The average adult takes in about 3 quarts (12 cups) of water every day. Around a quarter of that typically comes from food. Cucumbers are an excellent source. Each one is about 95% water. That's important because your cells need enough water to work right. Without it, you can get dizzy and sick. In serious cases, you may need to go to the hospital for treatment.
All that water in cucumbers doesn't just hydrate your cells. It also fills your belly, and that may help you eat less. A cup of sliced cucumbers has just 16 calories. That means it has very low "energy density." People who eat more foods with low energy density often find it easier to lose weight.
Cucumbers are packed with them. In just a single cup of cucumber slices, you'll get 14% to 19% of the vitamin K you need for the day. You'll also get vitamins B and C along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
High blood sugar can help create too many cell-damaging substances known as ROS and ROC. Cucumbers have shown some promise, mostly in animal studies, in controlling this problem. Rats that ate more cucumbers made less ROS and ROC. More studies on people are needed to back up these results.
These feisty little chemicals help protect your cells from damage due to substances that form in your body called "free radicals." Cucumbers have a unique set of antioxidants, including flavonoids, lignans, and triterpenes. They not only protect cells but also lessen inflammation that's linked to arthritis and other long-term conditions.
Cucumbers are good for your ticker when you include them with a well-balanced diet. Their antioxidant activity helps slow or stop heart-related disease. And some research seems to show that the unique mix of nutrients in cucumber seeds could help improve your cholesterol numbers, which could have a direct impact on heart health. So skip those "seedless" cucumbers and go for the real thing!
Eat lots of healthy foods like cucumber, and you leave less room for high-salt and high-fat foods that can slow your digestion. Plus, the hydration boost you get from all that water in cucumbers can prevent you from getting stopped up (constipation). They also have a fair amount of fiber, which aids in keeping things moving along.
To ferment cucumbers, you leave them in a salt solution until bacteria start to feed on them. This makes a complex flavor and a distinctive sour bite. It also creates "good bacteria" (probiotics) that seem to help your body fight germs, absorb nutrients, digest food, and even control anxiety. But buyer beware: Many supermarket "pickles" are simply cucumbers in a vinegar solution, which is not the same.
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