Cucumber or kheera is a very famous fruit (used as a culinary vegetable) and found very easily everywhere because of its wide cultivation all around the world. It is a creeping plant specially found in the three varieties (pickling, slicing and burpless) and belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. It was first originated in the Southern Asia, India however it has been started cultivating in many regions. Some of the cucumber varieties are parthenocarpic (create seedless fruit) and does not require pollination however, most of them require pollination and create fruit with seeds. It is highly produced by the China and then Russia, Turkey, Iran, United States and etc.
Benefits of Cucumber/Kheera
Cucumbers are the highly cultivated fruits (or vegetable) all over the world and well known for its amazing health benefits thus called as superfood. They are very good for hydrating the body in the summer season however it is found and used in almost every season by the people. Some of the wonderful nutritional health benefits of the cucumber are mentioned below:
Benefits of Cucumber for Skin
Rehydrates Whole Body
- It helps in rehydrating the whole body and fulfills the daily vitamins requirement as it contains almost 95% of the water and vitamins which make it capable to eliminate body toxins. It should be eaten with whole skin as it contains good amount of vitamin C.
- It provides fast relief from the sunburn on the skin if applied properly on the skin.
Prevents from Free Radicals and Ageing
- It is the good source of antioxidants (zea-xanthin, beta carotene, alpha carotene and lutein) which helps in preventing from the free radicals, makes skin glowing and shining thus prevents from the early ageing including other age related problems.
- It reduces the skin wrinkles and revitalizes skin by fulfilling the need of water, vitamins and minerals.
Removes Skin Tan
- It has bleaching property which helps in removing the skin tan, improving skin complexion and makes skin youthful, soft, supple and glowing.
- It is a very good home remedy to treat the cellulite.
Benefits of Cucumber for Hair
Stimulates Hair Growth
- It contains silicon and sulfur minerals which makes it capable to stimulate the proper hair growth.
Makes Hair Smooth and Healthy
- It makes the hair more smooth, shining, strong and healthy because of its richness in the useful minerals.
Prevents Hair Fall
- Drinking cucumber juice on regular basis prevents hair falling.
Benefits of Cucumber for Cancer
Reduces Risk of Cancer
- It contains some important compounds (pinoresinol, lariciresinol, secoisolariciresinol) which reduce the risk of various cancers in the body such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, colon cancer and etc.
- It contains phytonutrients called lignans which helps in reducing the risk of cancer.
Improves Immunity Level
- Vitamin C found in it acts as an antioxidant and improves the immunity level thus prevents from the free radicals harmful effects (which leads to cancer).
Benefits of Cucumber for Teeth and Gums
Keeps Oral Cavity Healthy
- It helps in keeping teeth and gums very healthy by removing the bad odors from the mouth as the phytochemicals found in it are able to kill all the bacteria in mouth.
Prevents from oral Cavity Disorders
- Eating raw cucumber on regular basis enhances salivation and increase the neutralization of acids and alkali in the oral cavity thus prevents from the pyorrhea, gingivitis and etc.
Benefits of Cucumber in Weight Loss
- Eating cucumber on daily basis provides help in weight loss and digestion because of its low calorie, high water content, high vitamins level, high dietary fibers and etc.
Keeps Stomach Full
- It reduces the hunger pangs very frequently as it contains high level of water insoluble dietary fibers which keeps the stomach full for long time.
Benefits of Cucumber for Women
Prevents from Cancer
- It contains a compound called enterolignan which gets bind with the estrogens receptors and reduces estrogen related problems and cancer (breast, ovary, uterus and etc).
Benefits of Cucumber for Nervous System
Promotes neurotransmitters Formation
- It contains copper mineral which helps in making the proper neurotransmitters required by the brain to communicate well.
Beauty Benefits of Cucumber
Keeps Skin Healthy
- Vitamin E and potassium found in it helps in removing the blemishes, fine lines, wrinkles, signs of ageing, spots and etc from the skin.
Removes Dark Circles
- It removes dark circles around the eyes if cucumber slices are kept around the eyes for 15-20 mins. Use cucumber slices directly or cotton balls soaked in the cucumber juice.
Removes Wrinkles and Spots
- It is used as a facial mask to remove wrinkles, spots, pimples including other skin problems. Apply fine paste of cucumber with some lemon juice drops and honey for 20 mins to remove skin tanning.
Remedy for Oily Skin
- Applying the mixture of turmeric, lemon juice and cucumber pulp for 15-20 mins help in controlling the oil secretion for oily skin.
