Zucchini exudes versatility, which is why it is a staple in many people’s kitchen. Whether it be cooked or raw, Zucchini can be easily incorporated into a variety of dishes. If thats not enough, research has shown that this summer squash possesses a tremendous amount of nutrition.
Below, you will find 6 reasons why the popularity of Zucchini continues to grow worldwide- in both the kitchen of food lovers and health fanatics:
A high source of Antioxidant
Among all types of squash, summer squash contains the most antioxidant activity. It has a high amount of Vitamin C and manganese, and all of the usual antioxidants. Along with that, it also contains a very high amount of carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin. It is well known that these carotenoids shield our eyes from chronic eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataract, by filtering out the dangerous wavelengths of lights that can destroy our cells.
Another point to know about summer squash is that the antioxidants in them are quiet stable. Research has shown its ability to retain antioxidant activity even after steaming and freezing. In fact, when it comes to zucchini, researchers have found that the most efficient way of retaining its antioxidant power is through steaming. For the most benefits, don’t peel your zucchini. Its skin and seeds possess a huge amount of nutrients.
A natural sugar stabilizer
There are several nutrients required for a balanced sugar level. Summer squash, including Zucchini contains many such nutrients such as B Vitamins, Manganese and Zinc, all of which helps stabilize our blood glucose level. It also contains polysaccharide fibers in the form of pectin, which includes chains of D-galacturonic acid, that further enforces a healthy balance of insulin metabolism and glucose level in our blood, keeping us shielded from Type 2 diabetes. This soluble fiber in pectin slows down the metabolism of carbohydrates, preventing sudden sugar spikes.
The high Omega3 fatty acids, carotenoids (such as lutein, beta- carotene and zeaxanthin), and polysaccharides (such as homogalacturonan) content gives Zucchini its prolific anti-inflammatory power. Especially when it comes to the health of our GI tract, Zucchini protects us from gastritis, leaky gut syndrome, ulcerative colitis and more. It is also important to remember that inflammation can put us in risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and also chronic inflammation disorders like arthritis.
Very good for weight loss and energy
Zucchini is very low in calories (a cup contains ~19 calories), but its fiber content keeps you satiated for a long time. It has a high water content as well which keeps you hydrated and promotes that feeling of fullness. Additionally, it is extremely versatile. From pasta to fries to cakes, zucchini can be used in so many dishes. It also prevents lethargy and fatigue by nourishing your body with iron, which is extremely important for the oxygenation of every cell, muscle and organ in our body.
The powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Zucchini fights the oxidative stress that can instigate mutation and tumor growth. A cup of Zucchini contains 20.2 mg of Vitamin C which is very important to neutralize the cancer causing free radicals. The carotenes in it protects our cells from cell damage. Zucchini contains polyphenols called Lignans which have been specifically shown to prevent colon cancer, breast cancer, gastric cancer, and other hormone related cancers.
Its flowers are edible
Those stunning orange-ish yellow blossoms that are now readily available in most supermarkets are actually edible. Most people fry them, but you can also eat them raw in your salad. The sweet and herbal flavor, with its crunchy stem ads a nice punch to your salad. You can even stuff them with your favorite vegetables and lean meats like chicken. They are delicious in the mouth and eye catching on the plate.
I hope these reasons have convinced you to add more Zucchini into your diet. It is refreshing, delicious and with the variety of colors available, they can make any bland dish look absolutely beautiful. This small vegetable (which is technically a fruit) can protect you and your family from many life threatening diseases.
In the comments below, please tell us: What is your favorite way to cook Zucchini?