Cucumber is a healthy and very low-calorie vegetable. Cucumbers consist of no less than 97% water, and the rest consists of fiber, vitamins and antioxidants.

Facts about cucumbers

Cucumbers are elongated green fruits of the cucumber plant ( Cucumis sativus ). They grow in Dutch greenhouses, but can also come from countries such as Spain. Cucumbers are crunchy and taste neutral. They are usually eaten raw, although you can also (briefly) stir-fry or cook them.

The skin of the cucumber is edible and very healthy! However, always wash a cucumber well before using it. You can store a cucumber in a cool place for up to two weeks. A cucumber has a longer shelf life if you wrap it in foil. You cannot freeze a cucumber.

Cucumber is one of the most eaten vegetables in the Netherlands. That is great news, because by eating cucumber you get various nutrients and you prevent aging.

Why cucumber is healthy

1. Cucumber hydrates

By drinking enough water you keep your metabolism high, waste products are better removed and you keep your body healthy in many more ways [1,2]. Cucumbers are one of the most moisture-rich vegetables out there: 97% of a cucumber is pure water [3]. By eating cucumber you get a good amount of moisture in a healthy way!

The water in cucumbers is also very pure: it has been filtered through the plant and ended up in the cucumber via the stem.

2. Cucumber Contains Nutrients

Cucumber contains, among other things, vitamins C, B and K, folic acid, calcium, iron and potassium [6]. Cucumber is also rich in antioxidants.

Antioxidants  help to prevent damage to your cells, thereby preventing aging. This works on the outside as well as the inside of your body. Antioxidants are also known for their anti-inflammatory effect. The small amount of calories you get from cucumber are therefore chock full of nutrients!

3. Cucumbers are very low in calories

Because cucumbers consist for such a large part of moisture, they contain hardly any calories: only 13 calories per 100 grams [3]! You can safely eat half a cucumber as a snack. This feels like a ‘whole bite’, but will only give you 25-30 calories. By eating a generous serving of cucumber, you also get more of the vitamins and fiber that cucumber contains.

4. Cucumber helps keep your blood sugar stable

Several animal studies have shown that cucumber can help control your blood sugar levels. This prevents your body from storing extra fat and reduces the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

One of these animal studies investigated the effect different vegetables had on blood sugar levels. Cucumber was found to be effective in lowering and keeping blood sugar levels stable [4].

It is precisely the skin of the cucumber that appears to be so healthy: a study in mice with diabetes showed that mice that received cucumber peel extract had significantly healthier, lower blood sugar levels than the mice that did not receive it. Most of the symptoms of diabetes also disappeared in the mice that were given cucumber peel extract [5].

5. Cucumber keeps your bones strong and healthy

Cucumber is very rich in vitamin K, which is essential for bone health. Vitamin K is also important for proper absorption of calcium. Just over half a cucumber (250 grams) already contains 50% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin K [6]!

6. Cucumbers for a flat stomach

The combination of fiber and moisture in cucumber helps you get rid of your bloating. The fibers in the cucumber absorb the moisture and form a gel-like substance. This substance travels smoothly through your intestinal tract, making sure hard stools and air make their way to the exit along the way. They help you get rid of constipation, resulting in a flat stomach.

7. Cucumber helps against wrinkles and pigmentation spots

It is not for nothing that you encounter cucumber in many face masks and shower gel. Cucumber is an effective anti-wrinkle agent. The antioxidants in cucumber prevent aging, which you see on the outside as wrinkles and pigmentation spots.

Cucumber slices (which you place on your skin) can also moisturize the skin and thus help prevent wrinkles. Cucumber slices also help reduce bags under your eyes and relieve the pain of sunburned skin.

Nutritional value of cucumber

A 100 gram serving of cucumber contains the following nutritional value [3]:

  • 13 calories
  • 1.3 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0.7 grams of protein
  • 0.4 grams of fat
  • 0.6 grams of fiber

Vitamins and minerals [6]:

  • Vitamin A: 2% RDA
  • Vitamin C: 5% RDA
  • Vitamin K: 21% RDA
  • Vitamin B5: 3% RDA
  • Vitamin B6: 2% RDA
  • Folic acid: 2% RDA
  • Calcium: 2% RDA
  • Magnesium: 3% RDA
  • Potassium: 4% RDA
  • Iron: 2% DV

Cucumbers help with weight loss

Cucumber is an ideal vegetable for those who want to lose weight. Due to the moisture and fiber, cucumber keeps you full for a long time, while you consume very few calories.

An analysis of 13 studies of more than 3,500 people shows that people who often eat foods with a lot of fluids and few calories have a significantly lower weight than people who eat this less often [7].

Cucumber is ideally suited for people who follow a low-carbohydrate diet . Cucumber can help reduce or resolve discomfort associated with a low-carbohydrate diet . These discomforts are often caused by a lack of moisture. When you burn carbohydrates, your body also loses a lot of fluid. Eating cucumber helps you to replenish this moisture.