Do Cucumbers Lower Blood Pressure?

Close up of cucumber
Cucumbers in a crate (Image: moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images)

High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases your risk for chronic conditions including heart and kidney disease. No single food lowers your blood pressure, but cucumbers can be part of an overall balanced diet designed to lower high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, ask your doctor for advice on the best diet and other treatment options.

DASH Diet

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, diet is an eating pattern that may lower blood pressure within weeks among individuals with high blood pressure, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A 2,000-calorie DASH diet includes four to five servings per day of vegetables, and 1/2 cup of raw vegetables, such as sliced cucumbers, counts as one serving. The average American eats 1.6 cups of vegetables per day.

Sodium

Cucumbers can help lower blood pressure because an entire raw cucumber has only 6 mg of sodium. A high-sodium diet can cause high blood pressure or prevent you from lowering it, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Individuals with high blood pressure should have no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. Sweet, sour or dill pickled cucumbers can have more than 1,000 mg of sodium per serving.

Potassium

Potassium is an essential mineral for regulating your blood pressure, and a large cucumber provides 442 mg of potassium. The recommendation for potassium is to get at least 4,700 mg per day, but the average American diet includes less than 60 percent of this amount, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Other vegetables, many kinds of fruit, beans, lentils, fish and yogurt are also good sources of potassium.

Weight Control

If you are overweight or obese, you may be able to lower your blood pressure by losing weight, according to the Mayo Clinic. In order to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you expend. A cucumber with the peel, which weighs 301 g, or nearly 11 oz., has only 45 calories. More than 95 percent of the weight of a cucumber is from water, which is a calorie-free nutrient and a natural appetite suppressant, according to the University of Michigan.

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