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Cucumber

Background

Cucumbers are part of the gourd family, which also includes pumpkins, melons, and more. Originating in South Asian countries such as India, cucumbers are now grown around the world. This crunchy vegetable is technically a fruit with a juicy flesh grown to protect the small white seeds inside. However, cucumbers are culinarily considered vegetables. They are an easy snack to enjoy with other vegetables and hummus or tzatziki. Cucumbers add a great crunch in salads, wraps, or sandwiches. Another interesting way to dress cucumbers up are to use them in appetizers—wrap them with prosciutto and cheese, roll them in sushi, or serve on crackers garnished with paprika.

Benefits

  • Are a great source of hydration. Over 90% of the cucumber is made up of water, which can help contribute to your daily fluid requirements.
  • Are also a source of vitamin K! The two important main roles of vitamin K is as a part of our blood to help heal wounds, and as a contributor to bone health.
  • Provide some potassium, which helps to control blood pressure and fluid balance, and is important to the nervous system.
  • Are one of the foods that contain phytochemicals called flavonoids. Flavonoids are antioxidants, and some types may have anti-inflammatory properties.

Nutritional Value of ½ cup (50 g) of Raw Cucumber

  • 8 calories
  • 2 g carbohydrate
  • 5 g fibre
  • 0 g protein
  • 0 g fat
  • ~7% daily recommended intake of vitamin K
  • ~2% daily recommended intake of potassium

Did You Know

Two main types of cucumbers are ‘slicing’ cucumbers and ‘pickling’ cucumbers. Slicing cucumbers are those purchased in grocery stores or markets and are meant to be eaten fresh. Pickling cucumbers are usually smaller and have a thicker pricklier skin than slicing cucumbers. The pickling process softens the skin to make then easy to bite into once they are pickles!

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