Health Benefits and Uses of Zucchini
I absolutely love zucchini, it is one of my favorite vegetables. It is easy and quick to cook; you can boil it, steam it, sauté, fry it, bake it, it is the great Houdini of the veggies. Aside from how delicious and versatile zucchini is, it is incredibly healthy for you. Read on for the many health benefits and recipes that the zucchini has to offer!
Health Benefits of Zucchini:
The dietary fiber contained in zucchini helps in lowering the cholesterol levels in the system by attaching itself with the bile acids that are produced by the liver for digesting fat. The high levels of Vitamins A and C prevent the cholesterol from oxidizing in the blood vessels, thus reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.
Helps in Weight Management
Zucchini is effective for weight management due to its healthy combination of high fiber and moisture content and a low calorie content. Consumption of zucchini controls your appetite by filling you up with water and fiber. Thus, you can have larger servings of zucchini and still keep your caloric intake low.
Zucchini has high magnesium content with one cup providing over 10% of the RDA. This mineral reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke
The high levels of fiber in zucchini prevent carcinogenic toxins from settling in the colon as well as promote healthy and regular bowel movements. Vitamins A and C are strong anti-oxidizing agents that destroy the carcinogens which can lead to different types of malignant cancers.
Zucchini vegetable is a great source of Vitamin A which is beneficial for eye health.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Potassium and magnesium found in zucchini help in lowering blood pressure levels in the body. Regular consumption of zucchini benefits those suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure.
The phytonutrients in zucchini help in reducing the symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BOH). This is a condition characterized by enlargement of the prostate gland, leading to complications with urination and sexual functions.
Prevention of Gout
Gout is a painful condition of the inflammation of the joints, caused due to excessive uric acid in the body. Zucchini is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory carotenoids that can counter the effects of excessive uric acid.
Zucchini has a high water content which hydrates your skin. Water in general is beneficial for your skin as it flushes out toxins from your system.
External application of zucchini helps to remove puffy bags around your eyes. These are caused due to excessive water retention and the high water content in zucchini helps in reducing swelling around your eyes.
Fun Facts about Zucchini:
- Zucchini origins have been traced back to Mexico, from 7,000 to 5,500 BC! They were part of the ancient diet of maize, beans, and squashes.
- The darker the squash, the more nutrients it has.
- The high water content (95 percent) of zucchinis makes them low in calories. There are only 13 calories in a half-cup of raw zucchini.
- Zucchini are rich in antioxidants – particularly helpful in protection of the eye, including protection against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Try out these easy healthy and delicious zucchini recipes in your home!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups shredded zucchini (12 ounces)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through baking soda) in a large bowl.
Combine egg substitute and next 4 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl; add sugar, stirring until combined. Add zucchini; stir until well combined. Add flour mixture; stir just until combined. Stir in walnuts.
Divide batter evenly between 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.
1 egg white
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
Vegetable cooking spray
Preheat oven to 425°. Cut zucchini into 3-inch sticks. Whisk an egg white in a small bowl, and add milk. Combine Parmesan and seasoned breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. Dip zucchini sticks into egg mixture, and then roll in breadcrumb mixture. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, and place zucchini on sheet. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until golden brown.
Zucchini with Corn and Cilantro
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 1/2 cups cubed zucchini (about 1 pound)
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and corn; cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 8 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender.
Remove from heat, and stir in cilantro and remaining ingredients.