They add delicious crunch to salads, but how healthy are cucumbers, really? So-called superfoods may get all the press these days, but your humble cuke packs tremendous benefits, whether you eat them or applied them to your skin. Here's more on the health benefits of cucumber.
The Health Benefits of Cucumbers
A cucumber is about 96 percent water, which puts it atop the list of high-water content vegetables, along with lettuce. That's a statistic to remember when working out, because research shows eating cucumbers after an intense exercise session may hydrate the body twice as effectively as plain water or sports drinks. Scientists attribute the phenomenon to the amino acids, natural sugars, and vitamins found in cucumbers.
Still, the most significant health benefit associated with water-logged vegetables pertains to weight control. One cup of cucumbers has just 15 calories, but it creates a feeling of fullness that drier vegetables can't match.
In addition to a low caloric count, cucumbers boast impressive levels of vitamin K of lignans, a phytonutrient associated with reducing cancer risk. Researchers also credit cucumbers with fighting inflammation. To wring all the nutritional value from a cucumber, make sure to eat the seeds and peel, which is high in fiber.
Get Cooking with Cucumbers
Maximize your cuke intake with these cucumber-heavy recipes.
Here's a great way to prettify your salad with nutrient-packed cucumber peels.
Lemon is an excellent partner for cucumber at spas and in side dishes.
A sweet way to get your cuke on.
Cucumbers for Cosmetic Use
As it turns out, cucumbers can also help you look great, thanks to the ascorbic acid and caffeic acid they contain. Placing cucumber slices over your eyes, an age-old Hollywood starlet trick, will alleviate puffiness and reduce the appearance of dark circles. When mixed with lemon juice, cucumber juice is a naturally great toner. Plus, cucumber's cooling qualities and pleasant fragrance are welcome when treating sunburns.
Browse our cucumber recipes and try sipping some cucumber water.