Cucumber Juice – Benefits & Recipe
Drinking cucumber juice is a relatively new phenomenon but like other fruit and vegetable juices, it is a highly concentrated source of nutrients that can deliver a number of health benefits. Cucumber juice is prepared from cucumbers, which are long and dark green vegetables bearing the scientific name Cucumis sativus. This creeping vine plant is cultivated in many countries around the world, but it is primarily grown and distributed from China. Cucumbers are coated in a thick, waxy skin that helps to keep them fresh, making these vegetables highly prized in culinary applications. However, juicing this simple vegetable is another great option to access a concentrated form of its many healthy nutrients.
Cucumber juice is very rich in vitamin K and also contains significant levels of vitamin C, copper, magnesium, potassium, B-family vitamins, vitamin A, dietary fiber, electrolytes and other polyphenolic compounds that can impact the body. Unlike many other fruit juices, cucumber juice is much easier to make at home then to find in a store, since it isn’t particularly common. There are many different ways you can improve the flavor of cucumber juice or customize the recipes, making this a delicious and simple vegetable juice that can have a noticeable impact on your overall health.
Benefits of Cucumber Juice
Some of the most important health effects of cucumber juice include strengthening the kidneys, controlling bleeding disorders, increasing bone mineral density, fighting cancer, boosting nervous system function, managing hormone production, improving the immune system, supporting vision health, optimizing the metabolism and keeping you hydrated, among others.
Osteoporosis: Packed with minerals like copper, magnesium and potassium, cucumber juice is excellent when it comes to bone health and increasing bone mineral density, which can help prevent osteoporosis and other age-related bone disorders.
Immune Function: Notable levels of vitamin C in this juice make it a great choice for boosting the immune system. It can stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are the body’s first line of defense, and also behaves as an antioxidant, seeking out and neutralizing harmful free radicals.
Hormone Balance: People associate calcium with bone health but the level of calcium in your blood is also a key determinant behind your hormonal balance. If your thyroid gland or pituitary gland begins to malfunction, high levels of calcium from this juice can help keep your hormone levels normal.
Detoxify the Body: Cucumber juice has a very high water content, and these vegetables are known to be great for hydration. In juice form, particularly if you add a bit more water to improve the consistency, you can ensure that your body is adequately hydrated all day!
Bleeding Issues: If you suffer from bleeding issues, ranging from bloody noses or heavy menstruation to hemorrhoids and bleeding gums, you may be deficient in vitamin K. This vitamin, found in very high levels in cucumber juice, can help trigger coagulation in the body and speed the healing of damaged tissues.
Nervous System: Calcium functions as an electrolyte in certain situations and plays a very key role in nervous system communication to the muscles. The high level of this vitamin in this juice means that your physical activities will be optimized and your body will be firing on all cylinders.
Cancer: Some of the active ingredients and plant lignans found in cucumbers have been directly linked to anti-cancer effects, making this juice not only an effective preventative measure against cancer but also a great supplemental treatment to slow its spread.
Vision: Moderate amounts of vitamin A, in addition to other antioxidants found in this juice, can help to protect our vision health as we age. Macular degeneration is caused by oxidative stress in the center of the retina, making it more difficult to see, but this juice can eliminate those free radicals before they can do serious damage.
How to Make Cucumber Juice
The type of cucumber you choose may make a slight difference in the overall nutrient content of the juice; the three main types are seedless, pickling and slicing. For juicing purposes, you want the seedless or slicing variety. If you want to keep the dietary fiber benefits of cucumber juice, you will want to blend the cucumber, rather than juice and strain it. You may also want to add a bit of water in this case, or the consistency of the juice may be too thick.
The preparation below is for pure cucumber juice, with the pulp and fibrous material removed.
- 3 medium cucumbers
- 1 cup of water (if necessary, to improve consistency)
- Lemon or Lime Juice (for flavor, if desired)
Step 1 – Remove the skin from the cucumbers with a knife or a potato peeler.
Step 2 – Slice and chop the cucumbers into a manageable size.
Step 3 – Add the cucumbers to your blender or food processor.
Step 4 – Blend for 1-2 minutes for an even consistency of the juice.
Step 5 – Pour the blended cucumbers into a sieve or cheesecloth, allowing the juice to filter through into a jar.
Step 6 – Press the cucumber fiber with a spoon, squeezing out as much juice as possible.
Step 7 – Discard the cucumber fiber.
Step 8 – Add water, if necessary, along with lemon or lime juice, to taste.
Step 9 – Refrigerate the pure cucumber juice.
Step 10 – Serve and enjoy!
Uses for Cucumber Juice
Cucumber juice can be a healthy and refreshing beverage on a hot summer day but it also has many other therapeutic or medicinal uses, especially for the hair and skin.
Hair Treatment: Due to the presence of vitamin C, copper, vitamin K and various sulfuric compounds in cucumber juice, it has often been used in the hair to promote healthy growth and an irritation-free scalp. The cooling and antioxidant properties of this juice can relieve inflammation and deliver nutrients directly to the site of the hair follicles to improve the shine and strength of your hair.
Facial Scrub: You may have placed cucumber slices over your eyes before during a spa treatment, but you can also apply cucumber juice directly to the skin in the form of a refreshing face wash. This can clear out pores, moisturize the skin and give you a healthy glow.
Side Effects of Cucumber Juice
There are very few side effects of cucumber juice, although some people have reported allergic reactions, gastrointestinal problems or kidney issues. Cucumbers also have the risk of pesticide exposure and trace amounts of toxic compounds, so this vegetable should be consumed in moderation. 1-2 glasses of organic cucumber juice per day is more than enough to deliver a solid dose of nutrients and avoid the majority of these side effects.
- Allergic Reactions – Allergic reactions to cucumber are not uncommon, although most people would have discovered this at some point earlier in life. However, large quantities of this vegetable can trigger a reaction, such as swelling of the lips, gums or throat, shortness of breath, or skin irritation/hives.
- Bloating and Gas – A frequent side effect of consuming too much cucumber juice is gastrointestinal distress, mainly in the form of cramping, bloating and excess gas.
- Kidney Problems – With high levels of potassium, drinking an excessive amount of cucumber juice can be damaging to the kidneys, if you develop hyperkalemia. This can also affect muscle function and nervous system health, which can be avoided by drinking this juice in moderation, i.e., no more than 2 glasses per day.
- Pesticide Exposure – Cucumbers are susceptible to pesticide exposure, but much of that is kept out of the vegetable itself by the waxy outer skin. That being said, always wash your cucumbers before eating them and peel the skin off thoroughly before juicing.