Diet, Health, Nutrition

Benefits And Side Effects Of Cucumber

Cucumbers are extremely refreshing, especially on those hot summer days! They can be added to smoothies, salads, fruit-infused waters, and even soups. They are great for hydration and digestion but they have a few drawbacks as well. Here are the benefits and side effects of cucumber worth knowing!

I remember back then when my comfort food was a variety of junk foods, baked goods, and Kentucky fried chicken. While I certainly miss those good old days, I’ve grown quite fond of snacking on cucumbers, watermelon, and kiwis these days.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it was a very difficult decision and took a while for me to get used to but it came down to my health. Changing my eating habits was worth it cause now, I feel so much healthier and you should too.

Benefits And Side Effects Of Cucumber

Cucumbers are a part of the gourd family which consists of other high water content vegetables like melons, squashes, and pumpkins. These super green guys are actually a botanical fruit instead of a vegetable which I didn’t know myself.

With over 20 varieties of cucumbers, you may want to choose green cucumbers because they are more nutritious. You also want to eat the skin with the cucumber to get all of its benefits.

Similar to varieties, there are also many uses for this amazing fruit, it can be used to make soups, treat sunburn, lower high blood pressure, added to salads, treat hangover, pickled, reduce bad breath, and even shine your shoes.

That said, eating a lot of cucumbers can cause some unwanted side effects for some people so continue reading to learn all about the benefits and side effects of cucumbers.

1 Large Cucumber (8-1/4″ long) With Peel Nutrition Facts

Please note that the percentages below are based on a 2000 calories diet and the numbers may vary depending on which site you use. I used Fatsecret & Rochester for the nutrition facts below.

|Water- 95% |Calories- 34 |Vitamin K- 20.16 mcg |Dietary fiber- 2 grams |Protein- 1.65 grams |Potassium- 8% |Total Fat- 0 grams |Manganese- 12% |Magnesium- 33.6mg |Phosphorus- 58.8mg |Total carbs- 2% |Vitamin C- 10% |Vitamin A- 201.6IU |Sugars- 3.86 grams |Iron- 3% |Calcium- 3% |Beta-caortene- 86.8mcg

Benefits And Side Effects Of Cucumber

Benefits Of Cucumber

Based on the nutritional values of cucumbers, and other research which I will link for more info, here are the many benefits of eating cucumbers daily.

Helps With Constipation, Digestion & Gut Health:

Based on the nutrition facts above, cucumbers are really high in water content and pectin which is a soluble fiber. Both contents help draw water into the colon and help your foods digest easily plus keep you regular. Also, eating pickled cucumbers help improve gut health!

You see, pickled cucumbers are fermented, which means they contain a lot of good bacteria.  Eating foods rich in good bacteria prevents unhealthy bacteria growth which ultimately improves gut health. 

That said, be careful not to eat too many pickled cucumbers because they have very high sodium levels. Try making low-sodium pickles at home.

Additionally, cucumber seeds contain an enzyme called Erepsin which helps remove tapeworms and other parasites from the intestines. 

Helps With Renal Function & Water Retention:

Cucumbers contain beta-carotene and vitamin A, both of which are antioxidants that help the kidneys get rid of toxins. Also, getting an adequate amount of beta-carotene from food sources can help prevent kidney injury.

Another study shows that cucumber contains both sulfur and silicone making them perfect for helping the kidneys eliminate uric acids.

Foods that are high in water help keep you hydrated and increase urine production so eating cucumbers should be on your list if you experience water retention often.

Helps With Blood Sugar & Blood Pressure:

If you suffer from high blood sugar levels you may want to consider adding cucumbers to your grocery list! That is because cucumbers contain both sugar and fiber.

Although less compared to other fruits and vegetables, eating them a few times per day can still be beneficial.

You see, fiber delays how fast the body absorbs sugars from the foods you eat, and natural sugars in fruits and veggies help balance sugar levels when they are too low.

Another great benefit of cucumbers is that it may help lower high blood pressure. Cucumbers contain a healthy dose of potassium which is an electrolyte that balances the amount of sodium stored by the kidneys.

