Healthsomeness Written Logo


This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Cucumber Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 95.2 g
Calories: 15 kcal
Protein: 0.7 g
Carbohydrate: 3.6 g
Dietary fiber: 0.5 g
Sugars: 1.7 g
Fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 2.8 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B9: 7 μg
Vitamin A: 5 μg
Vitamin K: 16.4 μg
Calcium: 16 mg
Iron: 0.3 mg
Magnesium: 13 mg
Phosphorus: 24 mg
Potassium: 147 mg
Sodium: 2 mg
Zinc: 0.2 mg

The cucumber is a member of the gourd (cucurbitaceae) family, and has the advantage of being not only great for your health, but a very versatile vegetable in the culinary sense. Cucumbers can be eaten either fresh or pickled, and served in everything from sandwiches to curries.

They are an extremely low calorie vegetable, mainly due to the fact that they are 95% water weight. With many public health bodies recommending we increase our daily water intake (to two litres a day), what is often neglected is that those who eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables need substantially less water than those who don’t.

Drinking plenty of water is obviously an extremely good idea, and eating plenty of fresh vegetables prevents you from having to choke down litres of water: just something to bear in mind.

Cucumber is incredibly nutrient dense, but in terms of how much you can eat in a sitting, it may not be quite so beneficial. 100g of cucumber has just 16 calories, in addition to 16% of your daily value (DV) of vitamin K, 4% DV of magnesium, and 4% DV of manganese. But remember – always leave the cucumber skin on, as that’s where a large proportion of the nutrients are.

Cucumber’s real benefits come with its fantastic phytonutrient profile. It contains the flavonoids apigenin, quercetin, and kaempferol, all of which have a long list of proven health benefits we could spend a long time discussing.

What is really significant about cucumber however, is the presence in high amounts of compounds unique to the gourd family: cucurbitacins.

Cucurbitacins are compounds with strong anti-cancer properties which are the subject of a number of different studies, some ongoing, investigating whether these compounds could have benefits in humans.

While research is in the early stages, it certainly seems promising with regards to anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting benefits. Specific studies, on pancreatic cancer for example, show that these compounds may have potent anti-cancer potential.