Have you ever wondered, is cucumber a fruit or a vegetable? We often think of fruit as sweet and vegetables as savory, but botanically speaking it’s not that simple. Here’s an easy way to tell the difference between fruits and vegetables. 

a white bowl filled with apples, bananas, oranges, lemons and grapes

There’s several different types of cucumbers and there’s many ways to use them. I’ve listed 15 cucumber recipes in this article to help you incorporate more cucumbers into your diet, but first we’ll answer are cucumbers a fruit or vegetable?

various types of cucumbers on a white cutting board

Are Cucumbers a Fruit or Vegetable

First let’s go over the differences between fruits and vegetables. Fruits are the seed bearing part of a flowering plant that requires pollination to grow. Vegetables are the edible stems, roots, leaves and bulbs of a plant. Botanically speaking, cucumbers are a fruit even though you’ll find them at most grocery stores in the produce section next to vegetables. And even though cucumbers are considered a fruit (botanically speaking), they are often prepared in savory ways.

Some other common fruits that are mistaken for a vegetable are tomatoes, avocados, pumpkin, squash, eggplant, olives and bell peppers.

What is a Cucumber

Cucumbers are a member of the cucurbitaceae family (gourd family), which includes zucchini, squash, melons and pumpkins. Botanically speaking, cucurbits are actually a type of fruit. Most cucurbits are herbaceous tendril-bearing vines that are commonly grown in warmer climates.

Types of Cucumbers

There are many varieties of cucumbers. Cucumbers that you eat fresh are typically classified as slicing cucumbers and other cucumbers with their thick and bumpy skins are most often used for pickling. English cucumbers are usually a little more expensive than garden cucumbers, but with English cucumbers you can consume the peel and tiny seeds and enjoy all the fiber and nutrients they provide.

Choosing the Best Cucumbers

There are several different types of cucumbers to choose from. When choosing the best to buy, always look for firm cucumbers that are free of soft spots, cracks or withered and shriveled ends, and the skin should be a rich green rather than a pale green.

various types of cucumbers on a white cutting board

Benefits of Cucumbers

Cucumbers are low in calories and high in fiber. It’s best to consume the cucumber skin which is rich with fiber and vitamin K.

  • Promotes Hydration. Cucumber is made up of about 95% water, which helps keep the body hydrated. (1) (2)
  • Weight Management. Cucumbers are low in calories, carbs, and fat and high in fiber, they make a smart addition to any weight loss plan. (3)
  • Digestion. Cucumber is rich with fiber which helps to promote a clean gut, a healthy digestive system and possible weight loss.  (4)
  • Detoxification. Cucumber seeds act as natural diuretic that help to pass urine and flush out excess waste and toxins. Drinking cucumber detox water is an easy way to take advantage of cucumber’s detoxification benefits.
  • Antioxidants. Good source of antioxidants, including flavonoids and tannins which help block harmful free radicals which in turn may help reduce risk of chronic disease. (5)
  • Blood Sugar. Consumption of cucumbers may help regulate blood sugar levels. (6)

How to Add More Cucumbers to Your Diet (15 Recipes with Cucumbers)

Here are some recipes with cucumbers to help you incorporate more nutritious and hydrating cucumber into your daily wellness plan.

a white bowl filled with fruit and cucumbers

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