Zucchini is a summer squash that belongs to the ‘Cucurbita pepo’ species. This species is treated as a vegetable while cooking, but from the botanical point of view, the Zucchini is a fruit, since it is actually the ovary of the Zucchini flower. This article highlights the various health benefits of Zucchini, when it is used for cooking.
Zucchini is often referred to as a summer squash, and comes in two colors – yellow and green. This versatile vegetable/ fruit is extremely beneficial for our health, since it contains many nutrients, like vitamin A, manganese, potassium, folate, etc., in adequate amounts. It has fewer calories as well – only 15 – 20 calories in 100 gm of Zucchini – so if you are hungry, then this is the perfect food, since it will fill your stomach without expanding your waistline or adding love handles. There are many health benefits of Zucchini, and in the following paragraphs, we’ll find out what they are.
Benefits of Including Zucchini in Your Diet
✔ Calories in Zucchini are low, so they are a great substitute for fattening foods, i.e., those that have a high calorie count. They will take care of your hunger without you having to worry about piling up the pounds.
✔ Zucchini aids in digestion, when eaten as a side dish with a heavy meal, since it contains magnesium. Steam the Zucchini and add salt for some taste if you wish.
✔ Zucchini is a great way to beat the summer heat. It helps in keeping your body cool, when the temperatures are soaring. Eating it raw is also good.
✔ Zucchini contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Magnesium, which are great for boosting our immune systems. A strong immune system helps ward off common diseases.
✔ Zucchini plays an important role in fighting multiple sclerosis, and reduces the risk of high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks.
✔ Zucchini has a lot of fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C, which are crucial in reducing the cholesterol levels in our bodies. The vitamins are also amazing anti-inflammatory agents, which help in preventing anti-inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, and asthma.
✔ Incorporation of Zucchini in the diet reduces the risk of cancer, because the fibers in Zucchini help in removing the toxins from the body and prevent them from accumulating in the colon. Accumulation of carcinogenic toxins in the colon is mainly what leads to many types of cancers.
✔ Zucchini also helps in reducing the symptoms of benign prostate hypertrophy (BHP), which occurs in males and causes urinary complications and also sexual complications due to enlargement of the prostate gland.
✔ The Vitamin C and Lutein present in Zucchini also keep the eyes healthy and sharp. Vitamin C is also good for warding off asthma, and other diseases associated with lack of Vitamin C, like scurvy.
✔ Vitamin A helps prevent tooth decay, while the overall nutritional factor helps reduce the symptoms of aging to some extent.
✔ Zucchini is also believed to aid memory, help in regeneration of brain cells, and it also protects the cells from damage due to over oxidation.
✔ Zucchini has a high content of water. The potassium in it is an electrolyte which is good for the heart. So Zucchini provides a lot of hydration to the body without the need to constantly consume liquids/ electrolytes throughout the day.
✔ Zucchini also contains adequate amounts of phosphorous and magnesium, which is why it is very good for strengthening the bones. It helps, to some extent, in preventing brittleness of bones due to old age
Another thing to keep in mind while buying and eating zucchini, is that the color will tell you how rich it is in nutrients. Dark green zucchinis have more nutrients than the lighter ones, so pick out the darker shades. Also, while eating the Zucchini, do not skin it and dispose the rind, since it contains an anti oxidant called ‘beta-carotene’ which helps our cells, and adds to its many health benefits. Just wash it properly before consuming or using. Eat healthy, stay healthy!