The nutrient profiles provided in this chapter are derived from The Food Processor, Version 10.12.0, ESHA Research, Salem, Oregon, USA.
Cucumber is a healthy fruit which having lots of benefits. Cucumber regulates hydration and maintain adequate blood pressure and sugar, soothes skin, helped in digestion and reduces fat and help to weight loss. Cucumber contains a plenty of potassium, fiber, magnesium, manganese and vitamin A, C, K. Cucumber has several health beneficial activities such as antimicrobial properties, hydrating and detoxification, help in digestion and weight loss, preventing cancer and other fragile bone disease. In this book chapter we have discussed about the health beneficial activities of cucumber along with its different contents.
- health impact
Cucumbers (scientifically known as
2. Result and discussions
2.1 Antimicrobial activity
Khan et al.  reported that Cucumber have poor activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosaonly. Osuagwu et al.  reported that ethanolic extracts of leaf have antimicrobial property on pathogenic microorganisms for three human pathogens
2.2 Phytochemical analysis
Sood et al. [5, 6] confirmed the presence of various phytochemicals like tannins, cardiac glycosides, terpenoides, carbohydrates, resins, saponins and phytosterols. Phytochemical screening by color visualization in cucumber showed the presence of flavonoid, tannin, saponin and steroid. The spectrophotometric analysis showed flavonoid 0.36% (w/w), phenol 0.40% (w/w), and, the by titrimetry found tannin 2.82%.
2.3 Nutritional composition
Urooj et al.  reported that among all varieties, English, Zucchini and Pranic healed cucumbers have contained highest moisture and lowest in Holenarasipur and Dotted variety. Eghtedary et al.  reported twenty types of cucumber (
Cucumber, sliced, raw 1.00 cup (104.00 grams) calorie-16.
3. Different types of nutrients in cucumber
Cucumber contains different types of flavonoids such as apigenin, diosmetin, fisetin, luleolin, quercetin, kaempferol, luteolin, naringenin, theaflavanoside I, vicenin. It also contains different types lignans pinoresinol, lariciresinol and secoisolariciresinol and triterpenes like cucurbitacin A, cucurbitacin B, cucurbitacin C, cucurbitacin D.
3.1 Medicinal uses
Shrivastava et al.  reported that cucumber eating in daily basis can improve hair growth and soothes skin, reduce swelling of eye. Cucumber juice can improve the skin texture and cures skin infections, eczema. A piece of cucumber on the head for a sun stroke patient can reduce the heat of the body. Cucumber can help in weight loss and the mashed seeds with sugar before meal can reduce intestinal worms and tape worms. Boiled cucumber leaves and cumin seed roasted powders can be used for throat infections. Kashif et al.  reported that cucumber contained high potassium so it can help to keep normal blood pressure.
3.2 Different health beneficial activities of cucumber
Sharma et al.  proved that cucumber juice can acts against acidity and resist to change in pH and have good carminative and antacid potential. Cucumber has also eye soothner activities. Keeping cucumber slices on the eyes for about 10 minutes relaxes our eyes and reduces puffiness around the eyes. Patil et al.  investigated activity of cucumber extract in laboratory animals. They proved that the aqueous extract of cucumber selected can reduce the induced bowel disease and possessed active against ulcerative colitis. Patil et al.  investigated that cucumber juice can have significant wound healing effect.
3.3 Hepatoprotective activity
Heidari et al.  investigated the activity of cucumber juice against cumene hydroperoxide induced-oxidative stress and proved that cucumber can acts as antioxidant agent. The cucumber extracts have antioxidants and radical scavenging property. The extract help to form intracellular ROS.
3.4 Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activity
Sharmin et al.  investigated Hypoglycemic effects of cucumber and proved white pumpkin, gourd has anti hyperglycemic effects on Alloxan Induced Diabetic Rats (AIDR). The extract can lessen the high lipid profiles in AIDRs. Therefore, cucumber extracts can be useful, in the therapy of diabetes, hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia.
3.5 Hydration and detoxification
Cucumbers contains 96% water. Therefore, it helps to fill up the daily requirement of water by the body and keep body hydrated. In summers, people tend to dehydrate easily. Consuming cucumber can make hydrate and it also acts as a coolant and give relief from the summer heat. Cucumber and mint can use to make detox water which effectively eliminates toxins from the body, improves hydration and thus results in innumerable health benefits.
