Are you looking for a delicious way to aid your current diet? Eating cucumbers for weight loss doesn’t need to be a tasteless dreadful affair. Research shows eating your vegetables assists you in dropping pounds without starving your body of the nutrition and hydration it needs. (1)
Cucumber smoothies are one fun way, and you don’t need fancy juicing equipment either. A regular blender will do the trick.
These lean green machines contain (2):
- Vitamin K
- 16 calories per serving
- High water content
- Provides more hydration than water (3, 4)
Although we commonly call it a vegetable, cucumbers are actually fruits and belong to the same family as melons. You can enjoy the whole food or puree them to add to smoothies and other beverages. The only wrong way to eat cucumber is to not eat them.
Do your best to leave on the peel though. That’s where a large part of the nutrients reside. Avoid seedless varieties for more healthful benefits too since they contain calcium and minerals. (5)
6 REASONS TO ENJOY CUCUMBERS
1. YOU COULD LOSE WEIGHT
The calories in a single serving of this filling food will help to keep you fuller longer, and if you’re replacing unhealthy foods, you should see results on your scale.
At only 16 calories a serving with low carbohydrates, protein, and fat, the cucumber can find a home in nearly any type of diet or lifestyle.
2. YOU COULD LOWER YOUR BLOOD SUGAR
Animal studies show promising results that cucumbers will naturally reduce your blood sugar. They also assisted in controlling levels.
Other studies that fed cucumber peel found similar results to eating the whole cucumber too.
While cucumber along might not reverse diabetes, research supports that it can make a healthful addition to a diabetic’s food choices. Some scientists wish to further study it to determine if a diet rich in cucumbers helps prevent diabetes and prediabetes.
3. PROMOTES REGULAR BOWEL MOVEMENTS
A common cause of constipation is dehydration. Cucumbers contain a fiber called pectin. Both the fiber and water content fight constipation and assist in keeping you regular.
Obtaining water from fruits and vegetables assists our bodies year-round to maintain healthy hydration levels. Without a constant source of water, your body can’t work properly.
5. ANTIOXIDANTS TO FIGHT FREE RADICALS AND MIGHT REDUCE CANCER RISKS
Oxidative stress wreaks havoc on your body inside and out. It causes advanced signs of skin aging, breaks down healthy cells, and it can cause or promote cancer and chronic illnesses. One defense you have in your arsenal is to consume foods high in antioxidants.
6. COULD PROMOTE HEALTHY BONES
We often think of calcium when referring to bone health. Did you know your body also requires vitamin K for a strong skeleton system? Low-density levels and fracture incident actually has a correlation to low vitamin K levels.
A 2000 study, featuring elderly women and med, witnessed a hip fracture reduction rate in participants who consumed healthy amounts of vitamin K.
ARE THERE RISKS IN CONSUMING CUCUMBERS?
One concern comes from the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list, which contains vegetables and fruits commonly found loaded with pesticides with links to cancer and disease. Cucumbers no longer make their list as of 2018 though.
They still recommend purchasing organic when possible or growing your own to reduce your exposure to harmful and potentially harmful chemicals.
Cucumbers might contain wax coating to protect them during shipping. This applies to both organic and conventional varieties. You should remove this before eating.
Also, remember to vary your vegetable choices. Load up your plate with a variety of vegetables and fruits to ensure you receive the different nutrients your body requires to work well.
VITAMIN K CONCERNS
Because cucumbers have a moderate amount of vitamin K, some people taking certain medications should speak with their doctor. Most notable are blood-thinning, antibiotics, prescription and over the counter weight loss medications, and cholesterol-reducing medications.
These medications can increase the likelihood of low vitamin K levels as well as induce deficiency side effects.
TASTY, HEALTHFUL WAYS YOU CAN ENJOY CUCUMBER FOR WEIGHT LOSS
The easiest way to enjoy your cucumbers is in slices. Nosh on them with your favorite low-calorie dip, fill with hummus or pop them plain. Second to this would be as a salad topper.
However, some people aren’t a fan and avoid them completely. Cucumber smoothies offer you a chance to hide your fruits in veggies under the mask of a sweet or tropical flavor.
