Zucchini is a type of summer squash vegetable that belongs to the gourd family. It has a soft, creamy, white flesh and a crisp green skin with a myriad of nutrients.
Zucchini comes in different shades, light to dark green in colour and the hybrid variety is yellow to golden in colour. It is botanically a fruit but used as a vegetable in several culinary dishes right from salads, healthy spaghetti and curries.
Zucchini is a perfect vegetable for all weight watchers as it is low on calories, heaped with impressive nutrients including potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and a potent source of essential vitamins A, thiamine, pyridoxine and riboflavin.
Health Benefits Of Zucchini
Promotes Weight Loss
Zucchini is extremely low on calories and is filled with fibre that keeps you satiated for longer hours. It is a great way to satisfy your hunger pangs without consuming calorie dense food. In addition, the high-water content keeps you hydrated and makes it an ideal veggie to be added to your meal plan for all those desiring to reduce weight.
Good For The Heart
The goodness of manganese and vitamin C in zucchini maintains heart health. Several researches prove that the nutrients in zucchini are very potent in preventing the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis. Being rich in potassium, it also helps to stabilize the blood pressure. Furthermore, super rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C this summer squash lowers the cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
Promotes Men’s Health
Several studies conducted have shown that zucchini extracts have the properties to treat Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH). It is a disorder where the prostate gland is enlarged that interferes with urinary function and sexual health. Vegetables that are rich in phytonutrients like zucchini are very potent in lowering BPH symptoms.
Evidence strongly proves that the presence of impressive compounds like lutein, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and dehydroascorbic acid are all beneficial in anti-proliferative and apoptotic activities causing tumour cells. The presence of vitamin C, folate and beta-carotene in zucchini help in safeguarding the cells from harmful chemicals that can lead to colon cancer.
The goodness of beta-carotene and vitamin C in zucchini have anti-inflammatory properties that aids in curing conditions like osteoarthritis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis where swelling is extremely painful. In addition, rich in copper also helps in lowering rheumatoid arthritis pain.
Helps Manage Diabetes
Zucchini is packed with dietary fibers and a high water content, with very negligible levels of simple sugars and trans fats. Replacing a meal of pasta or noodles, which are high on carbs, with some steamed zucchini, works wonders for controlling sudden spiked in blood sugar levels. This nourishing veggie also improves insulin sensitivity and enhances pancreatic functions, to effectively alleviate diabetes.
Bestowed with a treasure trove of carotenoid antioxidants, including beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, in addition to ample amounts of vitamin A, zucchini is a wholesome food to promote eyesight. It also significantly lowers the risk of acquiring vision-linked disorders such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the later years of life.
Cooking With Zucchini: There are several ways to relish zucchini one of the easiest way that retains its natural flavour is to stir fry zucchini with a pinch of spices and salt. If you are looking for some desi kind of recipe than you can make an amazing chutney with zucchini that is a delicious blend of species and mint leaves.
3/4 Cup Zucchini diced
2 tsp Ginger, chopped
2 Green chillies
4-5 Fresh curry leaves
2-3 Mint eaves
1 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
1 tsp oil
Heat oil in a pan.
Add all the ingredients and sauté.
Let it cool and grind.
Serve with hot idly, dosa or rice.