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Nutritional Value of Cucumbers

Nutritional Value of Cucumbers

The nutritional value of cucumbers make it a much-loved addition to our salads and juices. Read more for an in-depth information about the nutritive value of cucumbers.
Parul Solanki
Last Updated: Oct 25, 2018
cucumber carving
Ever heard of the term as 'cool as cucumber'? Containing over ninety percent water which gives this vegetable amazing cooling properties, cucumbers are widely used in salads, sandwiches and pickles. It is also a potent ingredient in face masks and other beauty products.
cucumber cultivation
While cucumber's cooling properties are very well known, not much is known about its nutritional value. To understand more about this widely cultivated vegetable, let us first get its general idea.
All About Cucumbers
Cucumbers, scientifically termed as Cucumis sativus, are vegetables belonging to the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. This is the same botanical family that consists of melons and squashes. The cucumbers grow on a creeping vine which climbs up on trellises or other supporting frames. The large leaves of the plant form a canopy over the fruit.
Cucumber plant
Cucumbers are roughly cylindrical, elongated, with tapered ends, and may be as large as 60 cm long and 10 cm in diameter. Since they have enclosed seeds and develop from a flower, cucumbers are classified as fruits.
Tree Made Of Cucumber And Carrot
Like tomatoes the sour flavor of cucumbers contributes to their popularity. In addition to it, they are pickled for a longer shelf life and flavor.
They can either be eaten fresh as slicers or be pickled and hence, are classified as slicing cucumbers and pickled cucumbers. Slicing cucumbers used in salads and sandwiches are large, smooth variants while the cucumbers used for pickling tend to be shorter, thicker, and have bumpy skin with tiny, white or black, dotted spines.
Pickled cucumbers
Gherkin is a popular miniature variant of cucumbers used for pickling. Unlike the bitter ripe yellow form, the unripe green cucumbers are suitable for eating.
Nutritional Value of Cucumbers
Cucumbers are low in saturated fats, have no cholesterol, and contain very low amounts of sodium. They have around 95% of water content which is why eating cucumbers is a great way of increasing the fiber and water intake. There is a high content of vitamins A, B6 and C present in the flesh of the cucumber.
This vegetable has high concentrations of minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, pantothenic acid, phosphorus and silica. It is a rich source of vitamins like Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and Vitamin A.
pickled cucumber
The nutrients in pickled cucumbers are almost similar except for a drastic increase in sodium levels which is due to the salt used in pickling. Mentioned ahead is the nutritional value of 1 cup of sliced, raw cucumbers without peel, and 1 cup of sour, pickled cucumbers.
Nutritional Value of Fresh Cucumbers
Cabohydrates
  • Total Carbohydrates -2.6 gm
  • Sugars -1.67 gm
  • Dietary Fiber -0.5 gm
  • Starch -0.1 gm
Fats
  • Total Fats -0.11 gm
  • Saturated Fat -0 gm
  • Monounsaturated Fat -0 gm
Vitamins
  • Vitamin A -85.7 IU
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1) -0.027 mg
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) -0.033 mg
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3) -0.098 mg
  • Vitamin B5 -0.259 mg
  • Vitamin B6 -0.040 mg
  • Folate (Vitamin B9) -7 μg
  • Vitamin C 3.8 -mg
  • Vitamin K 8.6 -μg
Minerals
  • Calcium -16.7 mg
  • Iron -0.28 mg
  • Magnesium -13 mg
  • Phosphorus -25 mg
  • Potassium -161.8 mg
  • Zinc -0.20 mg
  • Sodium -2.4 mg
  • Fluoride -1.5 μg 
Calories
  • Total Calories -14.3 kcal
  • From Fats -1.7 gm
  • From Carbohydrates -10.3 gm
  • From Proteins -2.8 gm
  • Others Proteins and Amino Acids -0.65 gm
  • Water -115.1 gm
Nutritional Value of Pickled Cucumbers
  • Calories -17.1 kcal
  • Total Fat -0.3 gm
  • Total Carbohydrates -3.5 gm
  • Vitamin A -201.5 IU
  • Vitamin C -1.6 mg
  • Proteins -0.5 gm
  • Sodium -1,872.4 mg
  • Calcium -0
  • Cholesterol -0
  • Water -145.8 gm
Health Benefits of Cucumbers
Although the health benefits of cucumbers are not widely propagated, this vegetable is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. These nutrients provide cucumbers important anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
✔ Along with Vitamin C and beta-carotene, cucumbers contain antioxidant-rich flavonoids like luteolin, quercetin and kaempferol. The antioxidants help in neutralizing the damage done by oxygen-derived free radicals that are responsible for aging and a number of diseases.
✔ The high nutritional value of cucumbers, along with the low calorie content, no saturated fats and cholesterol, make it an ideal dietary option for weight loss.

✔ The fiber in the cucumber peels help in digestion and cleaning of the bowels.

✔ Due to the presence of Vitamin K, cucumbers increase bone strength by boosting bone mass building activity.
✔ Cucumbers are a good source of potassium and low in sodium. The potassium helps in reduction of blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium in the diet. It is important to note that unlike fresh, raw cucumbers, pickled cucumbers contain high levels of sodium, approximately 1,800 mg,which can be counterproductive for blood pressure patients.
✔ Cucumber is a natural diuretic that flushes out the waste and toxins from the body, thus keeping it healthy.

✔ Silica present in cucumbers strengthens the connective tissues in the body.

✔ Inclusion of cucumbers in the diet helps in dealing with rheumatic conditions caused by the buildup of excess uric acid in the joints.
Cumbers With Spices Like Dill
Other than the health benefits, cucumbers are also great for the skin as it helps in reducing the swelling and skin irritation. It reduces under eye puffiness, heals sunburns and relaxes the skin. It can be consumed fresh, added to salads or made into juices.
Cucumber Kimchi
In India, Dosakai which is a variant of cucumber, is widely used in curries and stews. When choosing fresh cucumbers, select firm ones that are rounded at their edges, and have a medium to dark green color. Yellow, puffy, or wrinkled cucumbers should ideally be avoided.