What is Zucchini?

Zucchini is amazingly healthy and packed with nutrients. Zucchini benefits include enhancing digestion, slowing aging, and much more. That will explain to you why this summer squash deserves a place on your plate. Botanically, Zucchini is a berry, but it is most often used as a vegetable. Zucchini, a summer squash, is a part of the gourd family that originated from Central America from where it has spread into the rest of the world. 

Zucchini contains a high content of vitamin C, carbs, protein, and fiber. It comprises a significant quantity of potassium, folate, and vitamin A, all of which are important for good health. When eaten regularly, it can effectively reduce your homocysteine levels. This hot succulent vegetable does well in warm weather, in areas with moist, fertile soil. It takes about 40 to 60 days from planting to harvest. The plant grows to a height of 2 and a half feet. For the best taste, zucchini fruits are harvested when they are 4-8 inches. Darker fruits are often higher in nutrition.

But what are the nutritional advantages of Zucchini? Many, as it turns out. Zucchini may play a key role in weight loss when fostering the nutrient content of your diet. It may help improve vision and prevent all of the diseases that occur due to vitamin C deficiency like scurvy, sclerosis, and easy bruising. There are many others you can find in the post below.

See: Spicy Thai Chicken and Zucchini Noodle Soup

Video: Gut Health Diet

Nutritional facts of Zucchini

Nutrition Facts: What is in a single serving of Zucchini?

In a 1-cup of a cooked serving of Zucchini, you will find:

Calories: 28

Fat: 0 grams

Carbohydrate: 7 grams

Protein: 1 gram

Fiber: 3 grams

Sodium: 5 milligrams

Sugars: 3 grams

Vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium are also loaded in a cup of Zucchini. You get a small dose of folate, too.

See: Zucchini Soup with Toasted Croutons for your heart

Video: Longevity Diet For Weight Loss & Long Life

Zucchini health benefits

Zucchini Benefits

Zucchini comprises zero fat and is high in fiber and water. It also contains significant amounts of vitamins B6, riboflavin, folate, C, and K, and minerals, such as potassium and manganese. The summer squash also contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytonutrients. This makes Zucchini a nutrient-dense food you should include in your daily diet. Zucchini is a low-carb alternative for pasta and serving as a delivery device for additional preferred foods and ingredients. Zucchini also delivers over-healthy compounds known as carotenoids in addition to all those amazing minerals and vitamins. 

- Heart health

Zucchini is high in fiber and potassium but low in fat and sodium. These properties help to keep blood flow balanced. The combination of high potassium and low sodium helps maintain constant blood pressure, while fiber, such as polysaccharide in Zucchini, reduces cholesterol levels. This combination works to maintain decent circulation, essential for healthy blood pressure and a healthy heart. Research suggests that consuming carotenoid-rich foods could delay or decrease your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The key phrase, however, is eating carotenoid-rich foods, not taking supplements. The potassium you get in Zucchini can also be great for your blood pressure, as is the fiber for overall heart health.

- Boosts energy

Since Zucchini is a rich source of B-vitamins, particularly folate, riboflavin, and B6, it can boost energy production within the body. This reduces tiredness and enhances moods. The body needs B-vitamins for protein and carbohydrate metabolism. These vitamins also assist in various brain functions such as cognition.

- Weight loss

Since Zucchini is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber and water, it is a perfect food for those who want to lower their body weight. It's worth noting that excess body weight usually results in regular use of sugary and carbohydrate foods.

You increase the water and fiber content of your meals by adding Zucchini to your diet. This means that you'll feel satisfied longer and end up eating less. In the long run, you may lose some of your extra weight.

- Bone health

In a study of young adults, denser, stronger bones appeared to be found in people with elevated carotenoid levels in their own eyes. This means that eating carotenoid-rich foods regularly, such as Zucchini, may be beneficial for our bones. And, an animal study found that lutein directly stimulates bone formation. Some larger studies have shown that those with higher levels of carotenoids usually have lower BMIs than people with lower levels of carotenoids. 

- Gut health

It can improve digestion by incorporating Zucchini into your diets, such as reducing the occurrence of constipation and other digestive problems. It provides large quantities of essential fiber, electrolytes, and other nutrients for a balanced digestive tract. Regular consumption of Zucchini may also help prevent ulcers, IBS, and colon cancer.

- Healthy aging

Over the years, aging results from toxins, free radicals, and inflammation to which the body is exposed. Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods can reduce these toxins and inflammation. Zucchini is full of antioxidants and phytonutrients that help rid the body of anti-inflammatory substances.

