You are probably here because you have heard about some outrageous cucumber myths that are usually thrown around the food nutrition world.
If you are still wondering whether some of them are true or false, stick with me here because I will be diving into the scientific parts of food to see if we should agree with them.
As much as cucumbers are loved all over the world, many people have been approaching them with caution.
The cucumber myths are even more pronounced given the digital social media era where information comes from every corner.
Some of the information could be misleading or outright incorrect but since the social media space is not well regulated, anyone with social influence can easily start or stop a trend.
Where Did Cucumber Myths Come from?
Cucumbers being one of the oldest and favorite world’s superfoods would never have escaped the wrath of myth mongers.
Most food myths such as this one here that I wrote earlier about coffee are either spread by people who really hate a particular food or those who love it so much that they don’t want others to discover their goodness.
Myths could also be clever ways of preventing people from eating foods that could have negative effects on them due to their medical conditions.
For instance, parents may have come up with scary myths on how dangerous it is to eat cucumbers at night because they wanted kids with loose bladders to avoid them.
That is just my opinion and is not backed by any scientific evidence.
In this article, however, I will touch on some common cucumber myths and use some scientific evidence to see whether we should believe them or disregard them.
These 5 cucumber myths are:
- Eating cucumbers at night myth
- Cucumber and weight loss myth
- Eating cucumber seeds myth
- Cucumber as an anti-aging food myth
- Drinking water after eating cucumber myth
1. Eating Cucumber at Night Myth
Within all the cucumber myths, one that stands out is the one on eating cucumbers at night.
Everyone has their opinion about this phenomenon based on either their personal experience or what they heard from friends and family members.
This top cucumber myth is basically based on the biochemical compound cucurbitacin that is found in plants classified under the family Cucurbitaceae or the guard family.
Cucumbers happen to be members of the guard family which means they have the cucurbitacin compound.
So what is special about this compound?
Well, the myth spreaders claim that cucurbitacin can cause indigestion at night.
They also claim that the compound causes bloating and flatulence in the stomach making you uncomfortable and thus disrupt your sleeping cycle at night.
In reality, there is no scientific evidence that points to disruption of the sleeping cycle as a result of eating cucumber at night.
In fact, some studies have shown that cucumbers have immense therapeutic potential that actually relieves constipation due to their high fiber and water content.
The high water content in cucumbers is also another victim of the myths surrounding cucumbers and nighttime.
It is claimed that the water will also affect your sleep cycle since it will make you want to pee at night.
If you read this previous article here, you will appreciate how water is absorbed and used in our bodies and how this peeing at night myth is just another nutritional myth.
If your homeostatic system is functioning correctly, there is no need to worry about how every bit of water entering your body will be excreted.
A good bladder can hold urine overnight without any problems.
So, if you are not eating a whole sac of cucumbers at night, waking up to pee should be the least of your worries.
To add a nail to this myth’s coffin, the USDA nutritional fact sheet for cucumbers shows that they contain some pretty good amounts of magnesium (17mg/142g cup).
|Nutrient||Amount in 142g Cup|
Magnesium is well known in food science and nutrition circles as an element that helps the body to relax and have long peaceful sleeps.
This fact has been confirmed by the sleep foundation organization.
2. Cucumbers and Weight Loss Myth
Is cucumber good for weight loss? Well let’s see some facts here.
You have probably heard the fuss around foods with negative calories, with cucumbers being part of the list.
This has led to the myth that you can eat as many cucumbers as you want while on a weight loss diet.
The metrics used to get these negative calories are however complex and not universally accepted since they also consider the physical mechanism of chewing the food.
The USDA nutritional fact sheet for cucumbers also disagrees with this negative calorie claim.
It is thus not true that you can eat as many cucumbers as you wish when trying to lose weight.
It is also not advisable to do a restrictive diet consisting of only cucumbers when on a weight loss program.
The results could negative (can lead to obesity) after resuming normal dieting.
So, will eating cucumbers help you lose weight?
Yes. Cucumbers eaten in moderation can make very good compliments to diet meals.
The high amounts of water and the low calories in cucumbers make them ideal foods for weight loss.
Numerous scientific studies have confirmed the importance of cucumbers in weight loss but their addition into weight-loss diets should be done under the instructions of a qualified nutritionist.
So forget about the myths around cucumber and weight loss and find a nutritionist to help you incorporate them into your diet for positive results.
Eating Cucumber Seeds Myth
Here is another cucumber myth that continues to trouble generations after generations.
So, are cucumber seeds edible?
This question might sound outrageous but trust me there are many people who worry about it every time they take a cucumber.
Their concerns are actually valid because not all seeds that come with edible fruits or vegetables should be eaten.
The general belief among the cucumber seed myth mongers is that the seeds will be difficult to digest and cause constipation.
This is however further from the truth.
Just like melon seeds, tomato seeds, and pumpkin seeds, the seeds of a cucumber are extremely safe to eat.
In fact, there are some scientific studies that have shown cucumber seeds are actually very nutritious.
They contain phytonutrients with antioxidant properties that are useful in detoxification of our bodies, strengthening bones, and inhibiting growth of cancerous cells.
They are also very rich in proteins, vitamin K, calcium, and healthy fats with low levels of calories.
Don’t worry about the digestion of the seeds. They are soft enough to be acted on by digestive enzymes while in the stomach.
If you remove the seeds and the skin from your cucumbers, you are missing out on the most nutritious part of the vegetable.
Cucumber as an Anti-Aging Food Myth
There is usually confusion between the food side of cucumbers and the skincare part of cucumbers.
This is where this anti-aging myth comes in.
Many cucumber eaters get confused when they see these anti-aging ads mentioning cucumbers.
The popular use of cucumbers in reducing under-eye puffiness is what is used in the beauty industry as an anti-aging practice.
Cucumbers have also been used as main ingredients in beauty products that are said to have anti-aging properties.
Considering the health benefits of eating cucumbers mentioned earlier in this article, it is true to say that they possess the anti-aging properties as foods too.
The phytonutrients in cucumbers such as silica, cucurbitacins, vitamins have been medically proven to help in improving the health of our skins, bones, liver, and kidney.
Aging gracefully is all about eating healthy and keeping your body active.
Since cucumbers have been touted as healthy foods, then they can as well be anti-aging helpers in your diet.
So, technically, this anti-aging claim is not a myth.
Drinking Water After Eating Cucumber Myth
In this case, it is claimed that drinking water immediately after eating cucumbers will combine with the water in the cucumber and dilute its essential nutrients.
The myth also suggests that the cucumber-water combination will make digestion difficult.
Well, first of all, I have written about this dilution of nutrients myth in one of my previous articles here.
If you go through the article, you will appreciate how digestion is not just a simple mechanical process where nutrients are just diluted and made irrelevant.
If water taken with food diluted the nutrients in the stomach, our bodies would be having very slim chances of absorbing these essential nutrients.
The claim on making digestion difficult is also not backed by any scientific evidence.
In fact, the process of digestion requires plenty of water for the churning process in the stomach to be efficient.
Staying hydrated is one of the most important nutritional advice that seems to be under attack in this myth here.
Don’t deny your body the hydration it desperately needs because of a myth.
With all that said, you can go back to enjoying the crunchiness of your favorite cucumber any time with confidence.