Cucumber is a favorite summer snack because of its cooling effect. With more than 96 percent water content, this crunchy veggie helps you stay hydrated during those hot summer days.1 But, remember the saying, “Too much of anything is bad for you?” In fact, it holds true for cucumbers. If you have cucumbers beyond moderation, it may have side effects. Allergies and bloating are the common harmful effects.
1. Diuretic Effect
Cucumbers are natural diuretics.2 It means they encourage urine production. When consumed in moderation, they are helpful in fighting fluid retention. However, you should also be aware of the symptoms of excess cucumber intake, such as dehydration due to the excess loss of body water. Talk to your doctor, if you experience these symptoms when you use cucumber medicinally.3
If you are pregnant, you know what it means to have diuretics in your diet. Cucumbers are mild enough to use safely during pregnancy. One or two servings a day will not do any harm.4 However, unrestricted consumption of cucumbers may increase your visits to restrooms.
2. Cucurbitacins Related Toxicity
Ever wondered about the bitter taste of cucumbers? The compounds known as cucurbitacins cause the bitter taste in cucumbers.5 They can be toxic at high levels. However, cucurbitacins in large amounts will make cucumber too bitter to eat.6 It is better to stay away from cucumbers if they taste too bitter. The bitterness is more concentrated in the stem end and in the peel.7 Remove the peel and slice off an inch from the stem end to avoid it.
3. Bloating and Indigestion
Ever noticed how you burp after eating cucumber? Cucurbitacins in cucumbers are the culprit. They cause indigestion.8 As you know, indigestion causes bloating and stomach pain. Moreover, the fiber content in cucumber may lead to uncomfortable flatulence.9 Also, when you suffer from diarrhea, excess intake of this diuretic food may aggravate the symptoms.10
4. Allergic Reactions
If you are allergic to ragweed pollen, you may have reactions when you eat cucumbers.11 It causes oral allergy syndrome and its symptoms are itchiness or swelling of the mouth, lip, throat, and tongue. The proteins in some fruits and vegetables are similar to those found in pollen, thus, causing an allergic reaction from a confused immune system.12 So, those who are allergic to ragweed may have similar symptoms when they eat foods such as cucumber, melon, and banana.
Take adequate precautions before you start munching this summer veggie. Wash it well under running water. Remove the peel of cucumbers. Cut off an inch from the stem end. If you are allergic to raw cucumber, you can bake or grill it. More importantly, eat it in moderation.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Basic Report: 11206, Cucumber, peeled, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|2.||↑||Skidmore-Roth, Linda. Mosby’s handbook of herbs & natural supplements. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2009.|
|3.||↑||Fetrow, Charles W., and Juan R. Avila. The complete guide to herbal medicines. Simon and Schuster, 2000.|
|4.||↑||Evans, Joel, and Robin Aronson. The Whole Pregnancy Handbook: An Obstetrician’s Guide to Integrating Conventional and Alternative Medicine Bef ore, During, and After Pregnancy. Penguin, 2005.|
|5, 6.||↑||Lawley, Richard, Laurie Curtis, and Judy Davis. The food safety hazard guidebook. Royal Society of Chemistry, 2012.|
|7, 8.||↑||Parsons, Russ. How to Pick a Peach: The Search for Flavor from Farm to Table. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008.|
|9.||↑||Om Books Editorial Team. 365 Facts You Must Know. Om Books International, 2015.|
|10.||↑||Mars, Brigitte. Rawsome! Basic Health Publications, Inc., 2004.|
|11.||↑||Frieri, Marianne and Kettelhut, Brett. Food Hypersensitivity and Adverse Reactions: A Practical Guide for Diagnosis and Management. CRC Press, 1999.|
|12.||↑||Oral Allergy Syndrome. American Academy Of Allergy Asthma & Immunology.|