A type of summer squash and a member of the gourd family, zucchini originates in Central America but can now be found around the world. A good rule of thumb when picking zucchini is that the darker the fruit, the more nutrients it contains.
Zucchini has plenty of dietary fiber and water, but not a single ounce of fat. It also contains high levels of vitamin B6, riboflavin, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K. In terms of minerals, it has significant amounts of manganese and potassium.
The phytonutrients found in zucchini have antioxidant and inflammation-fighting properties. The combination of zero fat and high nutrient content makes the summer squash a nutrient-dense food. (Related: Cucumber vs. zucchini – they’re both deceptively similar, but offer unique health benefits.)
Zucchini improves digestion, slows down aging, and controls blood sugar
Eating zucchini supports the healthy functions of the digestive system. The high amounts of dietary fiber, electrolytes, water, and other nutrients found in each gourd reduce the risks of constipation and other disorders related to digestion. Regular consumption of zucchini may also stop the onset of colon cancer, inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), and ulcers.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of zucchini make it an excellent choice for slowing down the aging process. The body builds up inflammatory damage, free radicals, and toxins over the years, leading to aging. The phytonutrients in zucchini can purge these toxic substances from the body and keep inflammation under control.
Zucchini can bring down blood sugar levels. It has plenty of dietary fiber that increases satiation and reduces the intake of carbohydrates. The nutritional changes lead to lower blood sugar levels and higher insulin sensitivity.
An energy booster that also improves cardiovascular health and supports healthy vision
Zucchini has lots of fiber and potassium while not having much fat and sodium. The combination of nutrients promotes the healthy circulation of the blood. A mix of low sodium and high potassium helps normalize blood pressure, while the polysaccharide fibers in the gourd reduce cholesterol levels.
It is also suitable for the eyes. Zucchini has lutein, zeaxanthin, and many other phytonutrients that support and strengthen the health of the eyes by neutralizing free radicals. The antioxidant activity of these compounds reduces the chances of cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other eye conditions that stem from aging.
The B-vitamins found within zucchini are vital to the production of energy in the body. They support the metabolization of carbohydrate and proteins into useful energy. Consuming zucchini can boost the energy available for bodily processes. It decreases the effects of fatigue and enhances the mood of the person.
Helps weight loss, supports adrenal and thyroid health, fights inflammation, and improves cognition
Zucchini is perfect for people who want to lower their body weight. It has few calories and a lot of fiber and water. Eating zucchini makes people feel full, which makes them eat less food overall. Reducing the consumption of food may help with weight loss.
The peel of zucchini contains a lot of vitamin C and polyphenols. The compounds in the peels support the healthy functions of the adrenal and thyroid glands. They also help regulate the levels of insulin.
In addition to vitamin A and vitamin C, zucchini has high levels of glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase. These natural antioxidants fight inflammation and oxidation that can lead to diseases like cancer. They also support the proper function of the immune system.