Should Cucumbers be Peeled?
Some people eat cucumbers by peeling off the skin first, while others enjoy eating cucumbers with the skin on. Quoting Healthline, it is recommended not to peel cucumbers before eating them to maximize their nutritional content.
Peeling cucumbers can reduce the amount of fiber, as well as certain vitamins and minerals. Meanwhile, according to WebMD, you can eat cucumbers with the skin as it can increase fiber content and provide vitamin A.
Nutritional Content and Benefits of Eating Cucumbers
Cucumbers contain a variety of nutrients that are beneficial for the body. According to data from Healthline, 300 grams of unpeeled cucumbers contain approximately 62 percent of vitamin K, two grams of fiber, and 45 calories. The calorie content of cucumbers is relatively low, which is why cucumbers are often added to diet menus.
In addition, cucumbers contain other nutrients such as vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. These nutrients make cucumbers beneficial for the body.
For example, vitamin K is beneficial for bone formation and maintenance, blood clotting, and heart health. Cucumbers have a high water content of about 96 percent, which can improve hydration and help meet daily fluid needs.
Cucumbers also contain fiber that can help regulate bowel movements. Especially the presence of pectin, a type of soluble fiber found in cucumbers, can help increase the frequency of bowel movements.
Other benefits of cucumbers include preventing the accumulation of harmful free radicals and reducing the risk of chronic diseases due to the presence of antioxidants, including flavonoids and tannins.
Risks of Eating Unpeeled Cucumbers
Although it is mentioned that the cucumber skin maximizes the nutritional content of the fruit, there are risks associated with consuming unpeeled cucumbers.
According to WebMD, one concern of eating cucumber skin is the presence of pesticides in it. Many cucumber producers or farmers use pesticides for cultivation.
In addition, cucumbers are naturally coated with wax on the outer skin. It is suspected that some producers add synthetic wax before sending the cucumbers to grocery stores or markets.
This is done to prolong the shelf life of the cucumbers. However, synthetic wax may contain germs. Pesticides and wax on the surface of cucumber skin can be removed as long as the fruit is properly washed.
Make sure to wash cucumbers with running water and gently scrub them with your hands. You can also use a special soap for fruits and vegetables to maximize protection against any germs or pesticides that may be present on cucumbers.