DETOXIFYING CUCUMBER SMOOTHIES
- 2/3 cup of unsweetened plant-based milk
- ¾ cup of ice
- 1 ½ cups of kale, chopped
- 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
- ½ green apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1 tbsp. flax seed, ground
- Honey to taste, optional
1. Combine ingredients in a blender.
2. Blend until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
CUCUMBER MELON PROTEIN SMOOTHIE
- 1 cup of yogurt or dairy-free alternative yogurt, unflavored and no added sugar
- One cucumber, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup of cantaloupe or honeydew melon
- 1 tbsp. vegan protein powder
1. Combine ingredients in a blender.
2. Pulse until desired consistency is reached.
3. Enjoy as a drink, smoothie bowl, or mix in some granola or Muesli.
This is a go-to favorite around cold and flu season, and I reach for it any time I start feeling ill.
- ¼ cup of mango, chopped
- An orange, peeled
- 1 cup of cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp. flax seeds, ground
- One cup of spinach or kale
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
2. Mix until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
3. Enjoy over ice or as is.
Technically not a cucumber smoothie recipe, but it’s a beverage you can enjoy that offers similar benefits.
- 3 cucumbers, peeled and diced
- 1/2c-1c of water
- Melon slices, lemon juice, or mint sprigs, optional
1. Place cucumber in a blender or food processor. Blend until no chunks remain.
2. Slowly add water until you reach your desired consistency.
3. Add optional ingredients, sip, and enjoy.
MODERATION IS KEY WITH YOUR CUCUMBER SMOOTHIES
Supplemental juicing and plant-based smoothies are an excellent way to obtain more nutrients from your food.
However, if your goal is weight loss, you’ll want to stick to lower sugar fruits. Juicing and smoothies can be made healthful, but the sugar in fruit can also sabotage your efforts. Another study showed a juice only fast slowed metabolisms.
Be mindful of your frequency if you’re eating cucumber for weight loss, and exercise moderation when using high-sugar fruits and juices in your smoothie recipes.
CUCUMBER SANDWICH IDEAS
Not everyone enjoys cucumber smoothies, so here are some additional ways to get more cucumber or vegetables into your diet.
Cucumber sandwiches make for fun finger food that’s also portable. The prep work takes almost no time too, so it’s great for busy people. All you need to do is peel (optional) and slice the cucumbers, then pick a filling.
HEALTHY FILLING IDEAS
- Meatless luncheon meat and dairy free cheese slices
- Cream cheese or cream cheese alternative spreads
- Almond butter
- Tuna or salmon
- Egg salad
BONUS: PICKLES AND CHIPS!
No canning materials needed for this quick and easy pickle recipe from Bless This Mess Please. You maintain many of the benefits of eating cucumbers, but you can increase its them with the addition of apple cider vinegar.
You can make a single batch or multiple jars if you have the proper canning equipment.
SPICED CUCUMBER CHIPS
Try this healthy, baked alternative to the potato varieties. Adapted from Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen.
If you have a food dehydrator, you can use your machine instead of the oven. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- 2 large cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
- Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
2. Layer slices between paper towels to drain excess moisture.
3. Combine seasonings in a bowl. Add slices and toss to coat.
4. Lay in a single layer on a parchment lined baking pan.
5. Bake for about 3 ½ to 4 hours
FINAL THOUGHTS ON CUCUMBER FOR WEIGHT LOSS, CUCUMBER SMOOTHIES, AND OTHER HEALTHFUL WAYS TO EAT MORE CUCUMBER
Cucumbers are a great addition to any diet because of their nutrient-rich profile. The water, vitamins, and minerals replenish your body after workouts and refresh you instantly. Plus, they’re inexpensive and available year round, making them the perfect addition to a weight loss or maintenance program.
Remember, if you’re not a fan of certain vegetables or fruits, you can easily mask their taste and/or texture in healthful cucumber smoothies.
Cucumber based dishes and treats might be the answer you’re seeking. Either way, incorporating a few of these delicious recipes into your weekly meal plan sure will not harm your health.