Nourishes Dry Skin
- Applying the mixture of oats and cucumber pulp for 20 mins provides help from the dry skin problem.
Good Hair Conditioner
- Rinsing hair with the cucumber juice makes the hair silky and shiny as it is a good conditioner.
Benefits of Cucumber for Digestive System
Prevents Chronic Constipation and Colon Cancer
- It prevents from the various digestive system disorders including chronic constipation and colon cancer.
Prevents from Digestive System Disorders
- Its high water, vitamins and dietary fibers helps in preventing from the acidity, gastritis, indigestion and ulcer formation.
Promotes Smooth Functioning of Digestive System
- It flushes out all the toxins through the liver and stomach and keeps the digestive system smooth working.
Improves Protein Absorption
- It has an enzyme called erepsin which aids lot in the protein absorption.
Benefits of Cucumber for Brain
Reduces Stress Level
- It helps in reducing the stress level and keep mind fresh for long time if eaten on regular basis.
Regulates Functioning of Adrenal Glands
- Its richness in the B group vitamins maintains the functioning of adrenal glands and prevents from the harmful effects.
Improves Memory and Learning Capacity
- It contains flavonols compound called fisetin which helps in the better growth and development of the memory and learning capacity and prevents from the memory loss, headache and Alzheimer’s disease.
Benefits of Cucumber for Eye
Reduces Eye Puffiness
- Its anti-inflammatory properties provide help during puffy eyes to reduce the puffiness.
- It prevents from the eye strain and headache if cucumber slice is placed on eyes for few mins.
Keeps Relaxed and Comfort
- It keeps feeling more relaxed and comfort.
Benefits of Cucumber Juice
Some of the special health benefits of the cucumber juice are mentioned below:
Benefits of Cucumber Juice for Diabetes
Regulates Secretion of Insulin from Pancreatic Cells
- Having cucumber juice on daily basis helps in curing the diabetes as it contains a special hormone required to generate proper insulin from the pancreatic cells.
Relieves Diabetic Symptoms
- It also reduces the level of cholesterol in the body thus controls the blood pressure which ultimately provides relief from the symptoms of the diabetes.
Regulates Blood Pressure
- It contains good level of some minerals like potassium, magnesium and fibers which help in regulating the blood pressure thus reduces the risk of high blood pressure among diabetic patients.
Benefits of Cucumber Juice for Bones and Joints
Strengthens Bones and Joints
- It promotes the proper growth of the bones and joints and provides relief from the gout, arthritis, joints pain and etc as it contains good amount of the silica which strengthens the connective tissues and promotes bone health.
Remedy for Gout and Arthritis
- Its richness in the variety of vitamins like A, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, D, Folates, iron and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium makes it a best home remedy for the gout and arthritis (if taken with carrot juice) as it reduces pain by lowering the uric acid level.
Fulfills Need of Vitamin K and Calcium
- Vitamin K and calcium found in it makes the bone strong by promoting the orthotropic activity.
Improves Health of Connective Tissues
- It contains high amount of silica which promotes the joint health by enhancing the growth of connective tissues.
Benefits of Cucumber Juice for Kidney
- It helps in removing and flushing all the body toxins through the elimination systems as well as dissolves out the kidney stones if taken on regular basis.
Kidney Friendly Fruit
- It is the kidney friendly fruit keeps the kidneys happy all time.
Keeps Urinary System Healthy
- It prevents from the diseases of urinary bladder and ureters as its high water content promotes urination more frequently.
Benefits of Cucumber Juice for Immunity
Prevents from Seasonal Infections
- Its high level vitamins contents help in boosting the immunity system and preventing from lots of seasonal infections.
Benefits of Cucumber Juice for Heart
Contains no Cholesterol
- It contains no cholesterol, lowers down the cholesterol level in the body thus reduces the risk of heart problems in the future as it contains sterols and water soluble dietary fibers which helps in reducing the cholesterol level.
- It lowers down the high blood pressure and help in maintaining the normal blood pressure.
Contains Heart Friendly Electrolytes
- It contains good level of the potassium mineral which is a heart friendly electrolyte and helps in reducing the high blood pressure.
Benefits of Cucumber Seeds
Eliminates Intestinal Worms
- Cucumber seeds are the natural home remedy for eliminating the intestinal worms from the intestinal tract like tape worm and etc because of the anti-inflammatory properties.
Other Health Benefits of Cucumber
Rich Source of B Group Vitamins
- Cucumbers are very good source of the vitamins especially B group vitamins thus nourishes the body very well.
