Crunchy, refreshing, and easy to eat, the cucumber is a delicious and nutritious veggie! The health benefits of cucumbers can make quite an impact if you eat them regularly.
Cucumbers are packed with antioxidants and a wide variety of vitamins, making them a super healthy addition to your diet. Plus, it’s the best way to give yourself a perfect crunchy snack that’s low in calories!
From promoting healthy skin to improving your memory, check out the top 14 health benefits of cucumbers below. And if you’re lucky enough to have a load from your garden or farmers market on hand, you’ll definitely want to check out some of our favorite cucumber recipes too!
The Health Benefits of Cucumbers
1. Promote Hydration
Cucumbers also contain anti-inflammatory compounds to help remove body waste and reduce skin irritation. Due to their high water content, they also make for a great juice or smoothie ingredient. Some refer to the cucumber as one of nature’s most hydrating foods!
2. Improve Memory
Cucumbers contain an anti-inflammatory flavonol called fisetin, which plays a significant role in brain health. Fisetin helps protect brain neurons from aging, along with the effects that come with it—including weakened memory.
And while fisetin is found in other vegetables, cucumbers, in particular, contain a more concentrated amount. Due to this, cucumbers have been cited to improve memory and help prevent memory loss.
3. Aid in Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, calories are important. And thanks to only 16 calories per one-cup serving, cucumbers are a great food to aid in weight loss! They can fill you up without adding many calories to your day. They also contain loads of essential vitamins to give your body a healthy dose of nutrients which is key for losing weight in a healthy way.
4. Improve Digestive Health
Any vegetable high in water content will be able to promote healthy digestion by keeping you hydrated. Cucumber skin contains insoluble fiber which helps to add bulk to your bowel movements and aid in the clean-out process.
If you can ferment cucumbers at home to make pickles, you’re even more likely to improve your gut health! Cucumber pickles contain even more probiotic bacteria that help aid digestion. (Side note: At-home fermentation gives you more probiotic bacteria than the cucumber pickles you find in the grocery store!)
5. Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Cucumbers have been shown to be especially beneficial for diabetics as they’ve been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. Cucumbers have a low glycemic index, and their fiber content also slows down the digestion of carbohydrates and sugars which can reduce blood sugar levels.
6. Provide Anti-Cancer Benefits
Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy and reduce your risk of cancer. Cucumbers contain high amounts of Cucurbitacin B (CuB), which is a naturally occurring plant compound that may have an effect on cancer cells. Specifically, it is thought to help fight liver, breast, lung, and prostate cancer.
7. Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation in the body can lead to a whole host of problems. But thankfully there are plenty of foods that can combat inflammation, namely cucumbers. This is due to the presence of phytonutrients such as flavonoids, lignanes, and triterpenes, which offer anti-inflammatory benefits.
8. Promote Healthy Skin
There’s a reason why every spa seems to have cucumbers on hand. Not only does cucumber water make for a super refreshing that can promote relaxation, but cucumbers also have amazing skin benefits when applied topically.
Cucumbers, most popularly placed on the eyelids, apply a cooling effect to the area and ease facial swelling – cool as a cucumber, right? Cucumbers can also serve as a great way to soothe skin irritations and ease pain from sunburn!
9. Diminish Bad Breath
No one enjoys a case of bad breath! Instead of reaching for a piece of gum, you can actually grab a slice of cucumber. Cucumbers’ high water concentration prevents dry mouth and the crunchy texture can help eliminate odor-causing bacteria by removing food particles and plaque and stimulating saliva production.
10. Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure? Say hello to another one of the convenient health benefits of cucumbers!
Of course, cucumbers alone aren’t going to lower your blood pressure single-handedly, but as a part of a healthy overall diet, they can aid in lowering blood pressure in large part due to their potassium content. One large cucumber contains 442mg of potassium which is an essential mineral for regulating blood pressure.
11. Provide Heartburn Relief
There’s no question: heartburn is a pain. Whether it’s brought on by some late-night pepperoni pizza or the joys of pregnancy, finding relief while it’s happening is a top priority.
Heartburn happens due to acid from the stomach reaching into the esophagus and throat, which causes that fiery burn. Instead of reaching for a Tums, however, cucumber can be a great preventative and reliever. Cucumbers contain enzymes that clean the intestine by killing bacteria and help neutralize acid in the body.
12. Help Maintain Healthy Hair & Nails
Healthy, glowing hair and strong nails are a goal for many of us. But with age, they can be more difficult to come by.
Silica and vitamin C, found in cucumbers, help promote collagen production, which is essential for maintaining healthy hair and nails. Just make sure not to peel off the skin of a cucumber, which is where most of the silica, as well as various other nutrients, are found.
