Zucchini, a vegetable originating from the Americas, has a variety of benefits. Though botanically it is a fruit, it is considered a vegetable world-over. Both raw and cooked zucchini are great for the overall health of an individual. Before we go into details about five major health benefits of zucchini, here’s a little trivia about this summer squash:
Zucchini belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo which includes pumpkins and cucumbers. It is also known as courgette in French while the British call it vegetable marrow. The skin color can vary from light to dark green. It is best eaten prior to the skin becoming tough and seeds growing large.
Health Benefits of Zucchini
- The dietary fiber contained in zucchini helps in lowering the cholesterol levels in the system by attaching itself with the bile acids that are produced by the liver for digesting fat.
- This fiber mixes with bile acid, thus slowing down its ability to digest more fat and charging the liver to produce more bile acids.
- More cholesterol is used up by the liver in the production of bile acids which results in lowering cholesterol levels in the body .
- The high levels of Vitamins A and C prevent the cholesterol from oxidizing in the blood vessels, thus reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.
- Helps in Weight Management:
- Zucchini is effective for weight management due to its healthy combination of high fiber and moisture content and a low calorie content.
- It is beneficial for weight management as it controls your appetite by filling you up with water and fiber. Thus, you can have larger servings of zucchini and still keep your caloric intake low.
- The high dietary fiber on the other hand enables you to shed extra pounds as it helps to burn more calories than you consume.
- Zucchini is a rich source of antioxidants, Vitamin A and C and dietary fiber, you can effectively lose weight by consuming it without depriving your body of vital nutrients.
- Zucchini has high magnesium content with one cup providing over 10% of the RDA. This mineral reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Zucchini also contains folic acid, a vitamin that is required to break down the dangerous amino acid, homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine in your blood can cause heart attack and thrombosis i.e. blood clotting.
Maintains Eye Health:
- Zucchini vegetable is a great source of Vitamin A which is beneficial for eye health.
- Vitamin C along with beta carotene, zinc and manganese acts as an antioxidant to protect your eyes.
- Zucchini helps in developing the cells of your eyes, thus improving your vision.
- It can also be used externally to remove puffy bags around your eyes which can be caused due to excessive water retention
- Zucchini has a high water content that helps in removing the swelling around your eyes.