Drinking cucumber water may be healthier than drinking plain water, but that’s not the only reason to whip up a pitcher of this simple infused beverage that feels surprisingly like a treat.
The most obvious reason is that hydration is vital to good health, and since infused water tastes good, we’re likely to drink more throughout the day. The fact that we feel like we’re relaxing in a luxury spa every time we take a sip is just a bonus.
Cucumber water isn’t just for spas anymore. More and more people are enjoying this healthy and refreshing drink at home.
The body cannot function properly without water. Most people should aim to drink between six and eight glasses of water a day. We know we’re supposed to drink water throughout the day, but sometimes plain water gets boring. Adding cucumber gives it extra flavor, encouraging us to drink more.
Cucumber water is 95 percent pure H2O, so we get all the hydration power with less boredom. It’s a much more fun way to reap the benefits of complete hydration, like increased energy, better brain function, and better digestion.
Helps lose weight
If you’re trying to lose weight, replacing sugary sodas, sports drinks, and juices with cucumber water can help you cut some important calories from your diet.
Staying hydrated also helps us feel full. Sometimes the body mistakes thirst for hunger. We can feel that we are hungry, when in fact we are thirsty. So it is best to drink a tall glass of cucumber water first. If the hunger disappears after finishing the drink, then we were thirsty. If we are still hungry, then we know it is hunger.
Feeling a little rusty? A review of the research suggested that what we call “aging” involves a similar process of reactive oxygen (also known as free radicals) changing our tissues in a similar way to how oxygen affects wet iron, but it happens much more slowly and with different chemicals. This type of “oxidative stress” doesn’t just contribute to aging. It can also cause health problems in the future.
Antioxidants are substances that help prevent and delay cell damage due to oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Oxidative stress can lead to chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, or eye degeneration.
Research has shown that antioxidants can reverse or stop this damage. That’s why we should eat antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Cucumbers fall into this category. They are rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, molybdenum, and various flavonoid antioxidants.
May help prevent cancer
Some preliminary research suggests that cucumbers may help in the fight against cancer. Along with antioxidants, cucumbers also have compounds called cucurbitacins and a group of nutrients called lignans, which may have a role in protecting against cancer.
A study in the Journal of Cancer Research suggested that the dietary flavonoid fisetin, found in cucumbers, might help slow the progression of prostate cancer.
Lowers blood pressure
One factor that contributes to high blood pressure is having too much salt (sodium) and too little potassium in the diet. Excess salt causes the body to retain fluid, which raises blood pressure. Potassium is an electrolyte that helps regulate the amount of sodium retained by the kidneys.
Cucumbers are a good source of potassium. Drinking cucumber water helps your body get more potassium, which could help lower blood pressure.
Supports healthy skin
That supermodel glow estheticians talk about can often come from healthy hydration. Cucumber water can help soothe your skin from the inside out. Staying hydrated helps the body eliminate toxins and maintain a healthy complexion.
Cucumbers are also high in pantothenic acid, or vitamin B-5, which has been used to treat acne. One cup of sliced cucumbers has about 5 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin B-5.
Cucumber water can help you get more water on a daily basis. Also, bags and circles under the eyes are usually caused by water retention due to an imbalance of sodium and potassium. The vitamins in cucumbers can help balance those nutrients.
Improves bone health
Cucumbers are rich in vitamin K. In fact, a cup of sliced cucumbers has about 19 percent of the recommended daily value.
The body needs vitamin K to help form the proteins needed to build healthy bones and tissues, as well as to help the blood clot properly. What better way to get this vitamin than through a refreshing cucumber water?
Convinced that you need cucumber water in your life? Here’s how to do it at home. All we need:
- 1/2 cucumber
- 2 sprigs of fresh mint
- 2 quarts of water
- 2 cups of ice
The steps to follow are:
- Finely slice the cucumber.
- Pour 1 liter of water into a pitcher.
- Add the cucumber slices.
- Crush the mint by hand by rolling it between the palms of your hands, then place it in the jar.
- Stir the mixture gently.
- Add ice and the rest of the water.
- We put in the fridge and wait 1 hour.
If we want the result of cucumber water to be spectacular, it is recommended to follow these tips:
- Add spike. Thinly slice a lemon, or a lime, or half of each, and add it with the cucumber.
- We will experiment with various herbs. Besides mint, Thai basil or rosemary are two common favorites.
- Cucumber water lasts 2 days. The vegetables will continue to infuse all the time, but things start to go wrong after 48 hours in the fridge, so making a new batch is recommended.
- We can mix cucumber water with sparkling water to get a cucumber water spray. And if we’re not drinking it just for the health benefits of cucumber water, we’ll try adding some flavored vodka.
- We will try to mix berries. Strawberries and raspberries work best for flavor, but we’ll try anything fresh. If we do this, we have to drink it in one sitting. Berries begin to spoil in less than a day.
Which cucumber to choose?
Cucumbers should be firm, not shriveled, and medium to dark green in color. Supermarkets sometimes put an edible wax on the skin of fruits and vegetables that might otherwise store poorly. English cucumbers are popular, but honestly, any kind will do. This wax helps retain moisture and serves as a barrier against bacteria and algae, but the texture leaves a lot to be desired, and the wax can make the cucumber skin look unsightly.
However, there are so many good things in cucumber skin that peeling them cannot be recommended, so we will wash them with a special liquid for fruits and vegetables or buy organic cucumbers that are not waxed.
Buying organic can be a good idea, even if wax isn’t a priority. We may want to consider buying organic anyway, as conventional cucumbers are believed to be more prone to heavy metal contamination than other vegetables.