Cucumbers are a cool, refreshing summer treat when sliced and put in salads, marinated in vinegar, or eaten raw. Low in calories and high in fiber and minerals, cucumbers are a safe addition to any diet. When it comes to vitamins, the most abundant one in cucumbers is vitamin K. Since vitamin K's primary role is to clot the blood, you should speak to your doctor before eating foods that contain vitamin K if you are on blood thinners.
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Peeling your cucumber will reduce its vitamin K content and eliminate any pesticides that may be on the skin. The vitamin K in cucumber is found primarily near the peel, so peeling your cucumber significantly reduces the amount you will consume. For example, a one cup serving of cucumber with the peel contains 17 micrograms of vitamin K, while a one cup serving without the peel contains 8.6 micrograms, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. The 17 micrograms is 11 percent of the recommended daily value, so eating a cup of sliced, peeled cucumbers on a salad or as a side dish significantly contributes to your daily intake. Vitamin K's primary role is in the proper clotting of blood, and without it, a simple cut may cause you to bleed to death. The National Institutes of Health reports that it also plays a role in maintaining bone health.
Peeled cucumbers also contain a fair amount of vitamin C, with a one cup serving containing 3.8 mg, which is 6 percent of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin C is not stored in the body, which means you need to replace your vitamin C levels daily to partake of its health benefits, which are many. Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen, which is the building material for healthy skin as well membranes that line your blood vessels and the inside of your body. As an antioxidant, vitamin C also protects the cells in your body from free radical damage, which can lead to chronic disease. The best known role of vitamin C may be its immune system support, which helps you fight colds and the flu.
Peeled cucumbers contain 85.7 IU of vitamin A in a one cup serving, which is 2 percent of the RDI. Vitamin A works with vitamin C as an antioxidant, and it also works to maintain eyesight and eye health. Other functions, as listed by the National Institutes of Health, include aiding bone growth, as well as boosting the immune system, and the reproduction, division and replacement of cells. Other vegetables high in vitamin A are carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes and kale.
Peeled cucumbers also contain trace amounts of the B vitamins, with folate or B9 being the highest at approximately 16.7 micrograms in a one cup serving, or 4 percent of the RDI. Other B vitamins include B6, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and thiamin. The Harvard School of Public Health reports that folate and B6 play a role in protecting you from heart disease and some cancers. All B vitamins are necessary for the production of red blood cells and energy metabolism.