and irritation when used topically. Cucumber slices may be positioned on the eyes can lower morning puffiness or alleviate and deal with sunburn when positioned on the affected areas.” She additionally famous that top vegetable consumption is related to a wholesome complexion usually. 


Bone well being


In accordance with the College of Maryland Medical Heart, up to now few many years, it has grow to be clear that vitamin Ok is necessary to bone well being, and one cup of cucumber comprises about 19 p.c of the really helpful day by day consumption of vitamin Ok. One overview printed in Vitamin famous that vitamin Ok consumption may cut back fracture charges, work with vitamin D to extend bone density and positively have an effect on calcium steadiness. 


The human physique makes use of vitamin Ok when constructing bones, and the consequences appear to be particularly necessary for girls. A big 2003 American Journal of Medical Vitamin research confirmed that low vitamin Ok ranges have been related to low bone density in girls, however not in males. One other research printed within the American Journal of Medical Vitamin in 1999 discovered that low intakes of vitamin Ok have been related to an elevated danger of hip fractures in middle-age girls. That is particularly attention-grabbing as a result of the ladies noticed outcomes from consuming lettuce, displaying that dietary consumption of vitamin Ok through consuming greens (not dietary supplements) is useful. In relation to males, the impacts of vitamin Ok and bone well being could grow to be extra obvious as they age: A 2000 research noticed decreased danger of hip fracture amongst each aged girls and aged males who consumed extra vitamin Ok.


Antioxidants 


Meals which are excessive in antioxidants permit your physique to operate optimally.  Antioxidants assist stop injury and most cancers,” Lemond stated.


Cucumbers include a number of antioxidants, together with vitamin C, beta-carotene and manganese, in addition to flavonoids, triterpenes and lignans which have anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin C is well-known for its immune system advantages, and beta-carotene has been proven to be useful for imaginative and prescient, in keeping with the Mayo Clinic. 


In accordance with a 2010 animal research printed within the Journal of Younger Pharmacists, recent extracts from cucumber confirmed elevated scavenging of free radicals. Free radicals are related to quite a lot of human illnesses, however can generally be held in test by antioxidants, in keeping with the Pharmacognosy Evaluation. 


One other research of cucumber extracts in animals, printed within the Archives of Dermatological Analysis, discovered elevated general antioxidant advantages. Although this research centered on the beauty functions of this use of cucumbers, decreased free radicals can enhance your inside organs in addition to your pores and skin. 


A further research printed in Present Pharmaceutical Design discovered a optimistic affiliation between the triterpene cucurbitacin and decreased irritation, significantly in most cancers cells. A overview of triterpenes on the immune system, printed within the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, instructed that they may help with irritation and inspired future analysis.


Coronary heart well being


“Consuming quite a lot of vegatables and fruits of every kind is related to a decreased danger for a lot of well being situations, resembling coronary heart illness, diabetes, stroke and weight problems,” stated Ware. Cucumbers’ potassium content material could also be particularly useful on this regard. One cup of sliced cukes comprises solely about four p.c of the physique’s day by day potassium wants, but it surely comes with considerably fewer energy than most high-potassium meals like bananas. Potassium is an important a part of coronary heart well being, in keeping with the American Coronary heart Affiliation. A research of 12,000 adults, printed in Archives of Inside Drugs, confirmed that those that consumed four,069 mg of potassium every day lowered their danger of heart problems and ischemic coronary heart illness by 37 p.c and 49 p.c, respectively, in comparison with those that took 1,793 mg per day. 


A number of research have linked cucumber consumption to decreasing hypertension. Many research have linked it with decrease blood strain as a result of it promotes vasodiliation (widening of the blood vessels), in keeping with In the present day’s Dietitian. A 2017 research printed in Public Well being of Indonesia discovered that aged members with hypertension noticed a big lower in blood strain after consuming cucumber juice for 12 days. Moreover, a 2009 overview in Indian Academy of Medical Drugs instructed that hypertension victims incorporate cucumbers into their diets due to the fruit’s low sodium content material. 


