Know THESE 5 benefits of Summer Squash

Fri 07 Jun 2024, 00:06:23
Zucchini, also called courgette, belongs to the Cucurbitaceae plant family, which includes melons, spaghetti squash, and cucumbers. It is typically harvested when still immature, usually measuring under 8 inches (20 cm) in length. Zucchini comes in various colours, ranging from deep yellow to dark green, and was first developed in Italy in the early 1800s. Despite being overshadowed by other vegetables, zucchini is rich in nutrients and offers numerous health benefits. Here are five compelling reasons to include zucchini in your summer diet.

Zucchini is a low-calorie champ, brimming with essential vitamins and minerals. A single cup of cooked zucchini provides a significant amount of vitamin A, crucial for vision and immunity. It's also rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects your cells and aids in iron absorption. Additionally, zucchini boasts potassium for healthy blood pressure management, manganese for bone health, and B vitamins for energy metabolism.

Promotes digestive health:
Fibre is crucial for a healthy digestive system, and zucchini is a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre helps lower cholesterol and control blood sugar levels, while insoluble fibre adds bulk to stools, aiding in regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. The high water content of zucchini (over 90%) also helps keep the digestive tract hydrated and functioning smoothly.

Boosts heart

Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide, and diet plays a significant role in maintaining cardiovascular health. Zucchini is rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C and beta-carotene, which help protect the heart by reducing inflammation and preventing oxidative stress. The potassium in zucchini helps regulate blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium, while the fibre content aids in lowering cholesterol levels. Together, these factors contribute to a healthier heart.

Aids in weight loss:
For those looking to shed a few pounds, zucchini is an excellent addition to the diet. Its high water and fibre content help you feel full, reducing overall calorie intake. Additionally, zucchini can be used as a low-calorie substitute for higher-calorie ingredients in various dishes. For instance, spiralised zucchini noodles (zoodles) can replace pasta, offering a lighter alternative without sacrificing taste or texture.

Enhances eye health:
Zucchini is beneficial for maintaining good vision and preventing age-related eye conditions. It contains beta-carotene and lutein, two antioxidants known for their role in eye health. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the body, essential for normal vision, while lutein helps filter harmful blue light and protects the eyes from damage caused by free radicals. Regular consumption of zucchini can contribute to healthier eyes and a reduced risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
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