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Need to Get Skinny? Cucumber Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

By Rob Poulos...

You’d normally think of it as a throwaway vegetable for salads, but a nice, juicy log of cucumber can do a lot of good: Studies show cucumbers exhibit both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with many health conditions.  But a healthier bod isn’t the only reason to say yes to cucumbers–it can also make it easier to get lean.

Cucumber’s Nutrition Facts

While adding any vegetable to your daily diet is a good idea, cucumbers may be the best idea–at a mere 45 calories per 8 inch cucumber, it’s hard to overindulge.  Better yet, cucumber is a nutritional powerhouse, containing plenty of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, magnesium and manganese.  It’s also virtually free of the bad stuff, such as saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.  Even its sodium count is virtually nonexistent–carrying only 6 grams per cucumber.

So why the low calorie count?  Dieters can give thanks to cucumber’s high water content, which makes up 95 percent of the cucumber’s total weight.  No other vegetable comes close to having this much water content aside from iceberg lettuce, which contains 96 percent water.  Water is calorie-free–and in a fun twist for dieters, can also create the illusion of satiety, which means you’ll feel fuller faster on fewer calories.

Cucumber’s Health Benefits

Sure, cucumbers are low in calories–but can it really do a body good?

Research suggests it could.

For instance, studies have recently discovered cucumbers contain special polyphenols called lignans, but not just any lignans.  Cucumbers contain types of lignans called secoisolariciresinol, pinoresinol, and lariciresinol–three types that have been strongly correlated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, and heart disease.

And the benefits don’t end there.  According to researchers, cucumbers have also reduced inflammation in animal studies, and while it isn’t concrete evidence, this could suggest it may reduce inflammation in humans.  Inflammation may not sound like a big deal, but chronic inflammation can lead to arthritis, atherosclerosis, and hay fever.

Of course, there are also the benefits for your waistline.

Because cucumber is so low in calories, it’s a good way to add bulk to your diet without adding too many calories–and the extra water content can create the illusion of satiety.  Better yet, cucumber also contains fiber, which research suggests can improve satiety levels.

That means you’ll feel less hungry–on fewer calories.

How to Enjoy Cucumber

Because cucumbers are cultivated–and enjoyed–worldwide, there’s no end to cucumber’s culinary possibilities.  While most people enjoy it plain with light ranch dip, this isn’t the only way to enjoy it:

-  Dice them up and toss into scrambled eggs.  Cucumbers easily pick up the flavor of any food, so they’ll provide the right bulk for making scrambled eggs more filling.

-  Cut them into small pieces and toss into salsa.  As well as adding tomato and your favorite assortment of spices, cucumbers can help cool down an otherwise spicy dip.

-  Make Greek salad.  To prepare, cube cucumbers with bell peppers, red onions, tomatoes, then add a splash of red win vinegar and olive oil.  Top it off with olives for an authentic, low-calorie dining experience. Bon appetit!

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Diet Clinic

    There’s some great advice here! Try to maintain a healthy diet, with lots of fruit and veg – topped up with plenty of water. The foods you mentioned here are a great way to supplement your diet.

    • alex

      Hi, i’m trying to lose weight. I have diabetes and high blood presure and like to get ideas on what to eat and get healthy. I have a very bad eating habit and i don’t like many foods, like eggs, milk products and sea foods. Any suggestions, thanks

  2. Maria

    one of my favorites drinks. i prepare a lot of this specific drink

    4 large cucumbers
    4 limes or lemons or of each.
    1 whole bunch of mint or peppermint.

    Rinse very well all of the above.

    I use the vitamix machine, but if you do not have one, then use your blender.
    i peel the lemons, or limes.
    Do not peel cucumbers
    i chopped lemons/or limes, cucumber with the peel and mint/or peppermint.
    blend very well, when you see everything as watery/juice.
    pour the mixture in clean/empty comtainers and freeze them

    Serve with water and ice cubes as stronger you like.

    Enjoy it!!

    It is very refreshing drink,
    you can drink as much as you want.
    It is very healthy drink as well.

    Add all of the above to the blender and add water,

  3. chad

    Great suggestion to a healthy meal or snack. I love cucumbers. Many times my wife and i make cucumber and quinoa as an after workout filling lunch. Healthy and no guilt. Love your articles, they keep me motivated.
    Thank You
    Chad

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