Cucumber is a very famous creeping vine plant that belongs to the gourd family. They are long, lean and green garden vegetables. Though most people consider them as a vegetable, cucumbers are technically fruits, from the same family as watermelons.
Cucumber is a vegetable packed with various health benefits. This includes detoxifying the body, skin and eye care, reducing risk of heart diseases, treating cancer, helping to lose weight and many more. It contains Vitamin A, Vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, copper and other significant nutrients. As cucumbers are 90% water, it helps our body to fight dehydration.
Cucumber was originated from India about 3000 years ago. Later it was introduced to Europe. Now, they are one of the most widely-planted vegetables in the world.
Must-Known Facts about Cucumber:
Cucumber is a famous vegetable that comes with a load of health benefits. Here are some must-known facts about it-
● Cucumber provides additional hydration to our body. It helps to regulate the body temperature. So, eating a cucumber means eating and drinking at the same time
● As cucumbers contain very low calories, you can add them in your diet plan. It fuels up the process of weight lose
● If you have a bad breath problem, cucumber can be the solution. It works as natural breath freshener by killing the bacteria inside your mouth
● Cucumber contains Vitamin B1, B7 and B5. They help in stress relief and reduce anxiety
● The biotin of cucumber improves the condition of hair and nails
Health Benefits of Cucumber:
It is clear now that cucumber provides tons of health benefits to our body. Here some pointers that will indicate on what ways they do it-
- Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease: Cucumber contains minerals like potassium and magnesium. They help to improve neurological functions of our brain. Also, high blood pressure means a high risk of stroke and other cardiovascular casualties. Cucumber helps to control our blood pressure.
- Keeps you hydrated: The temperature of earth is increasing day by day. The summers are much hotter than before. As you already know, cucumber contains 90% water. So, if you want to stay hydrated, eat cucumber by side of drinking water. It also helps to flush out the waste of your body.
- Promotes weight loss: Drinking water helps to boost your metabolism. So, the process of weight loss speeds up. As cucumber contains an enormous amount of water, they will provide the same benefits of drinking water. Also, cucumbers are very low in calories. You can easily add it on your diet plan.
- Helps in detoxifying: Cucumbers are famous for detoxifying our body. It helps the liver to remove toxins from blood streams and guts. Daily consumption of cucumber beverages will provide you these benefits.
- Good for skin: Cucumbers contain Vitamin C, which is famous for its skin care functions. You can often see the use of cucumber paste in parlors and salons. Cucumber nourishes your skin and protects from dryness. You can easily take care of your skin by making cucumber paste at home.
- Improves eye health: As cucumbers contain almost 90% water, they help to moisturize the skin around the eyes. It can also treat dark circle problems.
- Treats cancer: Cucumber contains fisetin, caffeic acid and lutein that reduces cancerous cells in our body. Also, the antioxidants of cucumber helps to eliminate the free radical and mitigate the risk of cancer.
- Combats bad breath: Keeping a slice of cucumber in your mouth for 30 seconds can help you combat bad breath problems. It kills the bacteria of our mouth that creates odor in the mouth.
- Regulates diabetes: Cucumber contains a large amount of fiber. It helps to control the sugar level of our body. Various studies have shown that eating cucumber can reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes. Also, it can lower the craving of sugar and help in weight loss.
- Improves bone, nails and teeth health: Cucumber contains ascorbic acid and caffeic acid. They help to strengthen our bones, ligament and cartilage. The biotin of cucumber improves the growth of nails. As cucumbers are crunchy, they help to scrub our teeth. So, consuming cucumbers can improve the health of your bones, nails and teeth.
