Cucumber has a medium potassium content. It provides 4% of the recommended daily intake per 100g.
Why do we need potassium?
Potassium is an essential nutrient. It’s present in all body tissues.
Potassium has many health benefits. It may help lower high blood pressure, and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. Also, it’s vital for glucose metabolism.[1,2]
In addition, potassium may decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis, as it regulates calcium metabolism.
Moreover, potassium is an electrolyte. It’s involved in muscle contraction and the transmission of nerve impulses. Intense exercise or extensive sweating may lead to significant potassium losses. We have to replenish it. A common sign of potassium deficiency among athletes is muscle cramps!
How much potassium do we need a day?
The recommended daily intake of potassium is 2,600 for women and 3,400 mg for men.
Children and teenagers require lower doses. Pregnant women require about 2,900 mg, while lactating women require 2,800 mg of potassium a day.
Healthy people can safely consume much higher doses. On the other hand, people with certain diseases, such as kidney disease, should follow a low-potassium diet.
What’s the potassium content of cucumber?
Cucumber has a medium potassium content. It has 136 mg of potassium per 100g, or 80 mg per serving.
Furthermore, a small, medium, and large cucumber has approximately 215 mg, 273 mg, and 381 mg of potassium, respectively. These amounts are about 6%, 8%, and 11% of the recommended daily intake!
Pickles contain slightly less potassium. They have 117 mg of potassium per 100g. A large cucumber pickle contains no more than 160 mg of potassium, or less than 5% of the recommended daily intake.
Can I eat cucumber if I follow a diet low in potassium?
People with certain diseases, like chronic kidney disease, type 1 diabetes, congestive heart failure, liver disease, or adrenal insufficiency may need to significantly reduce the daily potassium intake.
Cucumber is a medium-potassium food. In fact, foods containing between 50 and 200 mg of potassium per serving are considered to have a medium potassium content.
So, patients who have to follow a low-potassium diet could consume cucumber in moderation. They could peel, dice and presoak cucumber or other potassium-rich vegetables in order to reduce their potassium content. This way, most potassium will leach into the water!
Certainly, patients who should follow a low-potassium diet should consult their physician before start consuming certain foods.
Why should I eat cucumber daily?
Eating cucumber regularly is good for our health. Cucumbers are low in calories, carbs, and sugars. Therefore, even people with diabetes and people who follow a ketogenic diet can consume them regularly.
On the other hand, cucumbers are rich in fiber while they have some protein. Actually, they’re ideal for weight loss. Cucumbers can keep us full for a long time.
Also, cucumbers hydrate the body. In fact, they’re almost 97% purified water. They contain electrolytes and other essential minerals like iron as well.
Most noteworthy, cucumbers have a cleansing action within the body. They help remove old waste materials, chemical toxins, and heavy metals.[3,4]
Other common foods high in potassium
Actually, nuts, seeds, beans, many vegetables and fruits are high in potassium. Following a diet high in potassium is easy. Even favorite foods like bananas, avocados, potatoes, and dark chocolate are good dietary sources of potassium!
On the other hand, animal-based foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk contain low to moderate amounts of potassium.