Crunchy or juicy, cucumbers are the basis of a good pickle, but also, usually, eaten raw. A vegetable for warm weather, cucumbers have a refreshing flavor and can be easily added to sandwiches or salads for extra nutrition and a crunchy texture. Cucumbers are low in calories and rich in a large amount of nutrients, which makes them an excellent nutritional option.
Cucumbers are more commonly eaten raw, unless they are prepared in pickle form. Low in calories, half a cup of raw cucumber and sliced with the peel only contains 8 calories per serving.
With only 0.06 grams of total fat per serving and less than 1 gram of sugar, cucumbers are a nutritional choice, especially considering that they also contain almost half a gram of dietary fiber for a half-cup serving.
Dietary fiber is essential to decrease the digestion of food in your body, which gives your system enough time to absorb essential nutrients.
Nutritional value of cucumber
The nutritional values of cucumber can not be neglected as they provide lots of nutritional benefits for the body.
Vitamins in the cucumber
Cucumber is rich in a large number of essential vitamins, including vitamin K, also known as the coagulation vitamin. Vitamin K is essential to help your blood clots and the recommended daily amount is 90 micrograms for adults over 19 years of age.
A half-cup serving of sliced raw cucumber contains 8.5 micrograms of vitamin K, almost 10% of CDR for adults. A half-cup serving of sliced cucumber also contains 4 micrograms of folate, 55 international units of vitamin A, and 1.5 milligrams of vitamin C.
Cucumbers are a rich source of a large number of minerals. A half-cup serving of sliced cucumber also contains 12 milligrams of phosphorus, 7 milligrams of magnesium and 8 milligrams of calcium.
Cucumbers are also rich in potassium, containing 76 milligrams per serving of half a cup of sliced cucumber. An electrolyte, potassium, helps your body conduct electricity and is essential to smooth muscle and regular movement and healthy digestive processes.
Potassium also regulates the amount of sodium in your blood, helping to keep your sodium levels low and, thus, decreasing your risk of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular complications. For adults, including pregnant women, the dietary margin is 4.7 grams per day. For women who are breastfeeding,
Water is essential for all body functions and for your health. Although it is not recommended to consume it daily, the general advice of the experts is to consume between six and eight ounces of glasses of water a day. More water may be required due to high temperature and humidity or if you are participating in strenuous physical activity.
A half cup serving of raw and sliced cucumbers contains almost 50 grams of water per serving. Your daily water intake can be achieved through diet, especially by eating water-rich foods such as cucumber and through fluids such as juices, teas and water.
Some of the health benefits of cucumbers are the following:
Cucumber benefits are varied and numerous but we are going to discuss the health benefits of cucumber.
- Cucumbers are a great help for digestive problems. They efficiently cleanse the digestive system and also cool the body. Eating cucumber is considered excellent to counteract constipation since it has dietary fiber. They also keep the body hydrated, and are a good choice when there are high temperatures as they cleanse the body of toxins, thus regulating body temperature. Cucumbers contain 95 percent water that benefits the body in many ways.
- Cucumbers have few calories, making them a good choice for those who want to lose weight.
- Ascorbic acid and caffeic acid present in cucumbers reduce water retention, which greatly helps skin care.
- You can eat cucumbers to reduce puffy eyes and dark circles. You can also place slices of cucumbers in your eyes to cool them when you are tired.
- The cucumber facial masks help to refresh the skin and soften it. Cucumber juice is widely used in skin and hair care products. Cucumber juice is valuable to keep skin firm and smooth. It is effective against sunburn and irritation from the wind.
- The healing properties of cucumber are well known, as it contains lariciresinol, pinoresinol and secoisolaresinol, the three lignans that help fight cancers such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cancer of the uterus and prostate cancer.
- Cucumbers are useful for treating low and high blood pressure, as they contain potassium and manganese, which regulate blood pressure.
- Cucumbers are beneficial for teeth and gums, especially for treating pyorrhea. The fiber content helps to massage the gums while eating.
- The silica present in cucumbers improves the health of the joints and strengthens the connective tissues.
- Cucumbers are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body against various diseases. According to studies, cucumbers contain lower amounts of phytochemicals and phenolic compounds and have an antiproliferative effect in relation to cancer cells.
- Cucumbers contain vitamin K that helps make bone mass and helps with osteoporosis.
- They are used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease since it limits the neuronal damage of the brain.
Skin and seeds add nutritional value to the health benefits of cucumber. The fiber content of cucumber helps prevent and treat various diseases. They tend to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease, improve glycemic control, reduce blood pressure, the risk of certain forms of cancers and improve gastrointestinal function.
To get the most out of cucumbers, it is important to wash them well as they are often waxed, unless they grow organically. Synthetic waxes can cause contamination of the food.
To enjoy the cucumbers, add them in vegetable salads or eat julienne cucumber with yogurt.
Tips on How to choose good cucumbers
The skin of the cucumber should be dark green , without yellow spots or bruises.
- Cucumbers must be firm and well developed, but not too wide in diameter.
- Those that are too large usually have a more bitter taste. They must be softer and have many seeds , which are hard.
- Avoid those with dry or yellowish tips, indicate a hard and bitter cucumber.
- Pressing on the end of the stem, if it is soft, is because it has been collected for a long time.
Note. In addition to fresh, cucumbers can also be purchased in jars vinaigrette.
How to preserve cucumbers
- The cucumbers can be kept in the fridge or refrigerator for about 5 to 7 days .
- If the cucumbers have been cut, it is convenient to wrap them in a paper film, since they usually absorb the aromas of other foods with ease.
- They can not be frozen.