Zucchini is classified as a summer squash. Records of its use have been traced back to around 7,000 years ago. Along with maize and beans, it still forms the basis of many Mexican dishes today.
It was taken to Europe by early seafarers – where it was given different names, but accepted as a useful food substance, finding its way into the recipe books from Italy, France, Spain, Britain, and eventually, Australia and America.
The smaller sized fruit tend to be sweeter. Ideally it should still be attached to (art of) the flower – which will ensure the one you want to purchase, is quite young.
Zucchini Nutrition Benefits
Zucchini nutrition only offers a minute amount of carbohydrates – making it ideal to add to a slimmer’s meal. However, it contains a number of Vitamins and minerals – including:
Lastly, it contains good amounts of dietary fiber, as well as some essential fatty acids.
Since most of the nutrients are stored inside the skin, it is best consumed with the skin intact.
Zucchini Health Benefits
The high vitamin and mineral count of zucchini make it an essential for anyone looking to improve their diet. The health benefits of zucchini include:
- The low carbohydrate content, coupled with the high water content, makes it beneficial to people who want to lose weight. One average sized zucchini only contains around 25 calories.
- The Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, a natural anti-inflammatory agent, and can be used to reduce problems with asthma. It is also a natural stimulant, once again aiding weight loss. The Vitamin C and A also helps to maintain the eyes.
- The regular consumption of this fruit is believed to reduce the homocysteine levels inside the system. This reduces the risk of hypertension, strokes and cardiac problems.
- Recent research has also pointed towards extracts alleviating the symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH. This condition causes enlargement of the prostate, resulting in other problems in the urinary tract.
- The copper content of this fruit also allows it to be used as a home remedy to alleviate the painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Some believe that the juice has anti-cancer properties similar to those of leeks, radish, and pumpkin juice – by limiting cell mutations.
- It prevents cholesterol from oxidizing, reducing its ability to build up in the system.
- It is considered successful in slowing down aging. Vitamins A and E, when combined with the essential fatty acids, assists with the absorption of antioxidants which are fat-soluble – aiding effective reconstruction of cells in the brain, and improving memory in the process.
- It helps to prevent problems brought about by a deficiency of Vitamin C -like scurvy, and bruising.
- It reduces the potential for the development of multiple sclerosis.
Zucchini causes no known side effects or allergic reactions. It can even be fed to babies from around six months and older without any digestive problems arising – including the skin.