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Cucumber - health benefits of underrated cucumber

24 July, 2021 Ananya Das

Cucumber, a creeping vine plant, originated from South Asia is made up of 95% water and possesses various beneficial nutrients and minerals required by our body. It is considered a vegetable but is a fruit to be eaten raw or grilled, unpeeled to enjoy its full potential health benefits as peeling lowers its fiber, vitamins, and minerals contents. Some of the various contents of cucumber are

  • Zero fat
  • 4% carbohydrate
  • 1% protein
  • 67kJ energy
  • Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C and K
  • 1.3micrograms of fluorides per 100g cucumber
  • Alpha was the first detected variant, more easily disseminated by the first variety identified in the UK, causing more severe disease.
  • Minerals like Ca, K(147 mg/100 g), Mg, Mn, Zn, Fe, Na, P

Besides, the high water and fiber content of cucumber promotes hydration and helps in losing weight, and helps to treat various health conditions due to its antioxidant and plant compound contents. Now, let us look at some of the various health benefits of cucumber:

  • Promotes bone health: Cucumber contains both calcium and potassium in good quantity per 100 gm of cucumber. Calcium is beneficial for improving bone health while potassium is essential for the proper absorption of calcium by the bones. So, overall it helps to maintain bone health.
  • Lowers blood sugar level: The presence of cucurbitacin helps to regulate the insulin release and hepatic glycogen metabolism of the body thus, maintaining proper blood sugar level. It possesses a low GI, which makes it a good element to be added to your meal without fear of rising sugar levels.
  • Promotes skin health: Cucumber is considered to provide a soothing, cooling sensation to the skin leading to a reduction in swelling and irritation. Alongside it helps in alleviating sunburn.
  • Hydrates: Due to the 95% water content, it is considered the best choice to remove dehydration. Alongside promoting hydration in the body, cucumber helps maintain a healthy intestine, alleviates constipation, and avoids kidney stones.
  • Improves hair health: Cucumber contains sulfur and silicon, essential to strengthen and rejuvenate hair leading to improvement in hair growth and making it soft and silky with good volume.
  • Helps in relieving pain: The magnesium content of cucumber helps to control blood pressure and boosts immunity. The flavonoid, tannin, and other antioxidant content of cucumber, make it possible to reduce the free radicals released in the body and thus reduces the pain due to chronic ailments.

Besides the various health benefits provided by cucumber, let us also know about some of the potential side effects of this vegetable.

  • Toxic: Cucumber contains an element called cucurbitacin, the reason for the bitterness of the vegetable. So, if consumed in excess it can be dangerous and cause health problems.
  • Dehydrating: Cucurbitacin is known to possess diuretic properties. Consumption in excessive amounts results in the removal of fluids from the body, disturbing the electrolytic balance of the body. Hence, resulting in dehydration.
  • Allergic: Studies have found that this vegetable may lead to allergy in people who are allergic to melons, bananas, and sunflower seeds. Alongside, individuals who are lactose allergic will be allergic to it due to the wax coating of the vegetable used to protect the vegetable from insects and transportation damage.
  • Affects stomach: Cucumbers own potassium, but if potassium is consumed in large amounts then, it can affect the kidney as well as cause bloating, stomach aches, and intestinal gas that in turn may cause damage to the renal system.
  • Aggravates chronic respiratory conditions: Due to the cooling effects of cucumber, this vegetable is considered to increase complications if you are suffering from chronic respiratory conditions or sinusitis.

Some frequently asked questions on cucumber:

Q1.Which is the best time of the day to consume cucumber?

A: The hydrating power of cucumber water makes it an ideal drink that helps to reduce weight, blood pressure as well as improves the health of the skin. It is very beneficial to consume cucumber water with no restriction on the time when it should be taken. So, enjoy cucumber water any time of the day.

Q2.How should cucumber be consumed to stimulate weight loss?

A: Consuming cucumber in any way helps to enjoy its full benefits but for more consideration for stimulating weight loss, we can consume cucumber as a part of a salad with every meal or drink its juice mixed with lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.

Q3: Can cucumber be eaten empty stomach?

A: Cucumber is a green vegetable, rich in amino acids that make it difficult to digest. So, it should not be eaten empty stomach as it leads to flatulence, stomach ache, and heartburn.

Q4: Is cucumber intake safe during pregnancy?

A: In normal amounts, cucumber consumption is safe during pregnancy but if the amount is increased then its diuretic properties may lead to frequent urination and good fiber content may cause bloating both leading you to be uncomfortable with a strained stomach and abdominal pain.