5 Amazing Zucchini Benefits

by Kiran Patil last updated -

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If you are looking for a way to lose weight in a healthy way, it’s time for you to learn about the health benefits of zucchini. Zucchini is well-known to reduce weight, yet boost the nutrient value of your diet. Moreover, it helps enhance vision and prevent all the diseases that occur as a result of vitamin C deficiency like scurvy, sclerosis, and easy bruising.

Zucchini helps to cure asthma and has a high content of vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. It contains a significant amount of potassium, folate, and vitamin A, all of which are important for good health. When eaten regularly, it can effectively lower your homocysteine levels.

What is Zucchini?

Also called courgette, zucchini is a squash that has its origin in America and is available in yellow, light green, and green colors. The shape of this small summer squash resembles that of a ridged cucumber and features numerous seeds. Some cultivators also produce zucchini in rounded or bottle shapes.

Today, the largest producers of this squash include Japan, China, Romania, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, and Argentina. It is grown year-round and can be eaten raw, sliced or in cooked form. It can also be shredded in a cold salad and is also cooked in hot salads.

Watch Video: 7 Incredible Benefits Of Zucchini

Even though zucchini is a fruit, it is usually cooked as a vegetable because it is best when eaten in cooked dishes. It is picked when it’s below 8in/20cm in length and the seeds are soft and young. A fully developed zucchini is usually three feet long and contains too much fiber and is not good to eat.

Young zucchini has a subtle taste, soft covering, and buttery white flesh. It is available in its best form during May and July. Almost all the parts of this squash are edible, including the flesh, seeds, and even the skin. A single cup of zucchini has about 33 calories and 0 fat.

Nutrition Facts

Squash, summer, zucchini, includes skin, raw
Serving Size :
Water [g]94.79
Energy [kcal]17
Protein [g]1.21
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.32
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]3.11
Fiber, total dietary [g]1
Sugars, total [g]2.5
Calcium, Ca [mg]16
Iron, Fe [mg]0.37
Magnesium, Mg [mg]18
Phosphorus, P [mg]38
Potassium, K [mg]261
Sodium, Na [mg]8
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.32
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]17.9
Thiamin [mg]0.05
Riboflavin [mg]0.09
Niacin [mg]0.45
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.16
Folate, DFE [µg]24
Vitamin B-12 [µg]0
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]10
Vitamin A, IU [IU]200
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.12
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg]0
Vitamin D [IU]0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]4.3
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.08
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.01
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.09
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Cholesterol [mg]0
Caffeine [mg]0
Sources include : USDA

Zucchini Nutrition

According to USDA National Nutrient Database, zucchini is rich in minerals and vitamins that include potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, fiber, vitamin C, and riboflavin. It also contains vitamin B6, A, E, and K, sodium, zinc, and iron. It has 94% water content and it also a great source of energy.

Health Benefits of Zucchini

Health benefits of zucchini include the following.

Weight Loss

You might be surprised to know that consuming zucchini will help you lose weight considerably. It is extremely low in calories, but it gives you the feeling of being full. Therefore, it is a great way to satisfy your appetite without grabbing calories or starting a crash diet plan.

Apart from the low-calorie count, it has high water content and is rich in fiber. Hence, when you eat it, your stomach is not empty, thereby making zucchini recipes perfect if you are on a weight loss diet.

Protects Cardiovascular System

The food ranking systems in zucchini-rich countries have declared that this squash has abundant levels of manganese and vitamin C that help to keep the heart strong.

During the research, most of these nutrients were found effective in the prevention of diabetic heart disease and atherosclerosis. The magnesium content notably reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. In combination with potassium, magnesium also helps in reducing high blood pressure.