Having a glass of freshly made cucumber juice or water daily is a great way to help stabilize blood pressure levels.

Helps With Detoxing & Weight Loss:

The body has its own detoxification system that consists of 5 main organs one of which is the kidney. Because cucumber is a natural diuretic, it makes you pee a lot.

When you pass a lot of urine, your body gets rid of toxins in the process. That’s why you see a lot of cucumber detox water around the internet. 

So cucumbers contain some vitamins A & C, plus a healthy dose of potassium. When combined, these nutrients help rev up the metabolism which is essential for weight loss.

Cucumbers are also very low in calories and high in fiber making them the perfect snack for weight loss because fiber helps with satiety and reduces cravings.

Helps With Dental Health & Bad Breath:

One of the best ways to keep your teeth bacteria-free is by snacking on some fresh cucumbers with the skin. That’s because they are filled with water and fiber.

Water helps with saliva production which removes bacteria and fiber helps promote strong tooth enamel. Cucumbers also contain phytochemicals that kill bacteria in the mouth.

If you suffer from bad breath often, place a slice of cucumber on the roof of your mouth and hold it there with your tongue for 30 seconds to reduce bad breath.

Helps With Hangovers & Electrolytes:

Drinking alcohol absorbs essential nutrients from the body such as electrolytes, B vitamins, and even sugar. Luckily, cucumbers contain all three of these nutrients. 

Go ahead and eat a cup of sliced cucumbers before bed to wake up with fewer hangover symptoms.

Helps With Inflammation:

Cucumbers are rich in flavonoids, lignans, and a chemical compound naturally found in plants called triterpenes. This compound has a lot of benefits but its best known for its ability to help reduce oxidative stress and improve sleep quality.

By getting quality sleep and reducing oxidative stress, your C-reactive proteins (inflammatory markers) will reduce as well so go ahead and stock up on some fresh cucumbers. 

Benefits Of Cucumber For Skin:

Now that we’ve covered the many benefits of eating cucumbers or drinking its juice, let’s go over what it does to your skin and hair when you apply it topically.

Cucumbers contain a good amount of folic acid, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Antioxidants and folic acid help remove toxins from the skin, and vitamin C removes dead skin cells, plus promotes cell regeneration.

Applying a homemade cucumber paste that consists of yogurt and cucumber for just 15 minutes daily, you can reduce the appearance of blemishes, suntan, sunburn, and dark circles, and revitalize your skin tone. 

There are also claims that cucumbers help reduce premature wrinkles, cellulite, treat open pores and reduce swelling around the eyes.

Side Effects Of Cucumber

Eating too much cucumber may cause the following side effects:

Allergies & Bloating

Cucumbers contain a toxic compound called cucurbitacin which adds a bitter taste to the fruit. Although toxic when consumed in large amounts, it is usually safe and may not cause side effects.

That said, some people may experience a toxic reaction (very rare), indigestion, bloating, and flatulence due to cucurbitacin. 

Some people are allergic to cucumbers because their immune system sees this fruit as a threat and produces antibodies that release histamines which leads to hives, rashes, swelling, and difficulty breathing.

That said, cucumber allergy is uncommon but it does happen. Now if you are allergic to cucumbers, it’s also likely that you may be allergic to other members of the gourd family as well. 

Fluid Loss & Potassium Buildup

As I mentioned above, cucumbers contain a lot of water and compounds which makes them a natural diuretic. Eating a lot of cucumbers can lead to fluid loss which may cause electrolyte imbalance and dehydration.

People with kidney problems should not eat cucumbers because they are high in potassium. When the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, they cannot remove excess potassium which leads to potassium buildup.

Symptoms of potassium buildup include weakness, numbness, low pulse, and nausea. 

Affect Blood Clotting Meds

Due to its high vitamin K content, you may want to reduce your cucumber intake if you are on blood thinners. That’s because vitamin K has the opposite effect and thickens your blood.


Now you know all about the benefits and side effects of cucumber along with the nutritional facts as well. If you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends and also get connected with me on Pinterest for more awesome weight loss, nutrition, and detox tips to help you lose weight and stay in shape.