To Eat or Not to Eat: Cucumbers

Sliced cucumber

Cucumbers are a green oblong fruit often associated with refreshment, relaxation and even rejuvenation. I used to eat cucumbers fairly frequently; in fact I ate cucumbers at almost each meal for the three weeks while traveling abroad in Eastern Europe. – I really enjoy the taste to this day. However, since eating healthier and learning to listen to my body, I’ve noticed that my stomach feels funny whenever I eat even the slightest bit of cucumber.  So I’ve been avoiding them.
Should most people eat cucumbers regularly?

Pros

  • Cucumbers can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of cuisines, including a Mediterranean diet. Studies show that this particular diet is great for reducing risks for a slew of chronic diseases.[1]
  • Cucumbers are a decent source of protein when combined with some nuts or oats and contain little sugar [2]
  • Cucumbers are used as a traditional treatment for heartburn by pregnant Jordanian women[3] (I could not find any recent studies that were scientifically-based proponents of eating cucumbers, with the exception of studies about the Mediterranean diet)

Cons

  • Cucumbers are shown to be low in antioxidants[4] and vitamin A[5]
  • They potentially contain elevated lead and nitrate concentrations. This even includes organic cucumbers![6][7]

After all of this research, I feel justified about avoiding cucumbers and I’m not convinced that they are among the healthiest fruit, despite their soothing image.

As an aside, during my research I also discovered a way to make a cucumber into a shark… fun!

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