Cucumber, scientifically known as Cucumis sativus belongs to gourd family, Cucurbitaceae.
Cucumber vary in bitterness which is due the presence of a chemical compound called Cucurbitacin C. Cucumber storage varies but they are mostly stored at low temperatures.
Nutritional value of cucumber per 100 g:
- Energy: 16 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 3.63g
- Dietary fibers: 0.5g
- Fat: 0.11g
- Proteins: 0.65g
- Vitamin C: 2.8mg
- Vitamin K: 16.4 µg
- Calcium: 16mg
- Potassium: 147mg
- Magnesium: 13mg
Other trace minerals like iron, sodium, zinc, manganese, phosphorous are also present in small quantities.
Why Cucumber can help in weight loss
Cucumber is nutritionally rich and shows various health benefits.
It contains variety of antioxidants, phytonutrients, flavanoids and minerals that help to treat diseases.
Cucumbers help in weight loss as well.
Here is a detailed description on how cucumber helps in weight loss and its management.
1. Cucumber is a low calorie food
One of the most important things in aiming for weight loss is to limit your calorie intake.
High calorie intake with sedentary lifestyle is the major culprit for inducing weight gain.
Cucumber is a low energy food with high water content.
Cucumber provides 16 calories per 100grams.
When the total calorie intake throughout the day is less, our body automatically tends to utilize the excessive body fat.
Thus, shedding of body fat occurs eventually leading to weight loss.
A crash diet is not a good option during your weight loss regime. It can make you sick.
Fatigue, constipation and diarrhea are some of the problems associated with crash diet. It is essential to consume a low calorie food like cucumber to manage your weight effectively.
What it means? A low energy dense diet is essential for people with sedentary lifestyle if they intent to curb weight gain. Cucumber is a low calorie food making it a dieter’s dream food.
2. Cucumber promotes better digestion leading to efficient metabolism
Proper digestion is often neglected by people during their weight loss regime.
People skip meals, go on a crash diet and have a low water intake for faster weight loss. All this creates havoc in the digestive system leading to bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and heart burn.
Besides, improper digestion can also lead to inadequate elimination of toxins from the body.
Metabolism is a process wherein body utilizes food materials to generate energy to drive cells.
Higher the metabolism, better is energy expenditure, lower is the accumulation of fats and thus lesser is the weight gain.
Cucumber contains 95% water and 5% of fiber.
Cucumber cleanses the body and removes harmful toxins that hinder digestion process from the body. Detoxification is essential for a healthy digestive system.
Efficient metabolism is a direct result of good digestive system.
What it means? Cucumber is an excellent detoxifier. It improves the digestion process thereby leading to an efficient metabolic process.
3. Cucumber enhances satiety, prevents over eating
Dietary fiber present in cucumber is highly beneficial.
Dietary fiber is insoluble in nature; it withdraws water and forms a gel like substance which adds bulk to the food.
Hence, a feeling of satisfaction is achieved thereby preventing over eating.
Over eating is one of the main culprits that cause obesity. Thus, cucumber helps to limit calories and avert weight gain.
A review conducted in the University of Minnesota, USA showed that increasing the intake of dietary fiber in the diet can help to reduce obesity prevalent today.
Dietary fiber enhances satiation and alters the secretion of gut hormones.
U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends 38 grams of dietary fiber daily for men and 25 grams for women.
What it means? Cucumber is a rich source of dietary fiber that helps to enhance satiety, better appetite control and prevent over eating. Thus, cucumbers are highly beneficial in weight loss.
4. Cucumber is a diuretic
Water retention/fluid accumulation is a common problem associated with obesity.
This is because obese people tend to consume diet rich in sodium.
Sodium retains water in the body leading to high extracellular volume.
Cucumber contains 95% of water.
High water content of cucumber makes it an excellent diuretic. It helps to flush out sodium along with the retained water out of the body.
Along with the problem of renal clearance of water, obese human subjects have the problem of diminished glomerular filtration rate, elevated titer in blood and increased ADH hormone in blood.
A diuretic like cucumber helps to treat these problems and relieve patients.
Diuretic based anti-hypertension treatment is gaining momentum these days to treat obese patients suffering from hypertension.
What it means? Inadequate renal clearance of water, diminished glomerular filtration rate and increased ADH in blood are some of the serious problems faced by obese people.
Cucumber, being a natural diuretic helps to treat these problems and relieve obese patients.
How to incorporate cucumber in your diet?
Although cucumber is consumed after removing its outer skin, it is recommended to consume entire cucumber as the skin is rich in fiber content.
Cucumbers put for sale in supermarkets or other big grocery stores are likely to be waxed from outside to have a shiny appearance. It is better to purchase cucumbers from local vendors.
Cucumber slices can be added to salads, vegetables, rice and in the making of puree.
Cucumber can also be added to tuna and chicken salads.
Cucumber is one of the healthiest foods in existence.
Owing to high water content, cucumber is a natural hydrating agent.
Cucumber is a low calorie food, enhances satiety, aids digestion and is an excellent diuretic agent. All these properties are responsible for anti-obesity effects of cucumber.
Cucumber is an essential food that every dieter must include in his diet.
Consuming just cucumber cannot make one lose weight. Cucumber along with a balanced diet will work wonders in your weight loss regime.