Zucchini is a tasty and versatile vegetable. You can eat it cooked or raw and it has several health benefits. Even its flowers and skin are edible. They grow best in hot and dry climate. Zucchini can be grown on most soil types and can be harvested in 2 months, or it can be picked later as a winter squash. Opt to buy zucchini from a local farmer’s market.
Zucchini is high in dietary fiber and low in calories. One cup of zucchini provides 2.4 g of fiber(10% of the RDA) in 36 calories. Due to its high fiber content, this vegetable is the perfect food for people who are trying to lose weight. Besides being high in fiber, this vegetable is also high in vitamin C, vitamin A, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, and folate.
How to use it
As we have already said, zucchini is extremely versatile. You can use it raw, baked, boiled or fried. They can be even used to make cakes. You can even make zucchini bread. You can peel them or leave the skin on. Smaller zucchini are more soft ant they also have darker skin. Zucchini will keep up to seven days in the refrigerator when stored in a plastic bag.
Zucchini is loaded with vitamins that can improve your health. Zucchini is high in potassium and magnesium, which have been shown to lower blood pressure. Because of its high fiber content, zucchini helps in regulating your digestive system, lowers the chance of colonic cancer and prevents constipation. The fiber will also keep you satiated, so you will eat less throughout the day. Most cholesterol is produced in the body by the liver. The fiber has been shown to lower the cholesterol in the body.
Zucchini is also a great source of flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants(like zea-xanthin, carotenes and lutein), manganese and potassium. They also help fight against free radicals. Consuming foods high in antioxidants (like zucchini) can help prevent damage caused by free radicals.
Lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytonutrients that belong to the carotenoid family play an important role in eye health. They also help protect the eye’s tissue, lens, and macula. Potassium plays an important role in lowering the blood pressure. It also helps to keep the heart healthy and helps to prevent heart attack, stroke, and arteriosclerosis. Potassium is needed for carbohydrate and protein metabolism and helps in the production of sex hormones. Potassium also helps strengthen bones.
Zucchini is also packed with Vitamin C, which has a wide variety of health benefits. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals. Plus, several studies have shown that people, who consumed vitamin C every day, had a 42% lower risk of developing a stroke than those who didn’t consume vitamin C on a daily basis.
Zucchini contains oxalates, which are produced naturally in the body. Excessive amounts of oxalates can crystallize and accelerate the formation of kidney stone. Again, moderation is the key.