We always hear our parents say, cucumber is very good for health. Some even use it as an eye mask. Before knowing the health benefits of cucumber, we need to know what it is! Is it a pickle? A vegetable? No, it’s a fruit. You read that right. That common vegetable salad made of cucumber, tomato and onion is a lie because it was more of a fruit salad. That said it is time to uncover the healthy reality of cucumber, or is it?
Starting with the easy ones:
is rich in nutrients: This fruit is low in calories but has a high content of
many important vitamins and minerals. One 300-gram unpeeled raw cucumber
contains the following:
- Calories: 45g
- Total fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 11 grams
- Proteins: 2 grams
- Vitamin C: 14% of recommended dietary intake (RDI)
- Vitamin K: 62% of RDI
- Magnesium: 10% of RDI
- Potassium: 13% of RDI
- Manganese: 12% of RDI
Additionally, cucumbers have a high-water content and provides high fiber content when eaten unpeeled.
- Cucumber contains anti-oxidants: Anti-oxidants are molecules that do exactly what their name suggests, that is, prevent oxidation. This helps reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Notably, prolonged high oxidative stress has shown to cause chronic illness and have been associated to cancer and auto-immune diseases.
- It promotes hydration: Needless to say, the high-water content in this fruit helps the body regulate temperature while keeping it sufficiently hydrated.
- Aids in weight-loss: This is a direct result of the high nutrition and water content of cucumbers. Especially, due to its low-calorie count.
- May lower blood sugar level: Several studies have found that cucumbers help in reducing blood sugar level. A study in diabetes induced with cucumber peels demonstrated that cucumber peels reverses most diabetes induced changes and caused a decrease in blood sugar level. This study is, however, limited to mice and lab conditions and requires further investigation for conclusive impact on humans.
- Improved bowel movements: Eating cucumbers can help regularize bowel movements. Due to its high fiber and water content, cucumbers improve movement of intestinal muscles and even prevent constipation.
In summary, cucumbers have many long-term health benefits associated with it. And to all the people looking for treating their dark circles with a slice of cucumber, there is no other way of saying this but that is one age old myth. Maybe sleeping early after a cucumber milkshake might help, after all cucumber is one healthy fruit.