10 Excellent Health Benefits Of Cucumber During Pregnancy

10 Excellent Health Benefits Of Cucumber During Pregnancy

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When you need to cool your body in summers and want a low-calorie snack to deal with hunger pangs at work, a bowl sliced cucumber is the best choice. A fruit by definition, cucumber is also great for weight loss.

But is it good for pregnant women? Can cucumbers cause any harm to you or the growing baby?

In this post, MomJunction tells you all that you need to know about eating cucumbers during pregnancy.

Is It Safe To Eat Cucumbers During Pregnancy?

Yes, you can eat small amounts of cucumber although it is not usually recommended in the pregnancy diet. Cucumbers are known to cause allergic reaction, frequent urination due to excess water content and, belching and indigestion (1). So, discuss with your healthcare provider before adding it to your regular diet, because they can do good too.

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Health Benefits Of Cucumber During Pregnancy:

Though cucumbers are known to cause certain side effects when consumed during pregnancy, they are also known to be beneficial when taken in small amounts.

1. Low-calorie foods:

Cucumbers are very low in calories, and can prevent obesity. They can keep you full for a longer time and prevent excess eating, thus avoiding weight gain.

2. Prevents dehydration:

Cucumbers contain about 96% water (2) and help beat dehydration. Pregnant women are recommended to have more fluids to stay healthy (3), so including cucumbers in the diet can be a good idea.

3. Natural diuretic:

The water content of cucumber acts as a diuretic (4), thus promoting elimination of toxins. It also reduces swelling (5).

4. Good for skin:

The cooling and cleansing property of fresh cucumber juice is helpful for skin nourishment and tightening (5).

5. Improves mood:

The multiple B vitamins present in cucumbers are known to boost your mood. They ease the feelings of anxiety and limit some effects related to stress (6).

[ Read: Eating Radish During Pregnancy ]

6. Rich fiber source:

Cucumbers are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels whereas insoluble fiber softens stools and treats constipation, which is common during pregnancy (7).

7. Boosts immunity:

Rich in antioxidants (8) including vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese (9), cucumbers help improve immunity and thus prevent contracting infections.

8. Helps in fetal development:

Cucumbers are rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iodine, and sulfur, (10) all of which are important for fetal development and can prevent growth abnormalities.

9. Maintains blood pressure levels:

The correct balance of sodium and potassium electrolytes in cucumber juice regulate the blood pressure levels during pregnancy (11).

10. Promotes dental health:

Cucumber juice effectively treats gum problems, increases salivation and neutralizes the acids in the oral cavity (12).

If you are still not convinced about the goodness of this vegetable, read about the nutritional facts of cucumber next and decide if you should include it in your pregnancy diet.

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Nutritional Value Of Cucumber

According to the USDA, the nutrition present in 100g of raw cucumber with peel is as follows (13):

NutrientAmount
Water95.23g
Calories15kcal
Carbohydrates3.63g
Protein0.65g
Fiber0.5g
Fat0.11g
Sugars1.67g
Vitamins
Vitamin C2.8mg
Thiamine (Vit B1)0.027mg
Riboflavin (Vit B2)0.033mg
Niacin0.098mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.03mg
Pantothenic acid0.259mg
Pyridoxine (Vit B6)0.04mg
Folate7mcg
Alpha-carotene11mcg
Beta-carotene45mcg
Vitamin A105IU
Vitamin K16.4mcg
Electrolytes
Potassium147mg
Sodium2mg
Minerals
Calcium16mg
Iron0.28mg
Magnesium13mg
Zinc0.2mg
Phosphorus24mg
Copper0.041mg
Zinc0.2mg
Manganese0.079mg
Selenium0.3mcg
Fluoride1.3mcg

g=grams; mg=milligrams; mcg=micrograms; IU=international unit

Though cucumbers have a high nutritional value, they can pose some risk when taken in excess amounts.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Cucumber During Pregnancy?

The nasty downsides of consuming cucumbers in excessive amounts include:

  1. Gas formation and indigestion (14).
  1. The excess water content in cucumbers will increase the frequency of urination, which could make you uncomfortable.
  1. Sometimes, cucumbers can cause allergic reactions resulting in itching and swelling.
  1. Cucumbers contain toxic substances such as cucurbitacins and tetracyclic triterpenoids, which are responsible for the bitter taste and are life-threatening when taken in excess amounts (15).

