Zucchini, also known as courgette, is a summer squash that belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae plants, which also includes pumpkins, watermelons, and cucumbers. Originating in Mexico and Central America, zucchini became popular in the rest of America and was eventually introduced to the rest of the world.
Today, it is cultivated worldwide with the United States, China, India, and Russia being amongst the leading producers. Known for its delicate flavor, soft shell, and white flesh; it is botanically a fruit but is treated as a vegetable when cooking.
Apart from that, zucchini is low in fat and calories and high in other nutrients, which puts it on the list of highly nutritious and beneficial food items. If eaten on a regular basis, the nutrients present in zucchini provide the body with wonderful health benefits. Go through the following section to learn about the nutritional value of zucchini and the health benefits it avails.
Zucchini Nutritional Facts
Amount of Zucchini: 1 cup, (raw, chopped, skin included)
Total Weight of Zucchini: 124 gm
|Calories from Carbohydrates||14.3|
|Calories from Fats||1.9|
|Calories from Proteins||3.7|
|Total Carbohydrates||4.2 g|
|Dietary Fiber||1.4 g|
|Fats & Fatty Acids|
|Total Fat||0.2 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||0.1 g|
|Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids||58.3 mg|
|Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids||34.7 mg|
|Vitamin A||248 IU|
|Vitamin C||21.1 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin K||5.3 mcg|
|Vitamin B6||0.3 mg|
|Pantothenic Acid||0.2 mcg|
Health Benefits of Zucchini
- Zucchini is a low-calorie food, which means it is a great way of feeling full without storing too many calories that are impossible to burn. A little over a hundred grams of raw zucchini contains just about 20 calories. Moreover, the dietary fiber present in zucchini prevents constipation and maintains low blood sugar levels.
- This dietary fiber in zucchini also helps lower the cholesterol levels by combing with the bile acids (produced by the liver by extracting from the cholesterol). In addition to this, the high content of vitamin A and vitamin C prevents the cholesterol from oxidizing into the blood vessels and thereby, preventing the risk of atherosclerosis.
- The risk of various types of cancers is also lowered by including zucchini in your regular diet. It’s the dietary fiber that prevents the carcinogenic acids from setting in the colon, by promoting healthy and regular bowel movements, and vitamins such as A, C, and folate acting as powerful antioxidants and fighting oxidative stress.
- According to the studies, the phytonutrients in zucchini promote prostatic health by lowering the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition in which the prostate gland enlarges and leads to complications such as frequent and painful urination, and increased risk of urinary tract infections.
- Zucchini is rich in nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, and many other powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that prevent the development of many inflammatory disorders like asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Regular consumption of zucchini also leads to a lower risk of heart attack and stroke. It’s the magnesium content present in zucchini, along with folate, that does the needful by breaking down the dangerous amino acid homocysteine, a high level of which can lead to heart attack and stroke.
- Magnesium, along with potassium, present in zucchini helps lower the blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of hypertension, damage to blood vessels, heart attack, and many other medical conditions.
- Zucchini is also rich in manganese, an indispensable nutrient that helps the body to metabolize proteins and carbohydrates and speeds up the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. Manganese also promotes proper wound healing by producing proline and amino acids.
With the nutritional value of zucchini in your sight, don’t wait any longer to include zucchini in your diet. It can be boiled, steamed, grilled, stuffed, baked, barbecued, fried, and can also be included in other mouth-watering recipes (search the internet or consult a cookbook).