Zucchini, also called courgette, is a summer squash vegetable like melons, spaghetti squash and cucumbers. Although zucchini is often considered a vegetable, it is botanically classified as a fruit. It is available in several varieties, which range in color from deep yellow to dark green. This wonderful veggie has been used in folk medicine to treat colds, aches, and various health conditions. Here are some benefits of zucchini.
Zucchini is loaded with several vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds. A cup of cooked zucchini is not only low in calories but is also rich in vitamin A, potassium, manganese, copper, folate and phosphorus.
Zucchini is also a rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are beneficial to plant compounds that help protect your body from harm by free radicals. Carotenoids such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene are particularly present in zucchini. These can benefit your eyes, skin, and heart, as well as offer some protection from certain types of cancer, such as prostate cancer.
Zucchini is rich in water and fiber, two compounds which can promote healthy digestion by reducing your risk of constipation and symptoms of various gut disorders.
A low-carb food, Zucchini may help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Low-carb diets can significantly lower blood sugar and insulin levels, both of which may keep blood sugar levels stable and reduce the need for prescription medicines in people with type 2 diabetes. What’s best, zucchini’s fiber helps stabilise blood sugar, preventing levels from spiking after meals.
Pectin, a type of soluble fiber found in zucchini, is extremely effective at reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. Zucchini is also rich in potassium, which may help reduce high blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels. Healthier blood pressure is linked to a lower risk of heart conditions and stroke. Moreover, a diet rich in carotenoids like zucchini is considered to be particularly effective against heart disease.
Adding zucchini to your diet may aid your vision. That’s partly because zucchini is rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene — two nutrients important for eye health. Zucchini also contains the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Scientific studies show that these antioxidants can accumulate in your retina, improve your vision and reduce your risk of age-related eye diseases. This may include a lower risk of macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in older adults. In addition to this, a diet high in lutein and zeaxanthin may also lower your chances of developing a cataract, a condition that causes clouding of the lens, which can lead to poor eyesight.
Regular consumption of zucchini can help you lose weight. This fruit is rich in water and has a low-calorie density, which may help you feel full. Its fiber content also limits hunger.
With so many benefits, it’s a good idea to incorporate zucchini in your diet and stay healthy.