According to a study cited in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, intake of fruits and vegetables like zucchini is inversely related to LDL cholesterol. The beta-carotene and vitamin C found in summer squash help in preventing the oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol builds up on blood vessel walls, but these nutrients reduce the development of atherosclerosis. The vitamin folate, in this summer squash, is required by the body to eliminate an unsafe metabolic by-product called homocysteine, which can result in heart attack and stroke if the levels rise too high.

Its fiber content lowers high cholesterol levels as well, thereby helping to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart diseases due to diabetes.

Maintains Optimal Health

Already being an outstanding source of manganese and vitamin C, zucchini is also the best source of dietary fiber that will keep your body in the best shape for the long run. It also contains vitamin A, magnesium, folate, potassium, copper, and phosphorus that help in boosting health. This summer squash also has a high content of omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, niacin, and protein.

Moreover, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, and calcium in zucchini assure optimal health. It is probably the best squash having an array of nutrients, including sugar, carbohydrates, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, minerals, amino acids, and more. The folate present in this squash is highly recommended for pregnant women as well.

Whole and sliced fresh dark green zucchini with yellow flowers on a wooden table

Promotes Men’s Health

Many researchers have taken zucchini extracts to conduct certain studies and concluded that this fruit has certain properties that effectively treat an ailment in men called BPH or Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy. BPH is a condition where the prostate gland becomes enlarged in an odd shape and size, which then can cause trouble with both sexual and urinary function.

A good treatment of this is seen in combination with other foods that contain phytonutrients; zucchini is said to be extremely useful in decreasing BPH symptoms.

Prevents Diseases

Your overall health will surely improve if you consume zucchini regularly. It helps prevent all kinds of diseases in a general sense. Studies have already declared that fiber-rich foods help alleviate cancer conditions by washing away cancer-causing toxins from cells in the colon. The vitamin C, folate, and beta-carotene in zucchini help to protect these cells from the harmful chemicals that can lead to colon cancer. Furthermore, a study published in the Nutrients journal says that the presence of the compounds lutein, β-carotene, zeaxanthin, and dehydroascorbic acid, help in anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activities toward tumor cells.

Beta-carotene and vitamin C also have anti-inflammatory properties, thereby naturally curing ailments like osteoarthritis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis, where swelling is immensely painful. The copper percentage in it also helps in reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Health benefits of zucchini - infographic

How to buy Zucchini?

  • When you buy zucchini, ensure that it is young and sweet in taste.
  • The zucchini squash that has flowers attached are fresh and juicy.
  • Also, check if the one you are buying is sleek, smooth, and firm and has bright-colored skin.
  • It is always advisable to store it in perforated plastic bags inside a refrigerator drawer.
  • Try not to keep this fruit stored for more than 3 days, since it can get damaged in overly cold temperatures. If damaged, you will notice hollow pits in the skin surface of the fruit.

How to cook?

95% of zucchini is water, so when it’s cooked, the water will ooze out. Therefore, you need to salt the zucchinis first and then allow the excess water to get drained out before the preparation is done.

  • While you are eating this fruit, do not remove the skin because it comprises the important nutrient beta-carotene, the vitamin component acting as an antioxidant, thereby protecting cells from oxidation damage.
  • The edible flowers of zucchini are often used in French and Italian cooking.
  • One of the easiest ways of having zucchini is by sprinkling grated zucchini or other varieties of summer squash on salads and sandwiches.
  • You can also add it to your favorite bread recipe; thereby reducing the amount of liquid in the recipe, since the zucchini is compensating for moisture in a different way.

As you know, eating enough fruits and vegetables is important, so if you include zucchini in your diet, you are actually keeping your body healthy, well-hydrated, and toxin-free in the long run. It is undoubtedly one of the most healthy food choices which are easy to consume in delicious forms.

About the Author

Kiran Patil is the founder of Organic Facts. He has a keen interest in health, nutrition, and organic living. He completed his B.Tech and M. Tech (Chemical Engineering) from IIT Bombay and has been actively writing about health and nutrition since over past 12 years. When not working he likes to trek and do gardening.

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