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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Why can't I "digest" cucumbers?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (23298 points ) August 25th, 2011

I’ve heard that some people don’t tolerate cucumbers well, and that it is caused by the darker green area under the skin. I thought that cutting away that part of the cuke was supposed to alleviate the issue.
I happen to love cucumbers, but they don’t love me. I had maybe 4, deeply skinned, cucumber slices on my salad 12 hours ago… and I am still burping it up. Hey, if you were expecting delicate and ladylike, I don’t know why you’re looking at me. Happens every time I eat them, it’s like they won’t go away. Pickles almost never give me a problem, it just seems to be plain, raw cucumber… and it doesn’t matter if I buy regular cukes or the thin, seedless variety.

What gives?

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20 Answers

rooeytoo's avatar

I don’t know why, but I am in the same boat, they make me feel sick and give me indigestion every time I eat them!

Brian1946's avatar

IIRC, cukes are about 90% water, so perhaps your reaction is to something in the seeds, and maybe the pickling process neutralizes the affecting agent in therein.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

My stepfather has the same problem. They also have some breeds of burpless cukes if you grow your own.

john65pennington's avatar

You are not alone. I solved the problem by eating two Tums before eating the cucumbers.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@john65pennington that seems almost like it would have the opposite effect for me. Tums neutralize stomach acid. Cucumbers don’t give me heartburn, it’s almost as if they just don’t get broken down.

redfeather's avatar

I remember my great grandma saying the seeds made her burp so she’d scrape them out. But you said seedless doesn’t matter. Hmm.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@redfeather well “seedless” cucumbers aren’t literally seedless. Maybe I really do need to start coring my cucumbers.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

The seeds don’t cause the burps. It’s a compound or chemical in some the the cukes.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I remember reading once that it was most concentrated right under the skin of the cucumber.
Well that stinks. I need cucumbers in my life, they are one of my favorite vegetables.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf In a strangely ironic twist, I went to one of my favorite sources of seeds, Burpees and found a cuke variety called Burpless Beauty. The varieties are out there, keep looking.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Another burper sufferer here. From what I’ve read, it has to do with a type of sugar found in some vegetables. I’m not quite buying into it, as no other vegetables on the lists (onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc.) create the same effect, but maybe there is more of this sugar in cucumbers.

Don’t give up those beloved veggies. Just discretely burp into a napkin or come hang out with me.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe well, if I rely on my own cucumbers, that means I have to wait until next year to eat them again.. and I can’t do that.
I’ll just burp. @Pied_Pfeffer glad I’m in good company.

syz's avatar

Apparently, you are sensitive to cucurbitacins.

redfeather's avatar

I skin them and scrape out the middle. No burps for me!

Hibernate's avatar

I hate the same problem with other foods so i avoid them. Others gave a good explanation but I can’t explain it since cucumbers are like 80% water.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I always wondered why those cucumbers where called burpless cause ive never heard of this before. Makes a lot more sense now :)

MissAnthrope's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf – I’m really glad you asked this question. I have the same issue. And I really enjoy cucumbers, so it’s kind of annoying! I had to give up eating bell peppers, which I love to crunch on raw, for the same reason.

Good to know I can grow my own burpless kind.. that’ll hopefully be going in the garden next season!

augustlan's avatar

The page @syz linked to has this advice on it: ”...Extension Service of Oregon State University recommends peeling all the green skin as well as removing a small amount of the outermost fleshy layer. Do not eat the stem end of the cucumber, and wash your knife after peeling the cucumber to avoid pushing the bitter compound into the slices.

I bet it’s that ‘washing your knife’ business that’s important in your situation, since you said you already peel them deeply.

faye's avatar

I’m the same way, too. I just carry on burping.

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