- Diabetes health

High glucose levels and diabetes are worsened by a diet high in (unhealthy) carbohydrates and low in fiber.

Increase the intake of fiber by adding Zucchini to your diet. As you can feel full for longer, you may also lower your carbohydrate intake. Such diet changes will reduce the amount of glucose and increase the sensitivity of insulin.

This may mean that excessive quantities of insulin are no longer needed by your body to process sugar. This could change the risk of developing diabetes. Studies show that having a minimum of 30 g of fiber in your regular diet substantially reduces your risk of developing diabetes.

- Eye health

Zucchini is a great source of safe antioxidants and phytonutrients such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, zeaxanthin, and lutein. By combating free radicals, zeaxanthin and lutein are particularly beneficial in improving and maintaining eye health. This reduces the chance of age-related eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration being created. It is also possible to use Zucchini to take care of puffy eyes by putting raw Zucchini pieces over the eyes. Leave the pieces in place for around thirty minutes and repeat many times in one day.

- Skin health

just like those carotenoids accumulate in the Zucchini skin, they build up in our skin, too, once we regularly eat carotenoid-rich produce. Based on scientific evidence, this build-up protects our skin from UV rays and pollution—and can even slow down skin aging by helping to keep the skin hydrated and elastic.

- Antioxidant properties

Zucchini is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory chemicals, such as vitamins A and C, glutathione peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase. Huge amounts of these compounds are present in zucchini skin. Because of this, you should consume the skin along with the flesh. Eating Zucchini decreases inflammation and oxidation in the body daily. This fact improves immunity and protects against inflammation-related diseases.

See: Keto diet benefits for weight loss, diabetes & PCOS

Video: Anti Aging Weight Issues Naturopathic Approach

Science & Research

Your general health will certainly improve if you have Zucchini regularly. It's been proven to help prevent all sorts of diseases. Studies have shown that fiber-rich foods help alleviate cancer conditions by washing toxins away from the colon cells. In Zucchini, vitamin C, folate, and beta-carotene help shield these cells from the toxic chemicals that can contribute to colon cancer. A review published in the Nutrients journal notes that β-carotene, zeaxanthin,  lutein, and dehydroascorbic acid of these compounds aid in anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic tumor cell development. 

Beta-carotene and vitamin C have anti-inflammatory properties, thereby naturally relieving ailments like asthma, arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, where swelling could become hugely debilitating. The quantity of copper present in Zucchini may also aid in reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

See: The effect of vitamin E and beta carotene on the incidence of lung cancer and other cancers in male smokers. The Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study Group.

Video: Functional Medicine For Breast Cancer Care

Grow Zucchini in your garden

Zucchini grows best during the warmer months, and that's why it's also referred to as summer squash. Here is what you need to do:

Loosen the ground.

Add organic fertilizer and blend it into the soil.

Give a few feet of spacing where you will plant seeds.

Cover every seed with soil about 1 inch deep and water them thoroughly.

After that, water your zucchini seeds a couple of times per week, depending upon the weather. When the seedlings emerge, wait till the healthiest are about three inches tall. Weed out the poorer ones, leaving two or three in each mound.

Continue watering as necessary, aiming to find the water near the roots. Zucchini takes around two months from planting to harvesting. 

See: Protective effects of Asian green vegetables against oxidant induced cytotoxicity.

Video: Ayurvedic remedies for diabetes & immunity

How to buy and store Zucchini

Select a zucchini that's no more than six inches and is 1-2 inches in diameter. Make sure the one you're purchasing is sleek, smooth, and firm and has bright-colored skin. Zucchini with blemishes and cuts isn't fresh, and thus don't buy it.

It's always a good idea to store Zucchini in perforated plastic bags inside of a refrigerator drawer. If you wish to avoid GMOs, choose organic Zucchini.

See: Herbs For Diabetes That Lower Blood Sugar

Video: Ayurveda for GERD, Constipation & Digestive Health

Summary

Zucchini isn't a cure-all, but it's low-carb and low-calorie and packed with ample good-for-you nutrients. While research is promising, bear in mind that it looks at carotenoids, not just Zucchini. 

See: Carotenoids and breast cancer risk: a meta-analysis and meta-regression.

Video: Healthy Heart With Natural Medicine

References

1. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fgene.2017.00181/full

2. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169291/nutrients

3. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/79/2/213/4690083

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5537869/

5. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289652073_

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3708350/http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/squash.html

See: Heart healthy diet plan to prevent heart disease

Video: Ayurvedic Herbs for GERD & Heartburn

Get a Consultation
(650) 539-4545
Get more information via email