13. Combat Stress
Cucumbers contain essential B vitamins, which may help reduce stress. Eating a healthy diet, which includes cucumbers, is key to managing stress levels! Not to mention, the crunchiness of this particular veggie can be a great choice for anxiety-prone times.
14. Improve Bone Health
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin known for its crucial role in blood clotting and maintaining strong bone health. It is also thought to have great anti-aging benefits, including the prevention of osteoporosis and bone fractures, especially in postmenopausal women.
Try These Healthy, Refreshing Cucumber Recipes
So who’s ready to dive into some cucumber recipes? Now that we know about the amazing health benefits of cucumbers, it’s time to incorporate them into our diet!
Of course, we have no opposition to eating them all by themselves, but when you’re looking for something with a little more pizazz, these recipes bring out the best that cucumbers have to offer:
1. Cucumber Water
Adding cucumber to your water is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to get them in your day! You might also enjoy cucumber juice or these healthy water infusion recipes.
2. Beet Salad with Cucumber, Mint, and Feta
For a fun spin on cucumbers, try spiralizing them in this tasty salad recipe! It’s a delicious way to get your cucumber fix and reap all the health benefits.
Beet Salad with Cucumber, Mint, & Feta
If you have tried beets before and they are just not your thing, give this recipe a shot! These spiralized roasted beets are the perfect addition to fresh cucumber, mint, and Feta cheese in this simple salad. The beets in this Beet, cucumber, mint, & Feta salad are a beautiful garnet color and also add
3. Cucumber Lemonade Fizz Cocktail
This refreshing drink is a great way to use up your fresh cucumbers lying around. Plus, it’s packed with flavor due to the fresh lemon juice, mint, and rosemary.
Cucumber Lemonade Fizz Cocktail
Nothing screams summertime like fresh cucumber lemonade so what could be a better cool-off cocktail by the pool than this refreshing Cucumber Lemonade Fizz! This drink is a healthy low-calorie recipe that has so many layers of flavors, if you make this for company, your guests will be impressed by your mixologist skills. What Type
4. Low-Carb Pesto and Turkey Cucumber Roll-Ups
This turkey cucumber roll-up recipe involves cutting cucumbers lengthwise into thin rectangular shapes and stuffing them with hummus, turkey, arugula, and more. It’s a great healthy snack or light lunch.
Healthy Lunch Ideas For Weight Loss
Having healthy lunch ideas on hand are crucial for any weight loss journey. That’s why it’s so important to think a step ahead. Making your own lunch is a game changer for slimming down. With these lunch ideas, you’ll cut calories, nourish yourself with whole foods and optimize your energy levels as the day unfolds.
5. Greek Turkey Pitas
This Greek turkey pita recipe is perfect for lunch or dinner and will send your mouth straight to Greece. These flavorful turkey burgers are served in toasted pita bread and the herbs and zippy cucumber yogurt dressing really make this dish amazing.
Greek Turkey Pitas
These Greek turkey pitas are divine! This is one of my favorite recipes of all time. These turkey burgers served in toasted pita bread are extremely moist and flavorful! The herbs and zippy cucumber yogurt dressing really make this dish amazing. You can use whatever toppings you like but aside from what’s listed my favorite
6. Cucumber Mint Smoothie
Cucumber and mint are a delicious flavor combo and this smoothie recipe is packed with fruits and veggies. Plus, it’s vegan, dairy-free, and one you’ll want to make again and again!
Highest Rated Low-Calorie Smoothies
There’s never a bad time for a smoothie. But not all smoothies are created equal, which is why we’ve created this list of delicious, low-calorie smoothies made with only real ingredients and no added sugar. All of these smoothies are under 400 calories, and many are even under 300 calories. Whether as an on-the-go breakfast
7. Quick Pickled Cucumbers and Onions
These pickled cumbers are delicious on their own but also make a great addition to salads and These pickled cumbers are delicious on their own but also make a great addition to salads and sandwiches. These are something I keep on hand all summer long! Get this recipe from the kitchen of Street Smart Nutrition.
8. Additional Cucumber Snack Ideas:
Try one of these for a healthy snack with the refreshing taste of cucumber:
- Cucumber Sandwiches: Simply slice cucumbers and place them between whole wheat sandwich bread. Spread your favorite yogurt-based sauce (we love Trader Joe’s Cilantro and Chive Yogurt Dip!) for a delicious and easy concoction.
- Cucumber Bruschetta: Transform cucumbers into a fun bruschetta by cutting them into 1/4-inch thick circles and top with fresh feta or goat cheese, tomatoes, basil, balsamic, or anything your taste buds are craving!