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Carrot vs Cucumber - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on June 25, 2022
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Carrot
vs
Cucumber

Summary

Carrots contain more minerals and vitamins than cucumbers. They have more Vitamin A, Vitamin B3, zinc, potassium, and calcium.

On the other hand, cucumbers are lower in saturated fat, sodium, and sugars.

Introduction

We will go through the main differences and similarities between carrots and cucumbers, focusing on nutrition and health impact.

What's The Actual Difference?

Cucumbers belong to the Cucumis genus, while carrots are root vegetables that belong to the Daucus genus. Carrots come in various colors, including purple, red, white, yellow, and orange. Regular cucumbers have green stripes on darker green skin but can also be white, yellow, or orange. Cucumbers' flavor is defined by their texture and water content; they are sweeter and plummier than carrots. Yellow carrots have a slight crunch and a fruity aftertaste when raw.

NUTRITION

We compared the nutritional profile of cucumber and carrots. To understand the difference between these vegetables, look at our nutrition infographic below.

Calories

Both carrots and cucumbers are considered low calories foods. Nevertheless, carrots have three times higher calories than cucumber.

Carrots have 42 calories per 100g (65 calories per serving), and cucumbers have 15 calories per 100g (7 calories per serving).

Minerals

Carrot is relatively richer in minerals than a cucumber. The amount of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc in carrots is higher than in cucumbers.

On the other hand, cucumbers contain less sodium than carrots.

Both plants contain equal amounts of iron, magnesium, and copper.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Calcium +106.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +45.8%
Contains more Potassium +117.7%
Contains more Zinc +20%
Contains less Sodium -97.1%
Equal in Iron - 0.28
Equal in Magnesium - 13
Equal in Copper - 0.041
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 10% 12% 9% 15% 29% 9% 7% 15%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 5% 11% 10% 11% 13% 1% 6% 14%
Contains more Calcium +106.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +45.8%
Contains more Potassium +117.7%
Contains more Zinc +20%
Contains less Sodium -97.1%
Equal in Iron - 0.28
Equal in Magnesium - 13
Equal in Copper - 0.041

Vitamins

In comparison, carrots have high vitamin content than cucumber.

Carrot provides 160 times higher Vitamin A than cucumber, falling in the range of the top 9% of foods as a source of Vitamin A.

Carrots also have more Vitamin E, VitaminB1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and folate.

On the other hand, cucumbers have more Vitamin K.

Both vegetables have an equal amount of Vitamin B5 and lack Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Carrot
9
:
Contains more Vitamin A +15810.5%
Contains more Vitamin E +2100%
Contains more Vitamin C +110.7%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +144.4%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +75.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +903.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +245%
Contains more Folate +171.4%
Contains more Vitamin K +24.2%
Equal in Vitamin B5 - 0.259
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 1003% 14% 0% 20% 17% 14% 19% 17% 32% 15% 0% 33%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 7% 1% 0% 10% 7% 8% 2% 16% 10% 6% 0% 41%
Contains more Vitamin A +15810.5%
Contains more Vitamin E +2100%
Contains more Vitamin C +110.7%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +144.4%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +75.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +903.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +245%
Contains more Folate +171.4%
Contains more Vitamin K +24.2%
Equal in Vitamin B5 - 0.259

Fats

Both cucumber and carrot have fats of less than 1g. Cucumber contains 0.11g of fat, and the carrot has 0.24g of fat. Due to their low-fat content, cucumber and carrots can be added to the list of recommended foods for low-fat diets, such as The Paleo Diet and The Vegan Diet.

Carbs

Carrots contain more carbs than cucumbers. They have 9.58g per 100g, whereas cucumbers have only 3.63g per 100g.

Fiber

Both vegetables have significant amount of fiber. Carrots have a good amount of fiber: 2.8g. Cucumber contains 0.5g of fiber and 3.13g of net carbs.

Cholesterol

Both carrots and cucumbers have no cholesterol.

Glycemic Index

A cucumber's glycemic index is calculated at 36, while the glycemic index of a carrot is calculated at 39. Both are considered low GI food.

HEALTH IMPACT

Cardiovascular Health

Cucumbers contain cucurbitacins, which can prevent or slow the progression of atherosclerosis. The potential mechanism is due to its diuretic effect, which reduces the amount of fluid circulating in the bloodstream, reducing the workload on the heart. One study shows that cucumber reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure in older people[1].

Several studies have found that high Vitamin C vegetables can help prevent heart disease. According to one study [2], the soluble fiber in carrots may help lower blood cholesterol levels. Vitamin C supplements can help reduce risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood LDL (bad) cholesterol levels [3].

Cancer

According to research, cucurbitacins inhibit tumor cell growth and signaling pathways, causing cancer cells to die. Cucurbitacins have been shown to have antitumor activity against lung, pancreatic, colon, breast, and cervical cancers [4]. Cucumber triterpenes and lignans have shown anticancer activity against liver cancer by inducing cancer cell death [5].

Several meta-analysis studies [6] on carrot consumption have discovered that carrots play an essential role in cancer prevention. Because of the bioactive polyacetylene oxylipins falcarinol and falcarindiol, carrots may have cancer-preventive properties.