3.6 Reduce blood pressure
Cucumbers are a good source of potassium, magnesium and dietary fibre. These nutrients are known to lower blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of heart diseases. Research has also proved that regular consumption of cucumber juice was helpful in reducing blood pressure, in elderly people with hypertension.
Cucumbers act as a coolant for our stomach. The soluble fibre in cucumbers helps in slowing our digestion. Also, the high content of water in cucumber makes our stools soft, prevents constipation and keeps our bowel movements regular.
3.8 Reduces blood sugar
Cucumbers are known to reduce blood sugar levels, thus being helpful in the management and prevention of diabetes mellitus.
3.9 Weight loss
Cucumbers contain 96% of water and are low in calories. There are only 15.5 calories in 100 g of cucumber. High water and low-calorie content of cucumbers, helps in reducing weight.
Cucumbers can enhance beauty and have good effects on the skin. Application of cucumber juice on skin makes it soft and glowing. Anti-inflammatory effects of cucumber naturally lighten our skin and reduce tanning. It also reduces wrinkles and fine lines.
3.11 Reduces risk of cancer
The fibre in cucumbers protects from colorectal cancer. Also, cucurbitacin present in cucumbers possesses anti-cancer properties. Tuama et al.  showed cucumber extract is rich in bioactive compounds and have anticancer activity with Cell lines of (IC50) with MCF 715.6 ± 1.3 and HeLa 28.2 ± 1.
4. Effect in hair, nails and breath
Cucumbers contain silica which is excellent for hair and nail care. They help in strengthening the nails and prevent them from becoming brittle. Moreover, phytochemicals present in cucumber destroy the bacteria in our mouth that cause bad breath.
4.1 Antioxidant activity
Kumaraswamy  demonstrated that the yellow cucumber posses more antioxidant activity where as While green and white cucumbers have low antioxidant property. The antioxidant activity is due to the carotenoids, phenolic flavonoids, tannins, polyphenols and lycopene, found in it. Mallik et al.  carried out an study on the cytotoxic activity of cucumber extract in ethanol.
|Cucumber, sliced, raw 1.00 cup (104.00 grams) calorie-16|
|Dietary Fibers||0.52 g||2|
|Total sugar||1.74 g||—|
|Soluble Fiber||0.06 g||—|
|Insoluble Fiber||0.46 g||—|
|Other carbohydrate||1.52 g||—|
|Monosaturated fat||0.01 g||—|
|Polysaturated fat||0.03 g||—|
|Saturated fat||0.04 g||—|
|Trans fat||0.00 g||—|
|Calories from fat||1.03||—|
|Insoluble fiber||0.46 g||—|
|Other carbohydrate||1.52 g||—|
|Calories from saturated fat||0.35||—|
|Calories from trans fat||0.00||—|
|Vitamins (water soluble)|
|Vitamin B1||0.03 mg||3|
|Vitamin B2||0.03 mg||2|
|Vitamin B3||0.10 mg||1|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin equivalent)||0.19 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.04 mg||2|
|Vitamin B12||0.00 mcg||0|
|Folate DFE||7.28 mcg|
|Folate food||7.28 mcg|
|Pantothenic acid||0.27 mg||5|
|Vitamin C||2.91 mg||4|
|Fat soluble vitamins|
|Vitamin A international unit||109.20 IU||—|
|Vitamin D||0.00 IU||0|
|Vitamin K||17.06 mcg||19|
|Vitamin E||0.05 IU|
Cucumber is an excellent and unusual food. A cup of cucumber contained 16 calorie with its peel (15 without) and 4 percent of your daily potassium, 3 percent of your daily fiber and 4 percent of your daily vitamin C. Cucumbers also contained small amounts of vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, manganese and vitamin A among them Vitamin K is very important for bone health. Vitamin K intake reduces fracture rates, and combine work with vitamin D can increase bone density and positively affect calcium balance. Vitamin K helps in building bones and the effects seem to be important for women. Low vitamin K levels were associated with low bone density in women, but not in men. Low intakes of vitamin K were associated with an increased risk of hip fractures in middle-age women.
Authors thank the SERB (PDF/2016/002856) (Govt. of India) for financial support and Knowledge Resource Center-NEERI for checking plagiarism. (KRC No.:CSIR-NEERI/KRC/2021/Jan/EMD/1). SC acknowledges Director-NEERI for his overall support.