The Real Reason You Should Be Saving Your Cucumber Skins

Many people love cucumbers for their refreshing qualities — both as food and as a little TLC for those dark circles under your eyes. But not a lot of people are fans of the cucumber skin, and it's often peeled off and thrown away.

If you've always done that to your cucumbers, then it turns out you've been missing out. A lot of what makes cucumbers nutritious is located in the skin, not the flesh (via Livestrong). With the skin, cucumbers are rich in vitamin K. One large, unpeeled cuke contains 62 percent of your daily recommended vitamin K intake. This vitamin aids your body's ability to clot blood. A large cucumber with the skin also contains 6 percent of the daily value for vitamin A (which promotes eye and skin health) and 14 percent of the daily value for vitamin C (which bolsters your immune system).

You can also get so much more B vitamins from the fruit (yes, cucumber is technically a fruit) if you leave the skin on. B vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, folate, and pantothenic acid supply your body with the energy needed to keep your heart, brain, and blood cells functioning properly. The cucumber skin also contains more fiber, which keeps your bowel movements more regular and smooth. It can aid with gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS and possibly reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Other reasons you should save cucumber skins

Cucumber skins also have more uses than just being good for your health. You can add cucumbers with the skin on to smoothies, put them on salads for a refreshing crunch, or make a cold soup with them. Just make sure you wash the cucumber really well because the fruit is often coated in wax to prevent bruising during travel (via Food Network Canada).

Lifehacker shared that instead of composting your skins, you can turn them into a delicious spread for your sandwiches. With the skin of one large cucumber, blend that with 1/2 cup cream cheese, 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, and 2 cups finely chopped arugula. Multiply the recipe for every additional large cucumber skin you add. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir up the mixture. Then, spread it over bread. Lifehacker recommends topping it with prosciutto for a fancy touch.

A surprising but handy use for cucumber skins is to remove marks — like when your children (or someone else's kids) have turned your wall into their own personal art exhibit. To remove crayon marks, rub the outer cucumber skin on the wall and they should come right off. This trick apparently also works with marks from pens and markers too (via Gardening Channel). Who knew?