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5 Most Beneficial Health Benefits Of Zucchini
What is zucchini?
Studies have shown that zucchini is amazingly rich in nutritional content such as all the B vitamins, vitamin C, folate, choline, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids. It also has minerals like zinc and magnesium, iron, calcium, as well as plenty of dietary fiber and antioxidants — all of these make up the major health benefits of zucchini.
Zucchini, also known as courgettes, is a summer squash that originated in the US, and is abundantly available all over America in a variety of colors, namely yellow and green shades. The shape of a zucchini resembles a cucumber, and it has numerous seeds. Botanically speaking, the zucchini is actually a fruit, which can be sliced or grated in salads, but it is more popular cooked in hot vegetable dishes.
How zucchini works to benefit optimal health
Research has revealed that because zucchini is so high in nutritional content, it has an enormous benefit to health in general. However, there are specific, important areas where zucchini is particularly helpful. Listed here are some of them:
1. Weight loss
Zucchini is very low in calories, and as it gives you a feeling of being full, it’s a great way to satisfy your appetite. It also has a high water content, as well as dietary fiber, so that when you eat it, your stomach is not left feeling empty. Zucchini recipes are perfect if you are trying to lose weight.
2. Promotes men’s health
Researchers have taken extracts from zucchinis to conduct certain studies. The conclusion was that the squash has certain properties that effectively reduce the symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH. Simply put, this is a non-malignant enlargement of the prostate gland, which has fallen prey to the effects of free radicals and inflammation. This prostate issue can negatively affect sexual function and cause urinary problems. Studies showed that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the zucchini are particularly effective in treating BPH problems.
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3. Protects the heart and cardiovascular system
The following nutrients, all richly present in zucchini, have been scientifically proven to be effective in maintaining heart health:
- Magnesium and potassium reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes and also help keep blood pressure on an even keel.
- Vitamin C and vitamin A help keep inflammation out of the arteries, ensuring a good flow of blood to and from the heart.
- Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is needed by the body to eliminate homocysteine, an unsafe amino acid produced by the body, especially after eating rich, red meat. Homocysteine is also in the blood, and if levels get too high, your risk of heart disease increases.
- The fiber content in zucchini helps lower high cholesterol and keep arteries from narrowing and hardening.
4. Colon health
The colon is a stealthy breeding ground for all kinds of intestinal problems and diseases, not the least of which being colon cancer itself. Irregular bowel movements, and undigested, fermented food dispensing toxins into the intestines are the main culprits for colonic cancer. Studies have shown over and over that clearing away the cancer-causing toxins from the colon by means of fiber-rich foods is the best way to prevent the development of colon cancer. Zucchini, high in natural fiber, is highly recommended to help with.
5. Joint pains
The anti-inflammatory properties in zucchini help to naturally reduce the pain in swollen arthritic joints and aching muscles. The humble zucchini has enormous potential to prevent illness, and keep you disease-free in many natural ways.
Boost the nutritional value of your diet
We all know that eating sufficient fruits and vegetables is important to keep your body healthy, hydrated, and toxin-free. You may already be following a healthy plan, but by adding zucchini to your daily meals, you can boost the nutrient value of your diet to new heights.
In addition to the major health benefits of zucchini mentioned, it also helps to promote eye health, prevent illnesses that are caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, helps to cure asthma, keeps infections at bay, and prevents easy bruising.
Eating a healthy diet that includes zucchini can certainly obviate the need for expensive supplements to keep your system up and running at optimum level.
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There are many ways to prepare zucchini, which has no cholesterol or unhealthy fats, and only 17 calories per 100 grams. Most of the nutrients are in the skin, and it should therefore always be included in preparations.
- Use in salads either sliced thinly or grated.
- It is delicious as a standalone cooked vegetable dish – just add your choice of herbs and spices.
- Can be incorporated into many recipes like stews or even roasted vegetable dishes.
- When shopping for zucchini, be sure to opt for the smaller ones from an early harvest. These are the tastiest and have a higher ratio of nutrients. The larger ones, which may grow up to 20 inches long, are lower in nutrients.
- Also when you shop, look for the organic variety if possible, as it is common that zucchinis grown in the US are genetically modified.
READ ALSO: Can Broccoli Rebuild Your Brain?
Zucchini is without doubt one of the healthiest foods you can eat. This squash, part of the gourd and marrow family, is delicious and versatile enough to be enjoyed in many different forms, both for taste and myriad health benefits.