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There are many essential vitamins in cucumbers, including vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, vitamin K, and vitamin B6. All of these vitamins are needed for the body and its cells to function properly and for protection against disease. A deficiency in any of the vitamins in cucumbers can have dangerous side effects, including weakening of the immune system. A person can consume these vitamins in other foods and by taking supplements, however.
One average-sized cucumber contains about 14 percent of a person's daily requirement for Vitamin C. This vitamin is an antioxidant, which is a type of molecule known to prevent immune system problems and lower a person's risk of developing cancer and other serious health concerns. This vitamin has many beneficial effects, including boosting the immune system, warding off heart disease, and helping to slow the signs of aging skin. Besides cucumbers, citrus fruits and certain vegetables are common sources of this vitamin. Getting enough of this vitamin is important, as a deficiency can cause many problems, including dry skin and hair, bruising, and scurvy, a condition marked by gum disease, anemia, and in some cases, death.
Also among the vitamins in cucumbers is vitamin A. This vitamin is beneficial to one's eyesight, bone health, immune system efficiency, and proper cell function. Vitamin A deficiency can cause a loss of adequate night eyesight, dry skin and hair, and a weak immune system. In addition to cucumbers, this vitamin is found in both plant and animal sources, including dairy foods, beef and chicken liver, and some fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin K is also found in cucumbers, but the human intestines create it as well. One cucumber contains more than half of the typical daily requirement for vitamin K. This vitamin helps blood clot and may also protect the bones of elderly individuals. Kale, spinach, eggs, and meats are common sources of vitamin K. Having a deficiency in this vitamin can interfere with blood clotting and wound healing.
Folate, also called vitamin B9, is among the vitamins in cucumbers. Consuming enough folate is important for preventing anemia, a condition in which one does not have enough red blood cells. Folate also helps a person's cells function as normal. In addition to cucumbers, this nutrient is found in certain vegetables, dried beans, and fruit. Without enough folate, a person may be vulnerable to ulcers, prematurely graying hair, and growth delays.
Vitamin B6 is also found in cucumbers. This vitamin makes it possible for the body to create antibodies, which help battle disease. B6 also helps produce hemoglobin, a substance critical for moving oxygen from a person's blood to his bodily tissues. Fruits, poultry, whole grains, dried beans, and meats are among the sources of this nutrient. If a person gets to little of this vitamin, he may develop depression, confusion, and mouth lesions.
Putting cucumbers on salads, eating them with dip, or simply having them by themselves are all great ways to increase you intake of all of the vitamins mentioned in this article. It is important to consider though, that some of the vitamin content of cucumbers is diminished if you peel them before you eat them. This is particularly true of vitamin K, because most of this vitamin is found in the rind of the cucumber.
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