Cucumber water is natural source of folic acid, rich in antioxidants, contains potassium, low in calories and a natural diuretic. Consuming cucumber water during pregnancy boosts immunity, prevents dehydration, helps in foetal development, promotes bone health and helps in muscle growth.
Cucumbers belong to the Cucurbitae plant family, also home to other fruits such as zucchini, pumpkins and squashes. While cucumbers are often added to salads as an accompaniment, there are varied ways to consume this fruit. Making cucumber water is one such way to retain the nutrients in the fruit and is a healthy drink to have. In fact, one can even consume cucumber water during pregnancy!
Listed below are 11 benefits of cucumber water, and why you must include it to supplement your healthy balanced diet, especially when you are eating for two!
11 Amazing Health Benefits of Cucumber Water During Pregnancy
Folic acid is a man-made form of a vitamin B, called folate. As expecting mothers know, folic acids are crucial in brain development and spinal growth, especially during the first weeks of pregnancy. Folate even plays a role in the growth of red blood cells and is a constituent of pre-natal supplements your gynaecologist recommends you to take.
Cucumber has a significant amount of folate, ranging from 10-13gm in every 100gm of cucumber, and can contribute to the daily intake that is required.
Rich in anti-oxidants
The human body exhales a certain number of oxidants due to metabolism, which is known to damage tissues and leads to diseases. The body thus needs anti-oxidants to counter the effects and help in tissue repair. In fact, most complications such as preeclampsia in pregnancies are associated with oxidation stress, and researchers have suggested an early supplementation of anti-oxidants to counter these phenomena.
Potassium is a crucial micromineral needed by the human body to aid in its daily functioning. It is known to maintain a balance between the acids and bases in the human body. But perhaps the most important function of potassium is to counter the effects of sodium that manages to enter the human body in myriad ways. Sodium is known to raise blood pressure levels and can often lead to stress and other heart problems. Most patients having an excess amount of sodium in their system were found to be deficient in potassium.
Cucumbers contain 4 percent of the recommended daily allowance of potassium and help to keep heart diseases at bay. While pregnancies should be a time of relaxation, most women stress about a lot of things, including the fact they were responsible for a life. Consumption of cucumber water would not only keep you relaxed, but help check the excessive piling up of sodium in your system.
Water-based and prevents dehydration
Cucumber in itself is a water-rich vegetable and the regular consumption of cucumber water helps to keep you hydrated during your pregnancy. In fact, hot flushes are a very common phenomenon in the early stages of pregnancy, because of the changes in hormones. While staying hydrated is the key to curb the discomfort, sipping on some cucumber water is not only just a little bit more palatable but also a healthier option!
Low in calories
Cucumber in itself consists of 96% of water, and has no added fat and very little calories. Rich in vitamins and other minerals, you can snack on cucumber water without the added concern of gaining extra weight.While cucumbers have important nutrients such as potassium, it contains lesser calories than that of other potassium-rich foods such as bananas. Being a soothing drink, cucumber water is the perfect accompaniment to other healthy meals, relieves bloating.
Cucumber is a natural diuretic. This means that it helps to eliminate toxins from your body. Cucumbers contain sulphur and silica, and it thus helps to ease the removal of uric acid from your body. It also inhibits the production of nitric acid and inflammatory enzymes such as cyclooxygenase 2 which relieves bloating and swelling in your body, especially during the first trimester.
Cucumbers are rich in anti-oxidants such as vitamin A, Vitamin E and Vitamin C which have proven to boost your immune system. Vitamin C is an important component needed by the human body but is unable to synthesize the same internally. It helps to regenerate cells and tissues, also protects one from common cold. Including cucumbers in your diet during your pregnancy is a good way to protect your internal system from degenerative diseases as well.
Cucumber is a nutritious fruit and comes packed with vitamins such as A, B, C, K, and minerals such as potassium, calcium and manganese. It also contains a good amount of folate. Most of these nutrients are incorporated into the balanced diet that one needs to consume during pregnancy. These nutrients are crucial in aiding in the healthy development of the foetus while ensuring the well being of the mother. Vitamin B-9 is of crucial importance when it comes to foetal development, helping in spinal growth and brain development. This also helps a woman recover her strength after a pregnancy.
Cucumber is rich in mineral silica which plays an important role in cross-linking collagen strands and thus plays a crucial role in maintaining connective tissue growth in the body. By this virtue, cucumbers contribute to the regeneration of bones, and in the formational growth of the foetus’s bones, skin, tissues and even the placenta. It also helps prevent osteoporosis, a common condition that begins to develop in middle-aged women.
Cucumbers are also rich in Vitamin K and consists of 19 percent of the recommended daily dietary intake. It works with Vitamin D to increase bone density, positively affect the calcium balance and even helps to prevent fractures.
Silica is an important trace mineral which helps to grow connective tissues and muscles in the body. The problem is that most foods do not contain silica. However, cucumbers are a rich source of this nutrient and is known to aid in muscle growth. Silica works to grow collagen and elastin in the body and helps to keep cells in place. It also helps to regenerate tissues around areas of soft tissue damage. Having cucumber water during your pregnancy helps you to support a growing foetus in your body by providing the necessary strengthening bodily systems.
Cucumbers have a healthy amount of vitamin B which is a flavonoid. This means that a glass of cucumber water could just alleviate your mood, especially during the mood swings caused by hormonal changes. The vitamin B12, present as cobalamin, helps to reduce stress, anxiety and even depression. An absence of this vitamin affects the functioning of nerves and can add to fatigue.
The easiest cucumber water recipe is to slice up some cucumbers and chill it in some water for at least an hour. The best results come from leaving it overnight with some ice, to keep the cucumber slices submerged.
Another popular combination is the cucumber lemon water. Cucumbers generally go well with lemons and add tanginess to an otherwise refreshing drink. To make this cucumber lemon water recipe, simply add a sliced cucumber with a large sliced lemon to two litres of water. Keep it rested overnight and serve with some mint leaves.
It must, however, be noted that while there are several benefits of cucumbers, it is a fruit that contains high residues of pesticides. It also can make one urinate more frequently, which can become a curse during your pregnancy. Do ensure that you do not consume cucumber water quite overwhelming when you are pregnant and make sure to only use organic cucumbers and lemons for your recipe.