Benefits (and Risks) of Juicing Cucumber

Benefits (and Risks) of Juicing Cucumber

Cucumber is a fresh food often associated with summer salads and ice water by the pool. These associations have their scientific backing as well, as cucumber does appear to refresh the body and mind.

The benefits of juicing cucumber centers on getting these refreshing compounds and water into the body as quickly as possible.

 

Nutritional profile of cucumber 

Cucumber is one of the most water-rich foods, containing up to 97% water according to data from USDA FoodData Central. Additionally, one medium cucumber (201g) contains:

  • Calories: 24.1
  • Protein: 1.2 g
  • Fat: 0.3 g
  • Carbohydrate: 4.3 g
  • Sugars 2.7 g
  • Dietary fiber: 1.4 g

Cucumber also contains various levels of important minerals and nutrients, such as:

  • Potassium: 273 mg
  • Calcium: 28.1 mg
  • Sodium: 4 mg
  • Magnesium: 24.1 mg
  • Phosphorous: 42.2 mg
  • Copper: .14 mg
  • Selenium: 0.2 ug
  • Zinc: 0.34 mg

It also contains various levels of vitamins, such as

  • Vitamin A: 8.04 ug
  • Vitamin C: 6.43 mg
  • Vitamin K: 14.5 ug
  • Folate: 28.1 ug

 

Benefits of juicing cucumber

Rich in antioxidants

Like many other plant foods, cucumber is a good source of antioxidants. Including:

  • Ascorbic acid 
  • Beta carotene
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Flavonoids

These antioxidant compounds play a number of roles in the body, such as helping to flush out toxins and prevent cell damage.

Great source of hydration

There is a reason cucumber brings up images of freshness. Cucumber itself is very high in water. Juicing the cucumber captures this water and increases the hydration with every sip.

Additionally, compounds such as ascorbic acid in the cucumber help to prevent water retention. This ensures the water properly flows through and out the body, which helps eliminate toxins regularly.

Along with this, there are a number of important minerals in cucumber that can help balance the mineral salts a person sweats away. 

 

May help with blood pressure

As the American Heart Association note, foods that are rich in potassium help manage high blood pressure. Without this potassium, sodium causes the body to retain fluids. This, in turn, raises blood pressure.

As a good source of potassium, drinking cucumber juice may help balance the extra sodium in the body, helping to prevent high blood pressure. With this said, it is important to work directly with a doctor to find ways to manage blood pressure.

 

May aid with weight loss

As cucumber is so high in water, cucumber juice makes a great natural alternative to high-sugar juices and soft drinks.

Replacing sugary drinks with cucumber juice may help with weight loss, as this represents a significant loss in calories.

Additionally, a naturally hydrated body may receive fewer hunger pangs. This is because the signals for hunger and thirst may get confused at times between the brain and body. Staying hydrated may lessen the chance for these signals, which could reduce overeating.

When a hunger pang hits, check first by drinking some water or cucumber juice. If the hunger goes away, it probably thirsted. If not, it is time to eat!

 

Supports healthy bones

Cucumbers are naturally high in vitamin K. This important nutrient works together with others such as calcium and vitamin C to build bones. Without vitamin K, the body cannot create the necessary proteins to make healthy bones.

A medium cucumber can contain as much as 20-40% of the daily value for vitamin K, making cucumber juice a simple way to get this nutrient into the body.

 

Supports healthy skin

Drinking cucumber juice may also support the skin. Hydration helps keep skin cells healthy and reduce signs of aging, as hydrated cells are plumper and can properly eliminate toxins.

Additionally, cucumber contains helpful vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and B vitamins, which also help protect skin cells and reduce signs of aging.

 

A natural detoxifier

The term detox is tossed around too much these days, but cucumber juice may actually be a great form of natural detox, given its high water content, mineral, and antioxidant profile. 

A study posted to Fitoterapia noted that cucumber helps the body remove old pockets of waste material and toxins, giving it this cleansing activity. 

With this said, there is no quick fix to detox the body, and nothing will replace a proper diet and lifestyle.

 

May reduce inflammation

Putting cucumber slices on the eyes to reduce puffiness seems like a cliché, but there is some backing to the claim.

Cucumber may reduce inflammation. As a study posted to ACS Omega notes, compounds in cucumber reduced inflammatory activity in lab tests. While this is early evidence, further research can help support the claim that cucumbers reduce inflammation in the body.

 

Summary

Cucumber is a simple yet remarkable vegetable. The benefits of juicing cucumber stem from the mineral content, hydration, and antioxidant activity of the plant. The flavor is rich enough to enjoy on its own, yet it also makes a great base for other juices. 

 

References

Cucumber, raw. (2020). https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/787791/nutrients

How potassium can help control high blood pressure. (2016). https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/how-potassium-can-help-control-high-blood-pressure

Mukherjee, P. K., et al. (2013). Phytochemical and therapeutic potential of cucumber. Fitoterapia84, 227-236. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23098877/

Murad, H., & Nyc, M. A. (2012). Evaluating the potential benefits of cucumbers for improved health and skincare.  https://www.jarlife.net/3050-evaluating-the-potential-benefits-of-cucumbers-for-improved-health-and-skin-care.html

Nash, R. J., et al. (2020). Iminosugar idoBR1 isolated from Cucumber Cucumis sativus reduces inflammatory activity. ACS omega. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7346245/

Olaniyan, M. F., & Afolabi, T. (2018). Scavenging antioxidative bioactivities of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) fruit juice in rabbits overdosed with amoxicillin. Biomedical and Biotechnology Research Journal (BBRJ)2(4), 276. http://www.bmbtrj.org/article.asp?issn=2588-9834;year=2018;volume=2;issue=4;spage=276;epage=280;aulast=Olaniyan