The summer squash, zucchini, also known as courgette, belongs in the Cucurbitaceae plant family alongside melons, cucumbers, and spaghetti squash. It can grow up to 3.2 feet in length, however, it is usually harvested when still not yet grown, measuring about under 8 inches. Zucchini is often considered as a vegetable. However, it is botanically classified as a fruit. But what’s important, zucchini benefits are various and plentiful!
Zucchini is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are beneficial in that they help 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.
Since, as research suggests, the skin of the plant contains the most antioxidants – yellow zucchinis might contain more of them, than the light green ones.
Zucchini benefits are various, some of them would include:
1. Helps With Digestion
According to research, including zucchini in your diet can help in improving digestion. It also helps in reducing constipation and other digestive issues. Zucchini is helpful in the matter due to the fact that it is high in water. And it also contains amounts of fiber, electrolytes, and other necessary nutrients.
If zucchini is consumed regularly, then it can help in preventing ulcers, IBS, and colon cancer.
2. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Diets that are low in fiber and high in unhealthy carbohydrates are the cause of high blood sugar levels and diabetes. Including zucchini in your diets means that you increase your fiber intake. You might also reduce the carbohydrate intake because you will feel full for longer. This way you can help in reducing your blood sugar levels increase insulin sensitivity.
3. Supports Heart Health
Zucchini is high in fiber and potassium and low in fat and sodium. This means it is helpful in maintaining healthy blood circulation. The fact that it contains low sodium and high potassium, it means that it helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure. The fiber, such as the polysaccharide, lowers cholesterol levels. This combination maintains a good circulation which is necessary for healthy blood pressure as well as a healthy heart.
4. Helps In Eye Health
Summer squashes offer a good dose of phytonutrients, like vitamin C, manganese, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin – which protect eye health.
Zucchini nutrition contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two types of carotenoid antioxidants that get the attention for protecting the eyes from age-related diseases, as DrAxe suggests. They protect the retina, cornea, and macula from UV light damage and oxidative stress that might lead to loss of vision.
5. Helps In Weight Loss
Since zucchini is a low-starch fruit, it means it is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber. So, it will fill you up and this way reduce overeating. It also has a high water content that keeps you full for longer periods of time. According to sources, an increased intake of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat foods has been linked to a healthy weight loss.
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. It tends to make your hair strands strong and supple. If there’s a lack of vitamin C, this might prevent hair growth since hair follicles get enlarged.
7. Improves Thyroid and Adrenal Functions
Zucchini, especially its peels, contain high amounts of vitamin C and polyphenols. 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. These compounds helped in regulating insulin levels.
8. Hydrates The Skin
Zucchini hydrates the body and the skin thus it is named summer squash. Since it contains lutein, it means it can encourage skin health by reducing inflammation responses. Zucchini is 95% water, which means it tends to hydrate the skin well. However, it is important to still drink a lot of water during the day, since only about 20% of our daily water intake is taken through foods, as Style Craze suggests.
9. Helps in Strengthening Bones and Teeth
The lutein and zeaxanthin in zucchini keep the bones and the teeth strong. They also strengthen blood cells. Zucchini contains vitamin K, that contributes to stronger bones, according to sources. It also contains magnesium. And since most of the body’s magnesium is in the bones, it means it helps in building strong bones and teeth.
Overall, zucchini is rich in many vitamins, minerals, and plenty of other plant compounds that tend to be beneficial for one’s health.
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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