Eye Health

Vitamin A can help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration, the world's leading causes of blindness [7] [8]. Individuals with low Vitamin A levels are more prone to night blindness, which can be alleviated by eating carrots or other foods high in Vitamin A or carotenoids. Carrots contain beta-carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A, which is necessary for eye health.

Skin Health

Keeping your skin hydrated aids in the improvement of elasticity and firmness. Lack of hydration can make your skin look dry and flaky, making it more prone to fine lines and wrinkles. Cucumbers contain polysaccharides, which help to keep skin elastic and healthy. Cucumbers are mostly water; in fact, they contain 96% water. Cucumbers have a high water content, which allows them to provide superior hydration to the skin [9].

Other Health Benefits

Cucumbers are high in water (96%) and may help you stay hydrated. Because it can disrupt your water balance and make stool passage difficult, dehydration is a significant risk factor for constipation. Staying hydrated can improve stool consistency, prevent constipation, and promote regularity. Cucumbers also contain fiber, which aids in bowel movement regulation [10].

Beta-carotene also helps the body produce Vitamin A, essential for boosting your immune system, especially during cold and flu season. Vitamin A aids our bodies' immune responses and the regeneration of new cells [11].

DOWNSIDES AND RISKS

Allergy

Cucurbits have been linked to oral allergy syndrome, nausea, diarrhea, asthma, rhinitis, watery eyes, and contact urticaria. Cucumbers contain salicylate, so Aspirin-allergic people should avoid cucumbers, apples, almonds, oranges, berries, tomatoes, and other foods.

Carrot allergy is an example of cross-reactivity, in which proteins in certain fruits and vegetables cause an allergic reaction because they are similar to proteins found in certain types of pollen. You may react to carrots if you are allergic to birch pollen or mugwort pollen [12].

References

  1. https://stikbar.org/ycabpublisher/index.php/PHI/article/view/93
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23122127/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/474479/
  4. https://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/69/14/5876
  5. https://www.nature.com/articles/srep36594
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7071341/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10648274/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6085992/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6356561/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7987589/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4997277/
  12. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/allergolint/64/1/64_S1323-8930-14-00013-6/_article/-char/ja/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: June 25, 2022

Infographic

Carrot vs Cucumber infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Carrot Cucumber
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Lower in Saturated Fat Equal
Lower in price Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Carrot Cucumber Opinion
Net carbs 6.78g 3.13g Carrot
Protein 0.93g 0.65g Carrot
Fats 0.24g 0.11g Carrot
Carbs 9.58g 3.63g Carrot
Calories 41kcal 15kcal Carrot
Starch 1.43g 0.83g Carrot
Fructose 0.55g 0.87g Cucumber
Sugar 4.74g 1.67g Cucumber
Fiber 2.8g 0.5g Carrot
Calcium 33mg 16mg Carrot
Iron 0.3mg 0.28mg Carrot
Magnesium 12mg 13mg Cucumber
Phosphorus 35mg 24mg Carrot
Potassium 320mg 147mg Carrot
Sodium 69mg 2mg Cucumber
Zinc 0.24mg 0.2mg Carrot
Copper 0.045mg 0.041mg Carrot
Vitamin A 16706IU 105IU Carrot
Vitamin E 0.66mg 0.03mg Carrot
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 5.9mg 2.8mg Carrot
Vitamin B1 0.066mg 0.027mg Carrot
Vitamin B2 0.058mg 0.033mg Carrot
Vitamin B3 0.983mg 0.098mg Carrot
Vitamin B5 0.273mg 0.259mg Carrot
Vitamin B6 0.138mg 0.04mg Carrot
Folate 19µg 7µg Carrot
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 13.2µg 16.4µg Cucumber
Tryptophan 0.012mg 0.005mg Carrot
Threonine 0.191mg 0.019mg Carrot
Isoleucine 0.077mg 0.021mg Carrot
Leucine 0.102mg 0.029mg Carrot
Lysine 0.101mg 0.029mg Carrot
Methionine 0.02mg 0.006mg Carrot
Phenylalanine 0.061mg 0.019mg Carrot
Valine 0.069mg 0.022mg Carrot
Histidine 0.04mg 0.01mg Carrot
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.037g 0.037g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.014g 0.005g Carrot
Polyunsaturated fat 0.117g 0.032g Carrot

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Carrot Cucumber
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
98
Carrot
9
Cucumber
Mineral Summary Score
13
Carrot
8
Cucumber

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
6%
Carrot
4%
Cucumber
Carbohydrates
10%
Carrot
4%
Cucumber
Fats
1%
Carrot
1%
Cucumber

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Cucumber
Cucumber is lower in Sugar (difference - 3.07g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Cucumber
Cucumber contains less Sodium (difference - 67mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Cucumber
Cucumber is lower in glycemic index (difference - 18)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Carrot
Carrot is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Carrot
Carrot is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food contains less Saturated Fat?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Saturated Fat (0.037 g)
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($0.4)

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Carrot - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170393/nutrients
  2. Cucumber - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168409/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.