Cucumber is fruit vegetable with a mild but refreshing taste. The fruit can be used to relieve dehydration due to its high amount of water; thus, they are pleasant to eat during hot weather.
Did you know that cucumber, watermelon, and squash are found in the same family?
Yes, they are in the members of the Cucurbitaceae family. These fruit vegetables are low in calories, cholesterol, fats, and sodium but high in other nutrients. See other nutrition facts of cucumber. so let’s come to health benefits of cucumber.
Cucumber health benefits
1. Important for Bone health
The plethora of nutrients in the cucumber play an essential role in the formation and development of bones, besides maintaining their health. They are:
Vitamin K: critical in blood clotting and bone health. In a cup of cucumber, you get 10.2 micrograms of vitamin K. Females above 19 years old should take 90 mcg while men 120 mcg per day.
Calcium: there are 19.9 milligrams in cucumber. Depending on age and sex, adults require 1,000–1,200 mg of calcium per day.
Keep in mind that Vitamin K improves how calcium is absorbed, but together, they benefit the bones.
2. Cucumber Contains Antioxidants
Antioxidants are essential in preventing oxidation, which usually results in the formation of highly reactive atoms called free radicals.
The free radicals are harmful to the body, and if they accumulate they lead to several types of chronic illnesses.
Free radicals cause oxidative stress, which is usually associated with cancers, autoimmune diseases, and heart and lung diseases.
If you consume cucumber, you reduce the risk of developing this condition.
96 percent of cucumbers are water. Besides, they have essential electrolytes. Thus, cucumber can help prevent dehydration, especially after a workout and hot weather.
Water is important for the transportation of nutrients, and wastes, and regulation of body temperature.
Experts say that proper hydration has a significant influence on physical performance and metabolism, among other things. You can meet your water needs by drinking fluids; however, over 40 percent of water intake is usually from foods.
Since cucumbers have about 96% water, they, undoubtedly, are effective at promoting hydration. As such, they can help you meet your daily fluid requirements.
4. Cardiovascular health
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), dietary fiber can help manage cholesterol and prevent related cardiovascular problems, and cucumber has an abundance of fiber.
Also, other nutrients in cucumber-like potassium prevent the chances of getting high blood pressure. In fact, reducing sodium intake while increasing the intake of potassium is recommended by medical experts.
A cup of cucumber will supply 193 mg of potassium, though less than daily requirements, but it can boost the health of your heart.
5. It can lower blood sugar
According to test-tube studies, cucumbers can help to reduce blood sugar levels as well as prevent some complications associated with diabetes.
Additionally, some animal studies have shown that cucumber worked well in controlling blood sugar levels effectively.
Another study conducted on diabetes-induced mice and supplemented with cucumber peel extract showed the efficacy of the peel extract reversing most of the changes that are associated with diabetes and ultimately decreased blood sugar.
Cucurbitacin is a prominent substance in cucumber; it is bitter tasting. This substance is thought to stop the reproduction of cancer cells, according to the International Journal of Health Services.
Also, fiber is important in preventing the occurrence of colorectal cancer. When you take a 133-g cup unpeeled cucumber, you get 1 g of fiber.
Inflammation is usually the function of the immune system. Cucumber helps to lower the inflammatory response of the body. Such responses are associated with conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, and cancers, among others.
Cucumber has compounds that can reduce the chances of getting such conditions. For instance, it has different types of polyphenols, most notably lignans, which have the potential to reduce occurrences of cardiovascular conditions and certain types of cancers.
Additionally, they have plant nutrients, notably cucurbitacins, that are known to have anti-cancer properties. These compounds can effectively block some signaling pathways that may cause cancer.
Cucumbers have tannins and flavonoids. Flavonoids are potent anti-inflammatory compounds which, together with tannins, have shown to lower the rate of release of free radicals in the body. In turn, this reduces pain.
Traditionally, cucumber was used headaches, according to the Journal of Young Pharmacists.
In addition, the seeds have a cooling and diuretic effect, while the juice has a lot of nutrients. Still, the juice was used as a demulcent in anti-acne lotions.