Zucchini, also known as Courgette is a type of summer squash that grows mainly during the summer months and belongs to the gourd family (like bottle gourd and ridge gourd).
It is botanically termed as a fruit but considered a vegetable with smooth skin, small edible seeds and crunchy flesh.
This summer squash is available in varieties of shades. Some of the popular varieties of the fruit are golden zucchini which has bright orange-yellow skin, cocozelle which has a slight bulge bottom, fordhook which is curved, cylindrical and smooth, gadzukes with light green ridges, magda with pale green skin and others which are often round, heavy, smooth and seedless.
Researchers conclude that the best way to eat zucchini is without peeling as most of the nutrients are present in its skin. It is an excellent source of water, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate and beta-carotene, here’s 8 amazing health benefits of Zucchini:
1. Promotes healthy digestion
Zucchini is a seasonal vegetable with high medicinal value. It is rich in dietary fibre which helps to ease all digestive problems like bloating, constipation and stomach gas. It also helps to maintain good intestinal health.
2. Reduces glucose levels
A good amount of insoluble fibre in zucchini is very effective to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Consuming a good amount of this vegetable helps to lower the risk of metabolic syndrome and improve glucose tolerance thus, preventing diabetes.
3. Contributes to heart health
Zucchini is low in calories and high in folate, potassium and magnesium – all important nutrients for the heart health. The fibre in zucchini also helps to lower the risk of heart diseases like stroke.
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4. Aids vision problems
The rich amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene in zucchini helps to maintain ocular health and aid vision and related problems. Also, antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthins in zucchini help to reduce age-related vision problems.
5. Helps in weight management
Zucchini is a fruit vegetable which is consumed worldwide. It is low in starch, low in carbohydrates but high in fibre and water content. This makes zucchini a low-fat food which is very helpful for managing weight in a short time.
6. May possess anticancer effects
The high amount of beta-carotene and vitamin C in this vegetable helps to reduce the damage against the oxidative stress in the body, a high amount of which is often responsible to cause cancer such as prostate cancer in men.
7. Balances thyroid hormone levels
The presence of polyphenols and vitamin C in the peels of zucchini is effective in regulating the hormonal levels of thyroid and adrenal glands. Also, manganese in this fruit promotes the proper functioning of these glands.
8. Strengthens bones and teeth
Lutein and zeaxanthin are the two carotenoids found in zucchini that help to strengthen the bones and teeth and prevent diseases related to them. Zucchini is also rich in vitamin k, magnesium and folate that contributes to the bone growth.