Most vegetables, because of the fiber content and low calories, are excellent diet foods. If you have every wondered how many calories in a cucumber, you are not alone. Many mistake the cucumber’s crisp texture and juicy disposition for a vegetable’s high calorie content, but this is not the case.
Cucumbers are actually low in calories and rich in nutrients, helping to supply the body with an amazing amount of vitamins and trace-nutrients. The juicy texture comes from the vegetable’s high amount of water. In fact, one peeled cucumber contains about 97% water.
Cucumber Calorie Content
A half-cup of cucumber, weighing approximately 60 grams, contains only seven calories. Cucumbers are very low in calories and can be eaten as a healthy snack or added to salads for additional nutrient supply. There is literally no fat in cucumbers to speak of and as a result most of the vegetable’s calories are derived from the carbohydrate content, which is approximately five carbs in a half-cup.
Cucumbers can be added to salads or eaten by themselves. Most enjoy chopping the cucumber into chunks and adding it to the top of a salad. Mixing cucumbers with onions, vinegar and a dash of sea salt provides a nutritional snack or healthy side dish. Weight loss enthusiasts include cucumbers in their daily meal plans because of the nutritional value and water content. The additional water in the vegetable helps a person feel satiated for a longer period of time.
The USDA National Nutrient Database states that a half-cup of cucumber (without the peel) provides approximately eight milligrams of calcium which makes the vegetable rate as high on the scale as most fruits. Cucumbers provide other nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. While these nutrient levels are substantial, cucumbers also include trace minerals such as copper, manganese and zinc.
Adding a half-cup of chopped cucumbers to your salad can bring a wealth of nutrients that the body needs. This sized portion provides 18 mcg of beta-carotene, 10 mcg of lutein and vitamins A, C and B. Cucumbers are also high in fiber and are helpful to those trying to lose weight.
While the common practice is to chop cucumbers and eat them in salads, the trouble comes when trying to store the vegetable. Cucumbers have a tendency to go bad quickly, so it is best to store the extras in sealed storage bags and keep them in a crisper drawer. They should last a few days if immediately stored, otherwise they tend to soften and become watery and mushy.
Get creative when preparing your cucumbers by adding unique vinegars, sesame seeds or lemon juice. Cucumbers can be sliced and diced for salads, entrees or sandwiches. Try dipping in hummus for a healthy and filling snack.