Plain water can be a boring necessity, Diet Coke is bad for you, lemon water may be rough on your teeth if consumed in large quantities, and adding juice also adds calories. Flavoring water with fresh fruit slices and herbs is an easy, healthy alternative.
Cucumber water is one drink that you’ll want to consider the next time you’re feeling thirsty. It not only helps genuinely hydrate the body, it can help you feel better overall, and even look better. Here are all of the benefits you’ll reap, and some recipes to help you along.
Water with cucumber has been served at day spas and health clubs all over the world for decades, mostly due to its health benefits and great taste.
Not only is this simple recipe yummy, but cucumbers look oh so pretty when sliced and placed neatly in a pitcher of water and ice.
In this article, we’ll discuss cucumber benefits, review the benefits of cucumber water, and then I’ve also included 5 different cucumber water recipes to add some variety and give you some recipe ideas.
What is Cucumber Water?
Also known as cucumber infused water or cucumber detox water, the basic cucumber water recipe is just two ingredients: water and cucumber.
But don’t let its simplicity fool you; it tastes great.
Special Tip: Cucumber water is perfect to take with you and sip all day as a delicious hydrating treat.
With one of these infuser bottles, you can refill the water over and over again and the flavor of the cucumbers will still infuse into the water.
Health Benefits Of Cucumber Water
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?
How To Select A Cucumber
Cucumbers don’t do well in heat so you’re safer to grab one from the refrigerated section. They should be firm, not wrinkly, and a medium to dark green color. According to WHFoods, you may want to consider buying organic as its thought that conventional cucumbers might be more prone to heavy metal contamination. Cucumber skins contain vitamin A so buy the unwaxed kind. If adding waxed cucumbers to your water, peel the skin off first.
The health benefits passed on per glass of water are slight. However, considering that you are adding in a healthy, low calorie fruit (yes, cucumber is a fruit but often classified as a vegetable) where there would otherwise be none and drinking more water, then its win-win to me. Add a little mint, in addition to cucumber, to jazz your water up even more.
5 Cucumber Water Recipes
Lemon Cucumber Mint Water
Cucumbers and lemons go well together, and in this recipe they’ve included the cooling effect of fresh mint to the water so you’re getting several tastes competing for your attention. Lemons themselves are high in Vitamin C, and since you’re unlikely to eat lemons the way you’d eat an orange, drinking this lemon cucumber concoction is a great way to top up on this immune-boosting vitamin. Mint is also a rich source of Vitamin C, as well as important minerals like calcium and magnesium. Consider adding the mint to a soup or smoothie after you’ve finished the water, as it’s an excellent source of fiber.
Cucumber Herb-Infused Water
When you add in herbs to regular cucumber water you’re upping the flavor profile and also getting the nutrients each herb provides. This recipe goes all out and adds in three different herbs to get the flavor just right. At the same time you’re getting the vitamins and minerals from these herbs. Rosemary is a great source of iron, calcium, and potassium, and thyme can take care of your Vitamin C needs for the day all by itself. You’re also getting additional minerals from the mint, and the vitamins from the lemon. And don’t forget the goodness of cucumbers. That’s a packed glass of water!
Springtime Strawberry Cucumber Water
You don’t have to wait till spring to make this springtime strawberry water featuring plenty of cucumber goodness. The lemon, cucumber, and strawberries make a nice trio of flavors and work well together. There’s also your choice of herbs, and they recommend either mint or basil so you can tailor this to your particular palate. The strawberries will infuse the water with additional vitamins that cucumbers don’t have a ton of, namely Vitamin C. If it happens to be spring this makes a great water to drink to help the body rid itself of any toxins stored up from a long winter.
Cucumber and Basil Water
The great part about making this cucumber and basil water is that you’re getting the tasty flavor of basil as well as the extra antioxidants it provides. That’s right, basil just doesn’t pack extra taste into the water, it’s also a nutrient powerhouse with the amount of Vitamin A it has. The Vitamin A gets turned into beta-Carotene in the body and has a strong antioxidant effect on the body, going to work on free radicals and helping you feel better. Contrary to popular belief, beta-Carotene helps with more than just your eyes. It helps the immune system and can even act as an anti-cancer agent.
Refreshing Fruit Water
Feeling parched is not in the cards when you make up a batch of this fruit water. But don’t let the title fool you, it’s packing more than just fruit and includes several slices of cucumber. Blueberries and strawberries give you a boost of antioxidants, and cucumber provides minerals and additional antioxidants that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to take on the rest of your day. When compared to other drinks marketed as energy drinks you’re much better going with an all-natural option that leaves you feeling good with no crash later.
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