Top Things You Never Knew about This One Skinny Vegetable

Sliced Zucchini

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Zucchini! The super versatile veggie that you can eat raw, fried, or steamed. You can eat it in it’s entirely and has many health benefits. Did you know that you can eat the flowers from zucchini plants? It’s true. You might have even seen them for sale at your farmer’s market and wondered what they were. Lightly fried or baked with a tad of coconut oil, they are surprisingly delicious. You can even eat them raw in a salad.

One interesting thing about these little Italian squash is that you can eat the skin, something that cannot be said of too many other veggies. Like potatoes, you should NOT peel zucchini as this is where most of the antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin K are found. Peel this squash and you are throwing out most of the nutrients. By the way, although this is called a veggie and is sold with other vegies, it’s actually a fruit since it originates from a flower.

Take a look at the other health benefits you can get from the long, green, good eating veggies.

 

1. Naturally lower your blood pressure

Along with a good dose of magnesium, the potassium in zucchini helps to lower your blood pressure naturally. Uncontrolled hypertension can lead to heart attacks, stroke, and damage to blood vessels. Magnesium and potassium, something zucchini have lot of, can help to lower your blood pressure and relieve the overall stress on your circulatory system.

 

2. Prostate health

Several studies show that the phytonutrients in this veggie can help top the symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy. This is a condition where the prostate enlarges and this leads to complications for men with their sexual health and urination.

 

3. It can help you lose weight

If you want to ditch a few pounds, zucchini is a great low calorie snack. One full cup of sliced zucchini has only 20 calories. It’s 95 percent water, and is a great source of fiber, so it will fill you up but not fill you out.

 

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Healthy Healing Benefits of Eating Pumpkins and Pumpkin Seeds

4. Strong bones and heals wounds

Manganese helps the body develop strong, healthy bones and heal wounds and eating zucchini gets you a huge dose of this mineral every time you eat it.

 

5. Improves vision health

Zucchini has some important phytonutrients, such as zeaxanthin and lutein, which are known to help your eyes stay healthy. If you want to fight age related macular degeneration, then eating plenty of zucchini is the way to do just that.

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Butternut Squash

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6. Fight those nasty free radicals

Free radicals are not a new rock group, but rather, chemicals in the body that cause premature aging, and cause damage to cells. Zucchini is a good source of vitamin C, an important antioxidant that fights free radicals.

 

7. Lowers cholesterol

Zucchini is a good source of fiber which helps lower cholesterol levels. How can it do that? Fiber attaches itself to the bile acids that the liver makes from cholesterol for digesting fat. Because fiber binds perfectly with bile acids, it allows the liver to pull on even more cholesterol to produce bile acid, which lowers the overall levels of cholesterol as the liver is using it to produce bile acids. Find out 5 steps to reduce cholesterol.

 

8. You can substitute it for pasta

Although many people add a bit of zucchini to their spaghetti recipes, you can simply use it in place of noodles. Using a spiral slicer, you simply push the zucchini onto the prongs and push it into the blades. This cuts the zucchini into long, thin strips that look just like pasta!

 

9. They aren’t always green, however

Although probably 90 percent of the zucchini you see in your average supermarket are green, there is also a yellow variety which is often called yellow squash or golden zucchini. Same healthy goodness, just a slightly different look and a slightly sweeter flavor.

 

10. Anti-cancer compounds

We saved the best for last. The fiber in zucchini promotes regular and healthy bowel movements, which means it stops carcinogens and other toxins from setting up house in your colon. Also, the vitamin C and A, as well as the folate that zucchini contains are powerful antioxidants that kick oxidative stress to the curb. That’s a good thing because oxidative stress is known to cause cells to mutate into cancer cells.

No matter how you want to slice it, eating more zucchini is a good habit to get into!  As always, for the best possible health, always buy organic!

Sources:

Nytimes.com