Zucchini is a summer squash in the Cucurbitaceae plant family, alongside melons, spaghetti squash, and cucumbers. Although zucchini is often considered a vegetable, it is botanically classified as a fruit. The nutrients in zucchini may provide the following health benefits:
Rich in Nutrients
Zucchini contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds. Cooked zucchini is particularly high in vitamin A, though raw zucchini contains slightly less.
High in Antioxidants
Zucchini boasts several antioxidants that may provide various health benefits. The highest levels are found in the fruit’s skin.
Contributes to Healthy Digestion
Zucchini is rich in water and fiber, two compounds which can promote healthy digestion by reducing your risk of constipation and symptoms of various gut disorders.
May Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Zucchini’s fiber may increase insulin sensitivity and stabilize blood sugar levels, potentially reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes.
May Improve Heart Health
The fiber, potassium, and carotenoids in zucchini may lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and other risk factors for heart disease.
May Aid in Weight Loss
Zucchini is rich in water and fiber yet low in calories, all of which may help reduce hunger and help you feel full — potentially leading to weight loss over time.
May Strengthen Your Vision
Zucchini is rich in manganese, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins A and C — nutrients which contribute to healthy vision and may lower your risk of age-related eye conditions.
Further, Zucchini may benefit bone, thyroid, and prostate health. It may also have anticancer properties. All in all, Zucchini offers an array of health benefits and should definitely be added to your fruit / vegetable rotation!
Feature image via Pinterest