Mediterranean Diet 101

Cucumber Health Benefits

cucumbers-hb-1Cucumber health benefits are numerous - they are very low calorie vegetable often used in salads, fresh or pickled, they help keep body hydrated, give us feeling of fulness (great for diets), they balance pH of human body etc. Health benefits of cucumbers give us plenty of reasons to include them in a healthy, well balanced diet.

Cucumber Nutritional Data

Cucumbers are mostly water - around 95 - 96% by weight is water. Total amounts of nutrients are, of course, low. 100g of cucumbers contain around:

- 0.65g of protein

- 3.63g of carbohydrates

- 0.11g of fats

- 0.5g of fibers

- around 15 kcal

cucumbers-hb-2Some minerals and vitamins are more present than the other (again, values are per 100g of cucumbers):

- 147mg of potassium

- 24mg of phosphorus

- 16mg of calcium

- 13mg of magnesium

- 2mg of sodium

- 0.28mg of iron

- 0.20mg of zinc

Absolute values of vitamin content are very small - there is around 100IU of vitamin A per 100g of cucumbers, other values are low. After all, we are eating almost solid water :o)

Health Benefits of Cucumbers

As already said, health benefits of cucumbers are numerous:

- since they are mostly water, cucumbers are one of the foods that really burn fats off - body simply needs more energy to digest them, than there is available energy in cucumbers themselves.

- they taste delicious and are often found in salads, fresh or pickled. Since they are mostly water, they keep body well hydrated and supplied with important minerals. During summer, mixed salads made from cucumbers and other ingredients keep body cooled, too.

Osteoporosis vs. Osteomalacia

Want to know more about osteoporosis and osteomalacia? Feel free to visit Vitamin D Deficiency and Osteomalacia article (article opens in the new window).

- cucumbers are one of the most alkaline vegetables around. The pH factor of human body is around 7.3 - 7.4. The pH factor of coffee is, for example, 5. The pH of fruits and vegetables is between 9 and 10 - the more minerals vegetable has, the higher the pH factor. Cucumbers being mostly water with (relatively) high mineral content are very alkaline vegetable. If we eat wheat or flour products, meat and similar foods, body's pH factor will go down. In order to balance pH, body will take minerals from our bones - 'great' condition for osteoporosis and osteomalacia. So, in order to prevent osteoporosis and osteomalacia, it is very important to increase vegetable intake, cucumbers highly recommended.

- cucumbers contain several lignans (pinoresinol, lariciresinol, secoisolariciresinol) that help reduce risk of several cancer types.

- due to (relatively) high mineral and fiber content, cucumbers help in regulating both high and low blood pressure.

- mineral and vitamin content promotes overall wellbeing, including joint, skin and hair health.

- Sterols found in cucumbers help regulating cholesterol blood levels (both LDL and HDL and their ratio).

- cucumbers act as diuretic, helping in eliminating waste and toxic compounds from the body. It has also been shown that cucumbers help in reducing size of kidney stones, even eliminating them.

There are other health benefits of cucumbers, but naming them all, would really take significant amount of time.

Anyway, cucumbers are not 'wonder' food, nor wonder foods exist - nonetheless, there are plenty of good reasons why should you incorporate cucumbers in your daily diet.

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