August 7, 2009

Health Benefits of ZucchiniSummer squash or zucchini (the fruits of a plant belonging to the species Cucurbita pepo, the same family with pumpkin and marrow squash) is definitely among the most useful and healthiest summer vegetables. We can find fresh zucchini in summer in our markets and grocery stores. Usually, young zucchinis resemble long cucumbers (about 6-8 inches long) in their size and shape. Sometimes zucchinis are sold with a flower as a sign of truly young and fresh vegetables. Summer squash has been cultivated for centuries past. However, zucchinis as young green juicy vegetables that we know and use, appeared in Italy in the nineteenth century. This vegetable is an essential element of traditional French, Italian, Spanish, British, as well as modern Australian, American and Mexican cuisines. Undoubtedly, summer is just the perfect time to enjoy amazing health benefits of zucchini!

Summer squash is one of the most low caloric and most refreshing vegetables we can enjoy in summer. 100 g of zucchini has only 18 calories and 0 fat. This vegetable is an excellent source of potassium and manganese (by the way, summer squash is one of the best natural sources of the latter element). Also, it can provide your body with a substantial part of your daily dose of vitamins, especially Vitamins C, B1 and B6. Other important elements and nutrients we can receive from zucchinis include dietary fiber, proteins, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, folate, zinc, iron, calcium, Vitamins A and K, riboflavin, niacin, tryptophan and many others.

ZucchiniNowadays, zucchini is widely used in culinary: it is an irreplaceable ingredient for vegetable salads and stews, for soups, lasagnas and casserole, as well as for cookies, cakes and muffins. Many people like grilled or fried zucchinis, which go very well with a special yogurt sauce with garlic and mint. Finally, baking a special moist and delicious zucchini bread (sweet bakery with cinnamon and vanilla) is the latest trend in many families of modern Europe. This amazing vegetable is a key element for many healthy snacks, including a special sandwich with a slice of young zucchini and a zucchini salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil (just add some sliced fresh young zucchinis to your most favorite vegetable salad!).

Summer squash health benefits include, first of all, excellent anti-aging properties. This vegetable is very rich in anti-oxidants which can improve our memory and reduce age-related negative processes in our body up to 40%. According to study of the specialists at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, the combination of vitamins E and A with omega-3 fatty acids stimulates absorption of the fat soluble anti-oxidants and assists in effective brain cell reconstruction. Besides, high content of carotenoids (lutein) makes summer squash a perfect herbal remedy for various vision problems. Eat lots of zucchinis in summer to sharpen your vision and decrease negative effects of various eye stresses!

Summer SquashPromoting our good heart health is another important health benefit of zucchini. The vegetable has great amounts of folate which is associated with lower risks of vessel clogging and heart attack (up to 55%, according to the journal Circulation). Special medical researches proved the effectiveness of zucchini for improving metabolism, preventing lung cancer and reducing the symptoms of such disease as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). High water content is one of the most important health benefits of zucchini which is especially useful in hot summer days. Experts say that adding some pieces of zucchini to bakery can make the cookies or bread up to 3 times more moist and gentle! Enjoy summer squash health benefits, be always healthy, loved and happy!

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

4 Responses to “Summer Squash (Zucchini)”

  1. Hugging the CoastNo Gravatar Says:

    This is definitely one of my favorite vegetables. It’s extremely versatile, delicious, and healthy too.

  2. Carla FiscinaNo Gravatar Says:

    Great, it is so true! Enjoy zucchinis in summer, my friend!

  3. Beth LambNo Gravatar Says:

    i had no idea the zucchini was so healthy! Thats really cool. Glad i looked this up online.

  4. zucherroNo Gravatar Says:

    I love zucchini!!!