Fresh cucumber marinated in vinegar is a classic, easy to make and refreshing dish. You will not find cucumbers at the top of the list for vegetables with the highest nutritional value, but you will receive small amounts of the recommended daily intake of 15 nutrients, including antioxidants and vitamin K.
Vinegar contains minerals, but in such small quantities that you should consume a whole cup to get 2 to 3 percent of the daily value of all on one: manganese. A tablespoon of cider vinegar contains 3 calories and 0.1 grams of total carbohydrates, while 1 cup of sliced, peeled cucumber contains 14 calories and 3 grams of carbohydrates. The cucumber also contains 1 gram of fiber, which provides 2 percent of the daily intake of men and 3 percent of women.
If they are not neutralized by an antioxidant, free radicals damage healthy cells, which can cause chronic diseases. Vitamin C has the ability to neutralize a wide range of free radicals throughout the body. Manganese is an essential component of an antioxidant found in every cell. This antioxidant protects the structures that produce energy – mitochondria – against free radicals. Men need 90 milligrams of vitamin C daily and women need 75 milligrams. A cup of sliced, peeled cucumber yields 4 grams. Cucumbers contribute 0.1 milligram of manganese, while 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar contains 0.04 milligram. Together they provide 6 percent of the recommended daily value of manganese.
Minerals for strong bones
Calcium and phosphorus together form bones. Calcium is also essential for contracting heart muscles and stimulating nerve impulses. If you don't have enough calcium, your body gets it out of the bones to keep these other vital processes working, so getting a regular diet out of your diet is crucial. A third nutrient in cucumber – vitamin K – regulates bone mineralization and helps maintain bone density. Women who do not have enough vitamin K are more likely to lose bone density, which can lead to osteoporosis. A cup of peeled, sliced cucumber has 2 percent of the daily value of calcium, 4 percent phosphorus and 7 percent vitamin K.
When marinating cucumbers in vinegar, most recipes ask for sugar to be added. Some ask for a large amount, which can quickly increase the calories in an otherwise healthy dish. If you use a sweetener, add it gradually, taste regularly and use the smallest possible amount. Increase the diet by adding white beans, tomatoes, onions, fresh basil, red peppers or carrots. Herbs that work well include fresh dill, parsley and mint. Turn it into a main dish by mixing cucumbers, chicken, peas and walnuts and covering them with a dressing made from vinegar, yogurt and olive oil.