cucumbers
Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) are fruit from the plant family Cucurbitaceae often mis-categorized as a vegetable. They are related to squash, cantaloupe and watermelons. There are many varieties of cucumber that are usually divided into three groups: slicing, pickling,or seedless.

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Nutrition

Cucumbers are 96% water content with low calories and high nutrition including potassium, beta carotene, vitamin K and beneficial plant compounds. Cucumbers are also a rich source of niacin, vitamin C, thiamine, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and fiber.

A lot of the cucumber nutrition is in the peel.

PROTEIN & FAT
Cucumbers have minimal protein and fat
FIBER
Cucumbers contain pectin, which is a soluble fiber that has many health benefits
ANTI-OXIDANTS
Cucumbers are rich in antioxidants especially contain flavonoids and tannins. These reduce oxidative stress, slow aging and prevent disease.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY
The fiber in cucumber has also been found to reduce inflammation and prevent diverticulitis.
ANTI-CANCER
The fiber, plant compounds and antioxidants found in cucumbers have been shown to boost the immune system and prevent cancer. The natural compound, Cucurbitacins is particularly effective against breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
HEART
The vitamin K, potassium and folate in cucumbers helps aid heart health and reduced stroke risk. Too much vitamin K can inhibit blood thinner medication.
VISION
DIGESTION
Eating cucumbers and other fruits with high water content can help digestion and ease constipation. The pectin in cucumbers is a soluble fiber that helps digestive function.
WEIGHT LOSS
Cucumbers are low in calories with just 16calories per one-cup (104-gram) serving.
The high water content in cucumbers promotes hydration which can also aid weight loss.
DIABETES
Cucumbers is a non-starchy fruit with plant compounds that can reduce blood sugar levels and may reverse some symptoms of diabetes.

Where are Cucumbers Grown

AROUND THE WORLD
Historically, cucumbers are believed to have originated from South Asia and are one of the oldest crops on the Indian subcontinent. They spread from India through the Roman Empire and into Medieval Europe.

In modern times,
China produces the most cucumbers and Gherkins contributing about 75% of the total global production annually.

Turkey and Iran are a distant 2nd and 3rd in cucumber production.

Spain is the largest cucumber producer in Europe.

IN THE U.S.
Florida produces the most fresh, slicing cucumbers followed by Georgia and North Carolina.

Michigan produces the most varieties of pickling cucumbers.

In Season

Cucumbers are available year round. Peak cucumber season is May-August

Economic Impact

In 2018, cucumber production globally was 83,753,861 metric tonnes grown on approximately 2.2 million hectares.

The global cucumber market was forecast to grow to USD 1.07 bn during 2020-2024

Cucumber production has steadily declined in the US over the last 20years. There was an estimated 5.03 million cwt produced in 2017.

Environmental Impact

Cucumber production was found to have a reduced environmental impact due to more efficient energy usage, improved irrigation, increased planting density, and other farming practices that have led to higher yields per acre. Soil quality can be maintained by using techniques such as no-till farming

WATER USE
Cucumbers do not require significant irrigation and have a relatively low water footprint It takes about 42gallons of water to produce 1lb annually. Efficient irrigation techniques have lightened the demand on local, water resources.
PESTICIDES AND HERBICIDES
In general, cucumbers do not require excessive toxic chemical pesticides or herbicides.

Cucumbers can be susceptible to various insects that can damage crops. Pesticides that are used on large-scale, commercial farms can lead to nonpoint source pollution.

FERTILIZER
Cucumbers do not require excessive fertilizer if organic and regenerative agriculture practices are used.

Social Impact

Increasing urbanization and food security issues have put billions of people around the world at risk of malnutrition.
Cucumbers are a potential crop that is fairly easy to grow that can provide nutrients to improve health equity with minimal environmental impact.

 

Food Safety

Cucumbers grown on large-scale commercial farms that use pesticides have found to still contain slight traces of toxic residue. Food safety precautions should be used throughout the supply chain. Cucumbers should be thoroughly rinsed before being eaten.

 



 

 

SOURCES

Nutrition
https://www.britannica.com/plant/cucumber
https://www.livescience.com/51000-cucumber-nutrition.html#:~:text=There%20are%20just%2016%20calories,vitamin%20A%2C%22%20Ware%20said.
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-cucumber#section1
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/283006#benefits-

Nutrition
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5084017/

Protein and Fat
https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2440/2

Fiber
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25623312/

Antioxidants
https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/ars.2012.4901
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26193861/

Anti-inflammatory
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00394-018-1792-0
https://web.extension.illinois.edu/veggies/cucumber.cfm

Heart
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/
https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/whole-grains-refined-grains-and-dietary-fiber
https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/how-potassium-can-help-control-high-blood-pressure#.WeoQihNSz_R

Brain
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5726210/

Weightloss
https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2439/2
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4848697/
Immune system
https://www.verywellfit.com/cucumber-nutrition-facts-calories-and-health-benefits-4118563

Cancer
https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/ars.2012.4901
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612419/
https://bmccomplementmedtherapies.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12906-018-2295-5
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4916550/

Digestion
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14681719/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25623312/

Diabetes
https://www.diabetes.org/nutrition/healthy-food-choices-made-easy/non-starchy-vegetables
https://www.nwac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/2012-Diabetes-Glycemic-Index-Fact-Sheet.pdf
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8569244/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20614191/

Where Grown
Historically
https://newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/170033
http://perseus.uchicago.edu/perseus-cgi/citequery3.pl?dbname=LatinAugust2012&getid=1&query=Plin.%20Nat.%2019.23

World
https://www.atlasbig.com/en-us/countries-cucumber-production
https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-world-leaders-in-cucumber-production.html

In the US
http://www.wifss.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/FDA_WIFSS_-Cucumbers_PDF.pdf
https://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/Todays_Reports/reports/vegean17.pdf
https://www.statista.com/statistics/192955/us-cucumber-production-for-fresh-market-since-2000/

Season
https://www.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/in-season/2010/06/in-season-cucumbers#:~:text=Although%20you%20can%20find%20cucumbers,is%20from%20May%20through%20August.&text=Each%20medium%20cucumber%20contains%2096%20percent%20water%20and%20around%2040%20calories.

Economic Impact
https://www.statista.com/statistics/192955/us-cucumber-production-for-fresh-market-since-2000/
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200302005731/en/Cucumber-Gherkins-Market-2020-2024-Growth-Global-Online
https://www.tridge.com/guides/cucumber#:~:text=Many%20different%20types%20of%20cucumber,tonnes%20from%202.2%20million%20hectares.
https://extension.psu.edu/cucumber-production

Environmental Impact
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1658077X17301303
https://ausveg.com.au/infoveg/infoveg-search/environmental-effects-on-greenhouse-cucumber-production/
https://ideas.repec.org/a/arp/jacarp/2018p16-28.html
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40093-018-0222-x

Pesticides
https://ipmdata.ipmcenters.org/documents/cropprofiles/FLcucumber2003.pdf
https://www.jstor.org/stable/43228861
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5182257/

Social Impact
https://healabel.com/c-ingredients/cucumbers
http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/FCIT/FoodAgriCities_Oct2011

Food Safety
https://web.extension.illinois.edu/veggies/cucumber.cfm

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