Remedy to Clear Mirror
- A small slice of it makes the foggy mirror very clear if rubbed on the mirror properly.
- It is well known for its instant energy provider quality and curing the hangover during morning or headache.
- Eating some pieces of cucumber before sleeping at night helps you to get required amount of sugar, vitamins, electrolytes and other essential nutrients to reduce the symptoms of hangover and headache in the morning.
Fights Summer Heat
- It makes you capable to fight with summer heat and provides relief from the heart burn.
- It anti-inflammatory property provides relief from the swellings of mucous membranes (nose and throat) thus keeps breathing smooth.
Prevents from Inflammation
- It prevents body from the inflammations by inhabiting the activity of cyclo-oxygenase enzyme and preventing nitric oxides production (both inflammation causing agent).
- It provides relief from the fever as it has temperature regulating properties.
Maintains Fluid Balance
- It prevents from the water retention as it supplies the all the necessary electrolytes and minerals to the body and maintains the proper hydration to the body cells.
Relieves Joints and Muscles Pain
- It provides relief from the joints and muscles pain as it contains high amount of vitamins and minerals.
Nutritional Benefits of Raw Cucumber/Kheera per 100 g
(Source: USDA Nutrient Database)
Energy: 16 kcal
Carbohydrate: 3.63 g
Dietary fiber: 0.5 g
Ash: 0.5 g
Fat: 0.11 g
Saturated Fat: 28 mg
Monounsaturated Fat: 3.7 mg
Polyunsaturated Fat: 19 mg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 3.7 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 18 mg
Protein: 0.65 g
Thiamine: 0.027 mg
Riboflavin: 0.033 mg
Niacin: 0.098 mg
Pantothenic acid: 0.259 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.04 mg
Folates: 7 μg
Choline: 7 mg
Betaine: 0.12 mg
Vitamin E: 0.03 mg
Vitamin C: 2.8 mg
Vitamin K: 16.4 μg
Vitamin A: 105 IU
Potassium: 147 mg
Sodium: 2 mg
Calcium: 16 mg
Magnesium: 13 mg
Manganese: 0.079 mg
Iron: 0.28 mg
Zinc: 0.2 mg
Phosphorus: 24 mg
Copper: 74 mcg
Selenium: 0.27 mcg
Fluoride: 1.3 µg
Beta Carotene: 45 µg
Crypto-xanthin-β: 26 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin: 23 µg
Cucumber Storage Tips
How to Enjoy Cucumber
Cucumber or kheera can be enjoyed in many ways as salad, fruit salad, cucumber slices, vegetable salad, juice, soup, smoothie, diced cucumbers with mint leaves tomatoes, onions, sprouted chana, green peppers, diced cucumber with tuna fish, chicken and etc.
How to Select and Store Cucumber
Always buy organically originated cucumber and avoid inorganically grown cucumber to avoid the side effects of pesticides or insecticides. Buy fresh, firm, rounded, green and well shaped cucumber from the market. Avoid buying the cucumbers with spotted, bruised, patchy, bright color, deformed, yellowish, puffy, sunken or wrinkled skin.
Cucumbers are very sensitive to the heat and cannot be saved for many days at room temperature. It can be saved fresh and firm in the refrigerator for many days and weeks. However it should be used within 3-4 days. Cucumbers should be washed thoroughly under the running water to be free of dust and pesticides.
Disadvantages, Side Effects and Precautions of Cucumber
Despite of being very nutritious and healthy vegetable, cucumber has some disadvantages, side effects and need some precautions while eaten on daily basis. Some of the disadvantages, side effects and precautions of the cucumber are mentioned below:
- It may cause allergy to the oral cavity with symptoms like itchiness and swelling in some people.
- It contains a compound called cucurbitacin which lead to the indigestion and may cause gastritis problems.
- It may cause toxicity to some people and lead to the baldness if consumed in excess amount.
- Eating inorganic cucumber may lead to some serious health problems due to the harmful pesticide residues on it.
- They may have used synthetic wax (organic or inorganic) in order get protected from the bruising during the shipping which causes serious health problems due to the unwanted chemical contaminants.
How Many Cucumbers to Eat
Eating cucumber or kheera within limit is very good and healthy practice as eating over limit may lead to the indigestion and other gastric disorders. It also depends on the age, weight, health condition and daily workouts and exercise however it can be eaten two to three on daily basis.
Find the Benefits of other Similar Vegetables