Nutrition facts of a cucumber (100g):
● Water 95.23g
● Energy 15kcal
● Protein 0.65g
● Total lipid (fat) 0.11g
● Carbohydrate, by difference 3.63g
● Fiber 0.5g
● Starch 0.83g
● Calcium 16mg
● Iron 0.28mg
● Magnesium 13mg
● Phosphorus 24mg
● Potassium 147mg
● Sodium 2mg
● Vitamin C 2.8mg
● Vitamin B-6 0.04mg
● Folate, total 7µg
● Vitamin A 105IU
● Vitamin K 16.4µg
Various types of Cucumber:
There are over 100 varieties of cucumber. You can divide them into two main types, slicing cucumber and pickling cucumber. Here are some other famous varieties of it-
- English Cucumber: They are long cucumbers with a narrow end. Usually the length of English cucumbers are 10 to 15 inches. Their skin is soft and thin. So you can also eat them without peeling off the skin. They taste sweeter than most of the other cucumber
- Green fingers Persian cucumber: These cucumbers are sown in late April and harvested by June. Green fingers are small in size, about 3 to 5 inches. So they are a very good snack, considering the little size of it
- Muncher cucumber: They are seedless cucumbers and contain very less or no cucurbitacin. So people who have gas problems after consuming cucumbers, can try this one
- Ashley cucumber: These cucumbers are famous for growing in hot and humid climates. They are about 6 to 8 inches long and takes 65 days to harvest
- Gherkins cucumber: If you are finding a cucumber to pickle, gherkins is the one. These small cucumbers length only two inches. They are very popular in France
- Garden cucumber: Garden cucumbers have smooth skin and their skin color is dark green. You can eat them without peeling off the skin. They are the most common type of cucumber in North America. Green cucumbers are perfect for all recipes
Risk Factors of Cucumber:
Though cucumbers have several health benefits, there are some strange side effects of consuming it too much. Some of them are-
● Cucurbitacin is a compound that causes bitterness of the cucumber. Many researches have shown that this toxin can be harmful to the human body
● If you consume too much cucumber, it will eliminate excessive fluid from your body. This may hamper the electrolytic balance of your body
● People with sensitive digestive system should be careful in consuming cucumbers. It can cause bloating and flatulence
● If you are allergic to ragweed pollen or melons, avoid cucumber.
● It is better not to eat cucumber if you have sinusitis or other respiratory conditions
● As cucumbers contain an extensive amount of fiber, you should be careful about consuming cucumbers during pregnancy. They might cause bloating
Best Ways to Eat Cucumber:
Cucumbers are a versatile veggie that goes well with various dishes and recipes. You can even eat them raw. Here are some best ways to eat you cucumber –
● One of the most common ways to eat cucumber is adding it in salads. You can add long ribbons of cucumber and carrots to give a fun texture in your salad
● You can slice mini cucumbers, scoop out some of the inside and make space for the fillings. That’s how you can make boats for flavorful toppings
● You can make cucumber smoothie very easily at home. It will keep you hydrated for all day long
● Adding sliced cucumber in your soup will provide a comforting taste to it
● You can make roll ups using cucumber. Add apple and cheese fillings in your roll ups to enhance the taste of it
● Cucumbers incorporate easily into your tasty homemade dips
● You can enjoy the freshness of cucumber like ice-cream too. First, make cucumber smoothie and pour it into molds with a popsicle. Then freeze it for 3 to 5 hours
● If you are a sushi fan, try it with peeled cucumber. It will taste even better
● Pickled cucumber is a very popular way of consuming cucumbers. Choose small sized cucumbers, about 2 to 5 inches. Then, pickle it in a brine, vinegar, or other solution and leave it for fermentation for a certain period of time
● Last but not the least, the best way is, undoubtedly, to eat cucumbers raw. Take a fresh cucumber whenever you are feeling hungry
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Cucumber:
Question- Which one is the most common variety of cucumber?
Answer- The most common variety of cucumber is English or European cucumber. It is also marketed by the name “burpless” cucumbers
Question- Should we eat cucumbers at night?
Answer- Eating cucumber before sleep might make you feel bloated. As cucumbers contain a large amount of water, it will fill up the bladder and urinate more during night. So, it’s better to avoid excessive cucumber at night.
Question- Do cucumbers help in weight loss?
Answer- yeah, you can add cucumbers in your diet plan. They contain 90% of water, which will increase the metabolism of the body. Also, cucumbers are very low in calories.
Question- Can cucumbers cause gas?
Answer- Vegetables like cucumber can cause gas if you have a sensitive digestive system.
Question- Can you eat cucumber skins?
Answer- Yes, cucumber skins are absolutely edible. It contains Vitamin A and fiber. You just need to wash it properly.
Question- What’s the best way to eat cucumbers?
Answer- The best way to have cucumber is raw. If you want the complete health nutrition of cucumber, eat them raw.