A Cucumber a Day?

There are a number of reasons to add a daily cucumber to your diet. In addition to a refreshing taste, it can help you recover from exercise quicker, stay cool, and lose weight, too.

While the classic cucumber is known for its skin health benefits, they are not so well known as a weight loss aid.  

But this is one vegetable that contains very few calories at only about 15 calories per 100 grams. 

Cucumbers are full of natural vitamin water along with soluble fiber. Eating foods that are high in both water and fiber may help you feel fuller for longer, which may help keep you from overeating, helping you lose weight.

Soluble fiber is the substance found in many healthy foods that help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels, too. The fiber in cucumber skin turns into a gel-like substance in your digestive tract, which helps gives you a full feeling while at the same time acts as a bulking agent. This aids in healthy elimination which is a very important aspect of weight management and helps protect against colon cancer as it helps remove toxic residue from the intestinal tract.

Cucumbers contain vitamin water that is rich in B vitamins, potassium, vitamin C, quercetin, and other antioxidants. They are considered a "cooling" food and because of this and along with other nutrients. They may help reduce internal inflammation, a symptom that many weight experts believe is one of the causes (and at the very least a health issue) with being over weight.

The multiple B vitamins have another benefit; stress relief. Many people experience stress during times they are trying to lose weight. This may be due to food withdrawals, sugar withdrawals or low energy. The B vitamins are known to help ease anxiety and the nutrients in cucumbers may help alleviate some of the damaging effects of stress.

Potassium is a nutrient associated with lowering blood pressure levels. It is also an electrolyte which, when working with sodium, helps control heart function as well as muscle contraction. This makes cucumbers a perfect food to eat while on an exercise regimen.

Cucumbers are a known diuretic and demulcent (relieves inflammation), which may be one of the reasons it is included in many skin lotions. You could say this combination helps the skin detox itself. Many people believe that not only ingesting cucumbers but applying slices topically is also beneficial to help create fresher looking skin.

My favorite way to consume cucumbers is to add an entire cucumber to vegetable juice. It cuts the sweetness or bitterness of other vegetables, making the entire juice taste fresher. The enzymes of raw, fresh vegetable juice are ideal for adding an energy boost to any diet and can even help you tolerate heat better, due to its high content of potassium(147mg) to sodium (only 2mg). This combination helps cucumbers counteract negative effects of sodium, making it heart rate and blood pressure friendly.

Other ways to get cucumber in besides drinking it are to add it to salad, use in place of crackers for dips and spreads, adding to to a sandwich or make a cucumber salad as a side dish that will aid your digestion.

Cucumber Recipes

Healthy and Easy Cucumber Salad

  • Thinly slice and entire, organic cucumber (with skin) and put into a bowl. 
  • Add raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Add about 1 teaspoon of raw honey (to taste) Add a dash of sea salt and paprika

Raw Tomato Cucumber Gazpacho

  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds chopped and seeded organic tomatoes 
  • 1 large chopped organic cucumber (seeded, if you like)
  • 2 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 organic red bell pepper chopped and seeded 
  • ½ cup chopped, organic red onion 
  • ¼ cup olive oil 
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar (these are traditional, for a health boost I prefer to use raw Apple Cider Vinegar instead)
  •  Add Pink Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Mix all ingredients into a bowl and let sit for about 15 minutes In batches, add to a blender and blend everything to make a smooth, cold soup Garnish with Cilantro and Red Onion

Indian Cucumber Raita

This is a tasty condiment often eaten with naan or other Indian style dishes. I like it with chicken with a little naan while my son loves it with Basmati rice.

  • Finely slice up a whole cucumber
  • Mix with plain yogurt (you may use coconut or soy yogurt if you don't eat dairy)
  • Add; cumin, coriander, pressed and chopped garlic clove, salt and pepper to taste Allow the flavors to blend for 20 minutes or longer for added flavor Serve as a condiment or use as a topping on creamed soup (such as creamed tomato soup or the above gazpacho). 
  • Allow the cucumber to marinate for about an hour in the refrigerator then serve as is. 
  • This cucumber salad is excellent on its own, as a side dish and digestive aid, or over a bed of greens for a fresh, lively green salad on a hot, summer day.