The most important health benefits of marrow include improving digestion, reducing cholesterol levels, improving heart health, and preventing cancer. It also helps in weight loss, reducing the risk of diabetes, building strong bones, improving energy levels and circulation. It also aids in improving overall health and responsiveness of the immune system.
What is Marrow?
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.
Although the main areas where this vegetable is found are North America, Central America, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, it is becoming widely available in export stores across the world, due to its numerous culinary applications and nutrient-dense composition. The vegetables themselves have dozens of uses, not only as a food source in soups, stews, and as a stand-alone side dish, but also as an element in poultices for scratches, salves for rheumatism, and a number 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.
Health Benefits of Marrow
Health benefits of marrow include the following:
Reduces Digestive Issues
Like many other varieties of squash, marrow supplies a high level of dietary fiber, which is 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.
Reduces 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 decreases 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 marrow help protect the cardiovascular system.
The significant levels of carotene found in marrow make this vegetable very beneficial as an antioxidant agent. This antioxidant property helps prevent the negative effects of free radicals in the body, which can corrupt healthy DNA and cells into cancerous cells. Carotene combined with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) works against free radical damage in the body.
Regulates Kidney Function
The nutrients and the high fiber in the marrow vegetable are able to prevent the formation of kidney stones, therefore helping in improving kidney function.
Eliminates Free Radicals
Marrow, being 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.
Rich in Proteins
Marrow has a very high content of protein, which makes it a very beneficial vegetable to fulfill any protein deficiencies in your body, especially after surgeries.
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.
The amazing nutrient content of this vegetable protects the body from outside pathogens and viruses, thereby preventing sudden fevers and cold.
Marrow vegetable also ensures proper secretion and functioning of hormones in the body.
Marrow with its rich nutrient profile that contains various B complex vitamins, fiber, omega 3’s, and minerals like magnesium and zinc, helps in regulating the blood sugar levels in the body. It prevents the onset of type 2 diabetes by metabolizing the glucose and insulin levels of the body.
Improves Energy & Reduces 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.
Improves 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!
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 will prevent snacking between meals and help in weight loss.
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.
- 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.
- 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 Cucurbitaceae family like pumpkins, cucumber, and zucchini. Cucurbitacin is a chemical steroid which is a natural defense mechanism found in plants. It gives the vegetable a bitter taste; too much consumption of this toxic compound can be harmful to the overall health. Therefore, caution is advised before digging into this otherwise delightful food item.