When you think of vegetables that aid your health, cucumber probably doesn’t come in at the top of your list. Yes, cucumber water is served at spas and is part of the trappings of a healthy life aesthetic. But most people tend to dismiss them as an empty food. That’s a mistake.
Cucumbers are a water- and fiber-rich food that are technically a berry. And they have significant health values that you wouldn’t expect. Their skin is filled with beta-carotene that your body converts to vitamin A. And they are chockablock with antioxidants that aid the heart and may prevent cancer. They are also 96 percent water, making them hydrating and filling while being incredibly low in calories. That can help weight loss.
We like them because they are low in carbs, and some studies have suggested that they may help manage blood sugar. Half a cup of cucumbers has eight calories, 1.89 grams of carbs and 0.3 grams of fiber. They have a GI of 15. Anything below 55 is considered low.
In 2011, a study with rats with blood sugar problems found that they had lower blood sugar after nine days of ingesting cucumber seed extract. In 2012, a study found that the phytonutrients in cucumbers could lower blood sugar in rats. And, in 2014, a study found that cucumber pulp could manage blood sugar in rats. Then, finally, in 2018, a study with humans was published in 2018, saying that cucumbers could help people with blood sugar.
In addition to helping blood sugar, they also help blood pressure. Cucumbers help wider the blood vessels and reduce hypertension. They contain magnesium and potassium that also help lower blood pressure by eliminating salt from your body via urination. However, the cucumbers will only help you if you eat them “as is.” If you turn them into pickles with brine, the salt will undo their beneficial impact. They can also help prevent fatty buildup in the arteries.
Eating more cumbers is so easy. You can have them on their own as a snack. They are delicious and refreshing. You can also throw them into salads or smoothies. We have shared cumber recipes in the past that we’re huge fans of. Summer isn’t here yet, but we’re already thinking of cooling recipes and getting ready for warm days. Cucumbers are in season, and we’re looking forward to all the fresh produce hitting the market!