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Food Facts Friday: Cucumbers
Cool, crisp, crunchy cukes! This refreshing kidney-friendly veggie can help with summertime cool down.
Cucumbers are a member of the cucurbitaceae family, along with melons, squash and pumpkins. They are made up of 96% water. They are mild tasting, low in calories, low fat, low cholesterol and low sodium. Cucumbers contain Vitamin C, Vitamin K, magnesium, potassium and manganese. They contain pectin, a soluble fiber that helps with regular bowel movements. One cup of cucumber slices is about 16 calories and 150 mg of potassium. A whole medium cucumber with the peel contains 440 mg potassium—so portion control is important.
Buying and Storage Tips
Cucumbers can be stored in a fridge up to 1 week. Some are treated with a waxed coat after they are picked. It is best not to wash before storing in the refrigerator. However, be sure to wash thoroughly or peel before eating if waxed. If only a partial cucumber is used, the recommendation is to cover the end with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Ideally avoid those with ends that are shriveled as they will not maintain freshness much longer. Cucumbers are high on the pesticide residue list. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) suggests buying organic to reduce pesticide exposure.
Uses for Cucumbers
There are a variety of recipes utilizing cucumbers. DaVita.com has a recipe collection highlighting kidney-friendly options. “Eleven Cool Cucumber Recipes” has links to some favorite cucumber recipes. In addition, check out this refreshing Cucumber Mint Salad recipe.
Cucumbers add freshness to salads, sandwiches and side dishes. They can be eaten as a snack with salad dressing, olive oil or hummus. Cucumber slices can be added to water with mint for a cool beverage option. They can be used on the skin to sooth sunburn. Another use is to place on the skin under the eyes to reduce inflammation and decrease morning puffiness. Enjoy the versatility of this cool summertime treat!
Additional Kidney Diet Resources
Visit DaVita.com and explore these diet and nutrition resources:
DaVita Diet Helper online meal planner and tracker
Kidney Smart® Classes taught by kidney experts in your area
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.