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 boosting the nutrient value of your diet. Moreover, it helps to enhance vision and prevents all the diseases that occur from vitamin C deficiency like scurvy, sclerosis, and easy bruising. It helps to cure asthma and has a high content of vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. It contains significant quantities of potassium, folate, and vitamin A, all of which are important for general good health. When eaten regularly, it can effectively lower your homocysteine levels.
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What is Zucchini?
Also called courgette, zucchini has its origin in America and is available on the market in yellow, light green or 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 on a cold salad and is also sometimes cooked in hot salads.
Even though zucchini is a fruit, it is usually cooked as a vegetable because it is best when eaten in cooked dishes. When it is ripe, they are 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, but they are often too much fibrous and not good to eat. Young zucchini has a subtle taste, soft covering and buttery white flesh. They are available in their best form during May and July. Almost all the parts of this squash are edible, including the flesh, seeds and even the skin.
Health Benefits of Zucchini
Health benefits of zucchini include the following:
Helps in Weight Loss
You might be surprised to know that consuming zucchini will help you to 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 diet.
Maintains Optimal Health
An outstanding source of manganese and vitamin C, zucchini is 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. 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 example of squash that has an array of nutrients, including sugar, carbohydrates, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, minerals, amino acids and more. The folate ingredient of this squash is highly recommended for pregnant women as well.
Promotes Men’s Health
Many researchers have taken extracts from this squash 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.
Keeps You Disease Free
Your overall health will surely improve if you consume zucchini regularly. It helps you prevent all kinds of diseases in a general sense. Studies have already declared that fiber-rich foods help to alleviate cancer conditions by washing away the cancer-causing toxins from cells in the colon. The vitamin C, folate and beta-carotene content in zucchini helps to protect these cells from the harmful chemicals that can lead to colon cancer. 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 aching symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Protects Cardiovascular System
It is rich in nutritional value, especially during the summer, when it delivers countless advantages to the body. The food ranking systems in zucchini-rich countries have declared that this squash has abundant of manganese and vitamin C that helps to keep the heart strong.
During the research, most of these nutrients are shown to be 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. The vitamin C and beta-carotene 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 is required by the body to eliminate an unsafe metabolic byproduct called homocysteine, which can result in heart attacks and strokes if the levels rise too high. Its fiber content lowers high cholesterol levels as well, thereby helping reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease due to diabetes.
Tips for Buying Zucchini
When you buy zucchini, ensure that it’s young and sweet in taste. The zucchini squash that has flowers attached are the real fresh and juicy examples. 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 they can get damaged in overly cold temperatures. If damaged, you will notice hollow pits in the skin surface of the fruit after you take it out of the refrigerator.
How to Cook Zucchini?
95% of zucchini is water, so when it’s cooked, 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 daily 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 that are easy to consume in many different and delicious forms.