The vitamin Ok in cucumbers can also be identified to be important within the blood-clotting course of, in keeping with the Harvard Faculty of Public Well being. 


Digestion


A 2013 overview in Fitoterapia famous that cucumbers may assist relieve constipation as a result of they supply each fiber and water. Tufts College notes that cucumbers can pack much more of a digestive punch if they’re was pickles throughout a home-fermentation course of. Cucumber pickles include probiotic micro organism that promote wholesome digestion and cultivating useful intestine flora. Retailer-bought pickles normally would not have these micro organism as a result of they’ve been boiled out. 


Weight reduction


Cucumbers are a low-calorie meals subsequently a well-liked ingredient in eating regimen meals. A 2011 research within the journal Weight problems discovered that larger water consumption correlated with extra weight reduction in middle-age and older adults. Individuals who consumed 1 pint (500 milliliters) of water previous to consuming a meal misplaced a mean of four lbs. (2 kilograms) greater than members who didn’t. Snacking on water-dense meals like cucumbers may be an efficient technique to up water consumption. 


However Lemond cautions in opposition to relying an excessive amount of on water-dense meals like cucumber. “We all know that individuals that eat greater portions of vegatables and fruits sometimes have more healthy physique weights. Nonetheless, I don’t advocate consuming solely cucumber.  You’ll shed pounds, however that weight can be principally muscle,” she stated. 


Mind well being and reminiscence


Not too long ago, scientists have taken curiosity within the flavonoid fisetin. Cucumbers are a great supply of fisetin, which research have related to defending nerve cells, bettering reminiscence and reducing the danger of Alzheimer’s in mice, in keeping with a 2013 overview within the journal of Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. The identical overview discovered promising outcomes for the connection between fisetin and most cancers prevention. 


There is usually a few dangers from consuming cukes. Pesticide consumption is one concern. Ware defined, “The Environmental Working Group produces an inventory every year of vegatables and fruits with the very best ranges of pesticide residue, often known as the Soiled Dozen. Cucumbers are one of many vegatables and fruits that the Environmental Working Group has positioned on its Soiled Dozen listing, that means the publicity to pesticide residue is excessive.”


Moreover, cucumbers could also be waxed to assist defend them throughout delivery. In accordance with World’s Healthiest Meals, each natural and conventionally grown cukes could also be waxed, however natural ones can solely use non-synthetic waxes with chemical substances authorised below natural laws. Because of this and the pesticide issues, World’s Healthiest Meals encourages shopping for natural cucumbers. However Ware stipulated, “This doesn’t imply you must keep away from cucumbers altogether if you cannot discover or afford natural. The dietary advantage of consuming conventionally grown produce outweighs the danger of not consuming produce in any respect.”


Wholesome as they’re, you do not need to overdo it on cucumbers, stated Lemond. “My suggestion is at all times to range your alternatives.  Cucumbers are nice hydrating meals, so preserve them in together with different plant meals that supply different advantages. Selection is at all times key.”


Pickling is a technique of preserving meals — and never solely cucumbers — to stop spoiling. There are two fundamental kinds of pickles: fermented and non-fermented, in keeping with the World’s Healthiest Meals. 


Fermented pickles have been soaked in brine, which is water that has been saturated with salt. The phrase “pickle” comes from the Dutch phrase pekel, which implies brine. Brines can even include different components, resembling vinegar, dill seed, garlic and lime. 


Dill pickles are brined with dill added to the answer, clearly.  Kosher dills are brined with dill and garlic. “Kosher” on this case doesn’t essentially imply the cucumbers have been ready in keeping with kosher dietary legal guidelines, nevertheless; it simply means garlic has been added to the brining course of, in keeping with the World’s Healthiest Meals.


Gherkin pickles are normally simply immature cucumbers, in keeping with Cornell College. 


Further sources