Although cucumbers are full of water, they also contain an impressive array of crucial vitamins and minerals, that our body requires for optimal health. Use them in salads and snacks to constantly supply your body with these amazing substances.
Cucumbers are low in calories and high in nutritional compounds. High in water content and extremely refreshing, cucumbers add a nutritional punch to salads and even serve as a nourishing snack all on their own. The cucumber is often mislabelled as being a vegetable, yet it is technically a fruit and belongs to the same family as melons and squash. They are brimming with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, such as flavonoids, lignans and triterpenes. Here are some of the most impressive aspects of the nutritional profile of cucumbers.
104 grams of raw cucumber contains 19 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K. This fat-soluble vitamin plays a vital part in blood clotting. It is also required for strong bones, heart disease prevention and may even help to stave off diabetes and Alzheimer's.
One of the reasons cucumber is so hydrating, is because of the presence of the electrolyte potassium. 104 grams of cucumber contains 4 percent of the daily recommended intake of potassium. Potassium provides water balance and plays a role in the functioning of the nervous system. Deficiency symptoms may include anaemia, headaches and heart palpitations.
Cucumbers provide a decent amount of vitamin C, although not quite enough to make a big dent in the recommended daily intake, eating it regularly will create a constant stream of it into the body. Vitamin C plays a role in immune function and may help to treat the common cold and assist the body in defending against infection. Vitamin C has also been shown to reduce levels of lead, an extremely toxic substance, within the blood. It can lower the risk of hypertension, which is a risk factor in some cardiovascular diseases. On top of all of this, vitamin C helps the body to produce neurotransmitters and thus may affect mood.
This mineral is needed for many enzymes in the body to function adequately. Magnesium is essential for bone health as it helps to absorb calcium and vitamin D. It is important in the metabolisation of glucose and may improve insulin sensitivity. Magnesium deficient is linked to anxiety, therefore it is important to ingest optimal amounts to avoid this outcome.
Biotin, otherwise known as vitamin B7, is found within cucumbers and has an impressive list of bodily functions. Among these are its abilities to convert fats, proteins and carbohydrates into energy. It is also known to nourish the hair, skin and nails, therefore contributing to aesthetics. Biotin is also important for the health of certain organs and glands within the body, these include the brain, the thyroid gland and the adrenal glands. A deficiency of biotin may show up as aches and pains, cramping, fatigue and digestive issues.
Perhaps less known than most minerals our bodies require, manganese is still very important. It assists in the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and sex hormones, it helps to metabolise carbohydrates and fats, and to form connective tissues. Manganese is also a part of powerful antioxidant enzyme manganese superoxide dismutase.
104 grams of raw cucumber provides 4 percent of the daily recommended intake of phosphorus. The main role of phosphorus is the maintenance of teeth and bones. It also works side by side with the B vitamins to assist kidney function, muscle contraction, nerve signalling and a normal heartbeat.