13 Amazing Benefits of Marrow

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The most important health benefits of marrow may include improving digestion, reducing cholesterol levels, and improving heart health. It also helps in weight loss, reducing the risk of diabetes, building strong bones, and improving energy levels and circulation. It also aids in improving the overall health and responsiveness of the immune system.

What is Marrow?

Marrow is a type of summer squash, scientifically, known as Cucurbita pepo. It is typically green in color, somewhat like a fat zucchini. It has stripes, soft skin, as well as soft flesh inside.

Along with being a specific type of vegetable, it is also a catch-all term for a variety of thin, summer squash varieties in Great Britain. Most people prefer to eat smaller marrow, as they tend to be more flavorful and nutrient-dense, and less watery. [1]

The main regions where this vegetable is found are North America, Central America, and the United Kingdom. However, it is becoming widely available in export stores across the world due to its numerous culinary applications and nutrient-dense composition. These vegetables themselves have dozens of uses, not only as an addition in soups, stews, and as a stand-alone side dish, but also as an element in poultices for scratches, salves for rheumatism, and a variety of other traditional medicine applications. However, as a food source, marrow provides a very high concentration of nutrients, which we will explore below.

Marrow Nutrition Facts

Marrow is a low-calorie vegetable that provides a high level of nutrients and is particularly important in the diets of certain cultural groups. It is a significant source of vitamin A and C, dietary fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and iron. [2]

Close-up of an isolated fresh marrow in the farm

Oval shaped fruit contains a creamy white, spongy interior flesh surrounded by a hard but thin skin. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Health Benefits of Marrow

Health benefits of marrow include the following:

May Reduce Digestive Issues

Like many other varieties of squash, marrow supplies a possibly high level of dietary fiber, which may be one of the essential elements of human health. Dietary fiber can guarantee the proper movement of food through the digestive tract and eliminate problems like constipation, bloating, and other more serious gastrointestinal issues.

May Reduce Cholesterol Levels

Fiber is also a very important element in heart health, as it can balance cholesterol levels and eliminate LDL or bad cholesterol from the system, which may decrease the chances of developing atherosclerosis, strokes, and heart attacks. Furthermore, vitamin C in the marrow is an important element for the creation of collagen, which is the fundamental construction material of everything in the body, including blood vessels, muscles, and cells. So, the fiber and vitamin C in the marrow help protect the cardiovascular system. [3]

May Regulate Kidney Function

The nutrients and the potentially high fiber in the marrow vegetable are able to prevent the formation of kidney stones, therefore helping in improving kidney function.

May Eliminate Free Radicals

Marrow, being potentially rich in antioxidants like vitamin E, helps in fighting off the free radicals in the body, thereby preventing various health conditions and promoting skin and hair health.

Possibly Rich in Proteins

Marrow may have a very high content of protein, which makes it a very beneficial vegetable to fulfill any protein deficiencies in your body, especially after surgeries.

Possibly Anti-inflammatory

Due to the presence of various anti-inflammatory compounds in this vegetable like omega 3 fatty acids, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, and polysaccharides, it helps in preventing heart and gastrointestinal inflammation, thereby promoting overall health.

May Prevent Fever

The amazing nutrient content of this vegetable protects the body from outside pathogens and viruses, thereby preventing sudden fevers and colds.

May Boost Memory

By providing the body with all the essential vitamins and minerals, marrow may be able to boost the memory and at the same time refresh the mind and improves brain function.

May Stimulate Hormones

Marrow vegetable also ensures proper secretion and functioning of hormones in the body.

May Help Manage Diabetes

An animal study report by the Journal of the Formosan Medical Association shows pharmacological evidence of marrow seeds as a blood sugar reducing agent mediated by the interaction of botanicals with multiple targets operating people with  [4]diabetes.

May Improve Energy & Reduce Anemia

High iron levels in any vegetable, fruit, or meat, and particularly marrow, means that you can boost your energy levels and reduce your chances of developing anemia (iron deficiency). Some of the symptoms of anemia include weakness, fatigue, cognitive impairment, muscle ache. Iron is a key component of red blood cells that boosts oxygenation provided it is present in sufficient amounts in the body.

May Improve Bone Health

Although marrow doesn’t have many minerals in its composition, it does have a few key minerals for bone health that contribute to bone mineral density. Therefore, if you are concerned about osteoporosis or other bone-related disorders as you age; adding marrow to your diet isn’t a bad choice! [5]

May Aid in Weight Loss

Marrow is a very low-calorie item that also happens to be delicious. It provides the body with dietary fiber, which makes you feel full, as well as a great deal of water and essential nutrients. All of these factors together should help you avoid snacking between meals and thus, help in weight loss. [6]

How to Choose and Store Marrow?

You need to take care of two aspects before picking up this healthy vegetable and adding it two your diet.

To select

  • While picking this vegetable, choose ones that are smaller in size and heavier in weight. This is because larger marrows are rather dry and bland in taste.
  • Next, look at the color of the vegetable, it should be bright green with no skin blemishes or cuts.

To store

  • They should only be kept for a week and no more than that.
  • Even better would be to consume them within three to four days of the purchase, as with time, their vitamin C content starts degrading, making them a bit toxic.
  • Store them in a dark and cool place, away from the sun, heat, and air.

Side Effects of Marrow

Marrow contains a toxic chemical compound called cucurbitacins, which are found in all the plants of the Cucurbitaceae family-like pumpkins, cucumber, and zucchini. Cucurbitacin is a chemical steroid that is a natural defense mechanism found in plants. It gives the vegetable a bitter taste. Excess consumption of this toxic compound can be harmful to overall health. Therefore, caution is advised before digging into this otherwise delightful food item.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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