Vegetables should form the basis of your diet – women need 2.5 cups a day and men need 3 cups, the US Department of Agriculture recommends. Each cup of cucumber juice counts as 1 cup of vegetables to help you achieve these intake goals. In addition to the general benefits of a vegetable-rich diet – including a lower risk of obesity and some cancers, according to the USDA – drinking cucumber juice offers specific health benefits due to its nutrient content.
Drinking cucumber juice helps you achieve the recommended daily intake of vitamin K. This vitamin helps you build strong bone tissue and nourishes your kidneys. It also plays an important role in blood clotting – it activates proteins that cause blood clotting, so you can stop bleeding after tissue damage. Consuming cucumber juice helps combat the effects of vitamin K deficiency, including nose bleeds, bruising, and bleeding gums.
Cucumber juice also offers a source of copper. Copper helps you make neurotransmitters, the family of chemicals that your brain cells need to communicate. It helps you to produce healthy red blood cells, strengthens your connective tissue and increases your immune system. It protects you against free radical damage – cellular damage that occurs when you are exposed to toxins or sunlight. Copper in cucumber juice also supports your active lifestyle, because your cells need copper to produce usable energy.
Cucumber juice serves as a vegan-friendly calcium source, an essential mineral. Hydroxyapatite, the mineral tissue that adds strength to your teeth and bones, contains calcium and getting enough calcium helps you maintain bone density. Your muscles also use calcium to contract and your nervous system relies on small amounts of calcium to help transmit nerve impulses. By getting enough calcium, you also help maintain the hormonal balance of your body, because calcium in your bloodstream helps control the release of hormones.
Considerations and presentation tips
Cucumber juice has a major nutritional disadvantage over whole cucumber – it contains no dietary fiber, the indigestible carbohydrates found in intact cucumbers. If you drink cucumber juice as part of your daily vegetable intake, make sure you also eat whole vegetables to boost your fiber intake. Whole grains, legumes and nuts also contain fiber. You can also use cucumber fiber after squeezing – simply freeze the remaining pulp from your juicer and use it to add fiber to pureed soups and sauces.
In addition to enjoying cucumber juice alone, you can also use the juice as a basis for healthy smoothies – try mixing the juice with frozen melon balls and fresh mint, or with strawberries and basil, for a refreshing drink.