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You Asked: Health Benefits of Cucumbers?

Dear FitSugar,
What are the nutritional benefits of cucumber, if any? It is one of my fave veggies but as far as I can tell, it doesn't pack much of a punch compared to other vegetables.
— Questioning Cucumbers

I too love cucumbers; they make a great addition to any salad and are also a great vehicle for hummus. Aside from being a low carb substitute, this veggie (well technically a fruit since it has seeds, but I am sticking with convention here) has some surprising nutritional attributes.

The cucumber is a decent source of both vitamin C and fiber. It is also high in potassium and magnesium, which, when combined with fiber, can help reduce blood pressure. Cukes are also high in the mineral silica, an essential component for healthy connective tissues, like ligaments and tendons. Its silica content also makes the cucumber beneficial to the skin, both eating the veggie and applying its flesh topically to your skin. There's a reason you always see images of ladies with slices of cucumbers on their eyes. Plus their high water content makes them naturally hydrating and cooling. Cucumbers are also high in the mineral phosphorus, an important mineral for bone health.

Fit's Tip: Due to its tender skin, commercially grown cucumbers may be waxed to protect their outer layer, so I suggest you buy organic!

Looking for a new way to eat cucumbers? Try the Cucumber Boat with Lox Spread. The crisp cooling cucumber makes a great bagel (so high in calories) substitute. Or make your own Tzatziki.

Image Source: Getty
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