Zucchini, the well-known summer squash, belongs in the Cucurbitaceae plant family together with melons, cucumbers, as well as spaghetti squash. This plant can grow up to 3.2 feet in length, however, it is usually harvested when it is still not yet grown, meaning measuring about under 8 inches. It’s worthy to mention that zucchini is often considered a vegetable, but botanically it is classified as a fruit.
When it comes to the benefits of zucchini, we should mention that it is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are beneficial in protecting your body from damage by free radicals. Carotenoids, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, are particularly present in zucchini, as research suggests. These can benefit the eyes, skin, and heart. The skin of zucchini contains the most antioxidants so yellow zucchinis might contain more of them than the green ones.
Some of the health zucchini benefits include:
1. Helps with digestion
Including zucchini in your diet, as research suggests, can help with digestion and also in reducing constipation and other digestive issues. This is due to the fact that it is high in water, and it contains amounts of fiber, electrolytes, and other necessary nutrients.
2. Lowers blood sugar levels
Consuming zucchini means that you increase your fiber intake since diets that are low in fiber and high in unhealthy carbohydrates are the cause of high blood sugar levels.
3. Supports heart health
Zucchini is high in fiber and potassium and low in fat and sodium, meaning it is helpful when it comes to maintaining healthy blood circulation. The fiber, such as the polysaccharide, lowers cholesterol levels. It also contains low sodium and high potassium, meaning it helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure.
4. Helps with eye health
Summer squashes offer a good dose of phytonutrients, like vitamin C, manganese, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin – which protect eye health.
5. Helps with weight loss
Zucchini is a low-starch fruit, meaning it is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber – so it tends to fill you up and reduce overeating. It also contains a high water content that keeps you full for longer periods of time.
6. Promotes hair growth
Since it is rich in zinc, zucchini tends to promote hair growth. The vitamin C that zucchini contains can treat dry and hair that is split.
7. Improves thyroid and adrenal functions
According to laboratory studies done on rats by the Devi University, it was concluded that compounds in zucchini peels affect the thyroid and adrenal glands positively.
8. Hydrates the skin
This summer squash is 95% water, so it hydrates the skin well. But, it is still essential to drink a lot of water during the day taking into consideration that only about 20% of our daily water intake is taken through foods, according to sources.
9. Helps in strengthening bones and teeth
Zucchini keeps the bones and the teeth strong due to the fact that it contains lutein and zeaxanthin. And, according to sources, it contains vitamin K which contributes to stronger bones.
Zucchini can be cooked in multiple ways. You will see the best of it when properly cooked! See below for some ways on how to cook zucchini!
1. Sauteed Zucchini (on the stove)
What you need for this recipe, as listed on Taste Of Home, is:
- 2 medium zucchini (cut into 1/4-inch slices)
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
What you should do is add oil and butter into a skillet over medium heat. Pile in the zucchini and stir occasionally until the veggies turn tender. Afterward add the seasonings, the minced garlic, and pepper. Stir again for another minute and then remove from the heat. Serve and you’re good to go!
2. Cooked Zucchini (in the oven)
You’re going to need:
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, salt, and pepper
- Parmesan cheese
Coat the zucchini in melted butter in a medium-sized bowl. Add the oregano, salt, and pepper, and toss to coat. Afterward, arrange the zucchini on a greased baking sheet, meaning arrange a layer of zucchini rounds. Sprinkle them with parmesan cheese, you can add as much as you like.
Bake in 350°, uncovered, for about 35 to 40 minutes. When the dish is done the zucchini will turn golden brown.
3. Zucchini Noodles
What you’re going to need to make zucchini noodles, as explained in Eating Well, is:
- 1/2 teaspoons of salt
Use a spiral vegetable slicer or peeler in order to cut the zucchini into long thin strands, lengthwise. Make sure to stop when you reach the seeds in the middle since the seeds will make the noodles fall apart.
Place the sliced zucchini ‘noodles’ in a colander and toss with 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Let drain for about 20 to 30 minutes and then gently remove the excess water.
For more Zucchini recipes, head over to our article on how to cook zucchini.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article: text, graphics, images, and other materials contained are strictly for informational purposes only. The content is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Please, ALWAYS seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider or cosmetologist with all the questions you may have about any medical condition or beauty regimen.
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