Cucumber water isn’t just for spas anymore! More people are enjoying this healthy, refreshing drink at home, and why not? It’s delicious and easy to make yourself.
When selecting cucumbers for your water, look for ones that are green in color, feel firm to the touch, and are round at both ends. Don’t use cucumbers that are yellow, have soft spots, or look wrinkly at the ends.
Once you've got your cucumber, wash it thoroughly, slice it, and place the slices in a pitcher filled with water that will fit in your refrigerator. To really let the water become infused with flavor, allow your drink to chill for about an hour before serving. Then enjoy!
Here are seven ways cucumber water benefits your body.
1. It keeps you hydrated.
Your body can’t function properly without water. The amount of water you need to stay well-hydrated may differ from the next person. The American Academy of Physicians says that aiming for six to eight glasses of water a day is a good goal for most people. We know we’re supposed to drink water throughout the day, but sometimes plain water gets boring. Adding cucumber gives it some extra flavor, encouraging you to drink more.
2. It helps with weight loss.
If you’re trying to lose weight, replacing sugary sodas, sports drinks, and juices with cucumber water can help you cut some serious calories from your diet.
Staying hydrated also helps you feel full. Sometimes your body confuses thirst with hunger. You may feel like you’re hungry, when, in fact, you’re really thirsty. How will you know the difference? Reach for a tall glass of cucumber water first. If your hunger goes away after finishing the drink, you were just thirsty. If you’re still hungry, then you know it’s hunger.
3. It delivers antioxidants.
Antioxidants are substances that help prevent and delay cell damage from oxidative stress caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules produced normally by the body. Free radicals can be increased during exercise or exposure to things in the environment like the sun, cigarette smoke, or pollution. Oxidative stress can lead to chronic conditions like:
- heart disease
- eye degeneration
Research has shown that antioxidants may be able to reverse or stop this damage. For this reason, it’s recommended that people eat fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants. Cucumbers fall into this category. They’re rich in:
- vitamin C
- beta carotene
- several flavonoid antioxidants
4. It may help prevent cancer.
Some early 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 us from cancer. One study in the Journal of Cancer Research suggested that the dietary flavonoid fisetin, which is found in cucumbers, might help to slow the progression of prostate cancer.
5. It lowers your blood pressure.
One contributing factor to high blood pressure is having too much salt (sodium) and too little potassium in your diet. The excess salt causes your body to hold fluids, 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, potentially helping to lower your blood pressure.
6. It supports healthy skin.
Cucumber water can help soothe your skin from the inside out. Staying hydrated helps your body to flush out toxins and maintain a healthy complexion. Cucumbers are also high in pantothenic acid or vitamin B-5, which has been used to treat acne. According to the National Institutes of Health, one cup of sliced cucumbers has about 5 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin B-5.
7. It boosts bone health.
Cucumbers are high in vitamin K. In fact, one cup of sliced cucumbers has about 19 percent of the recommended daily value. Your body needs vitamin K to help form proteins that are needed to make healthy bones and tissues as well as to help your blood clot properly. What better way to get this vitamin than through refreshing cucumber water?