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[ Read: Avocados During Pregnancy ]

Can You Drink Cucumber Juice During Pregnancy?

Yes, you can have freshly made cucumber juice as it works great for you during pregnancy. Select firm and dark colored cucumbers, blend them and add some sugar, salt or honey for taste.

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How To Consume Cucumber In Pregnancy?

If your healthcare provider has given the go-ahead to consume cucumbers, you can enjoy the benefits by including it in your diet.

First, peel the cucumbers, since their skin contains toxic pesticides. Wash them at least for three to four minutes in running water and scrub them using a vegetable brush.

The best ways to consume cucumbers are:

  1. Add to salads: Combine cucumbers with tomatoes, onions or any other vegetables with little olive oil, salt, vinegar, and pepper. You can also make a delightful salad by combining cucumbers, black olives, chopped dill, avocado, and cress. This tastes good with kosher salt, olive oil, and lemon juice.
  1. A refreshing soup: Blend sliced cucumbers, red onions, garlic clove, chopped dill, olive oil and some sour cream. Once the puree is ready, refrigerate for about one to two hours. This is an excellent soup to have on hot and long summer days.
  1. Cucumber sandwiches: Cut thin slices of cucumber and put in between two slices of bread along with some unsalted butter, chopped mint leaves, and sour cream cheese. These make an ideal snack to go with a cup of green or mint tea.
  1. Tzatziki sauce: Combine one large, sliced cucumber, three tablespoons of plain or Greek yogurt, one tablespoon of fresh mint or dill, and one minced garlic clove. Add one tablespoon salt and three tablespoons lemon juice. Refrigerate the mixture for five to six hours, and serve as a salad dressing.
  1. Home-made pickle: Take three to five cups of water, one tablespoon of sugar, one tablespoon salt and 25 cups white vinegar. Boil the mixture and let it cool. Take four cups of cucumber spears, two heads fresh dill and two garlic cloves in a container. Add the chilled mixture over the vegetable, cover the lid and refrigerate for two to three days before consuming.

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Next, we answer a few commonly asked questions about eating cucumbers when pregnant.

1. Is pickled cucumber safe during pregnancy?

Yes, it is safe to eat pickled cucumber but be watchful about the sodium intake. Go for home-made pickles, that too in minimal quantities.

2. Does craving cucumbers while pregnant tell something about baby’s gender?

According to old wives tales, craving for cucumbers can indicate that you are carrying a boy. However, it is just one of the many ways to guess the sex of the unborn child and is not a reliable one.

3. Can you eat cucumber seeds during pregnancy?

You cannot have excess amounts of cucumber seeds since they contain a compound called cucurbitacin (16). This is toxic and results in indigestion in some people, especially those who have a sensitive digestive system.

[ Read: Consuming Tomatoes During Pregnancy ]

4. Can cucumber cause miscarriage?

Cucumbers are not known to cause miscarriage; there are no studies to show an association between them.

Nevertheless, add cucumbers to your pregnancy diet in tiny quantities. If you feel alright, you might add a few more pieces but do not over-consume.

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Cucumbers are not completely bad for you, and it all depends on your medical condition and health. Talk to your healthcare provider to know if you can safely consume them. Most importantly, choose the organic varieties to ensure that you’re eating healthy.

Have any more interesting ideas about ways to include cucumber in pregnancy diets? Tell us about them in the comments section.

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Rebecca Malachi

She is a Biotechnologist with a proficiency in areas of genetics, immunology, microbiology, bio-engineering, chemical engineering, medicine, pharmaceuticals to name a few. Her expertise in these fields has greatly assisted her in writing medical and life science articles. With 8+ years of work experience in writing for health and wellness, she is now a full-time contributor for Momjunction.com. She is passionate about giving research-based information to readers in need. Apart from writing, she is a foodie, loves travel, fond of gospel music and enjoys observing nature in silence. Know more about her at: linkedin.com/in/kothapalli-rebecca-35881628
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