Zucchini is a type of summer vegetable that has spread widely all over the world, due to its widespread use in many culinary recipes, as it is used in several forms, including fried, stuffed, seasoned, grilled, and in many salad dishes, or as a dish main standalone.
Zucchini Benefits and Side Effects
The ancients also used zucchini in ancient folk medicine as poultices to treat scratches, colds, aches, and other traditional medicine recipes, but using it as a source of food is the most important because it contains vitamins and nutrients that are beneficial to the body. So what are the benefits of zucchini? To get more complete information about the properties and benefits of zucchini, follow our next article.
An overview of the zucchini plant
In the Arab world, it is called zucchini or zucchini, in Italian it is called squash, and in English it is called zucchini. Zucchini belongs to the cucurbit family, such as cucumber, pumpkin, and watermelon. It is distinguished by its green, yellow, or orange color. It can grow to more than (1 meter) in length, but usually Harvested when still immature, they usually measure less than 20 cm (20 cm) at pick.
Zucchini originated in North America and Central America, as Christopher Columbus transported it from America to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, until it is now widely available all over the world. Although zucchini is often considered a vegetable, it is botanically classified as a fruit.
Nutritional value of zucchini
Zucchini is rich in many vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds. One cup (223 grams) of cooked zucchini contains:
Protein: 1 gram.
Fat: less than 1 gram.
Carbohydrates: 3 grams.
Sugar: 1 gram.
Fiber: 1 gram.
Vitamin A: 40% of the body's daily need.
Manganese: 16% of the daily body requirement.
Vitamin C: 14% of the daily body requirement.
Potassium: 13% of the daily body requirement.
Magnesium: 10% of the daily body requirement.
Vitamin (K): 9% of the daily body need.
Folic acid: 8% of the daily body need.
Copper: 8% of the daily body requirement.
Phosphorus: 7% of the daily body need.
Vitamin (B6): 7% of the daily body need.
Thiamine: 5% of the daily body requirement.
It also contains small amounts of iron, calcium, zinc, and several other B vitamins.
Zucchini is also rich in antioxidants, which are beneficial plant compounds that help protect the body from damage from free radicals , such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene.
Raw zucchini offers a similar nutritional profile to cooked zucchini but with less vitamin A and more vitamin C, a nutrient that tends to be reduced by cooking.
What are the benefits of zucchini?
Zucchini has many health and aesthetic benefits, including the following:
1- The benefits of zucchini for the skin:
zucchini benefits for skin
Zucchini contains high amounts of water, riboflavin, and vitamin C, which improve collagen production in the skin and help remove wrinkles and rejuvenate the skin by producing elastin.
The large amounts of water and lutein found in zucchini help moisturize the skin and act as a natural skin moisturizer. Not to mention the vitamin C found in zucchini is very beneficial in treating freckles.
Since zucchini is a good source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which have very powerful anti-aging properties, they protect the cells of the body and skin from free radicals, because free radicals cause premature aging, and these two types of antioxidants make the skin clear and increase its health.
To make a zucchini mask, you can mix 2 to 3 teaspoons of grated zucchini with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of oatmeal and an egg yolk. Apply the mask to the face and leave it for 20 minutes, then wash it well with warm water.
2- To increase hair growth:
Because zucchini is rich in zinc, it increases hair growth. And the vitamin C present in them can also treat dry and frizzy hair, and make hair stronger and more elastic, because a lack of vitamin C can lead to enlarged hair follicles, and as a result stops hair growth.
3- To increase the body's immunity and treat colds:
The vitamin C present in zucchini is an active form of ascorbic acid that strengthens the immune system. In addition, zucchini is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A, which strengthen the immune system and prevent colds and flu.
4- For babies and children:
Zucchini contains high amounts of fiber and water and can help treat constipation and diarrhea in infants and children. In addition to the high amount of vitamin C present in zucchini, it is very useful for preventing lung problems in infants and children.
5- For the fetus and pregnant women:
The high amounts of folic acid found in zucchini are essential for the health of a pregnant woman during pregnancy and for the prevention of birth defects and fetal development problems.
The riboflavin found in zucchini is also useful for preventing birth defects of the fetus during pregnancy, and the magnesium also found in zucchini helps prevent premature birth during pregnancy .
In addition, the large amounts of B vitamins found in zucchini increase energy levels and improve mood in pregnant women, but be sure to consult your doctor before eating any food during pregnancy.
6- For fat burning and weight loss:
Zucchini contains high amounts of water and fiber and very low amounts of carbohydrates and calories, which increases fat burning in the body and helps people lose weight by reducing appetite.
7- To prevent diabetes and blood sugar:
Zucchini contains small amounts of carbohydrates and sugar, so it is useful for preventing diabetes, due to its low glycemic index. In addition, the polysaccharide fibers in zucchini, including pectin, help regulate blood sugar in diabetics.
8- Benefits of zucchini for the treatment of liver and fatty liver:
zucchini health benefits
Zucchini is one of the vegetables that contain high amounts of sodium, and sodium makes the body alkaline and helps detoxify the liver and treat fatty liver. It is best to use raw zucchini with its skin in salads to better detoxify the liver.
9- Treatment of stomach ulcers and digestive problems:
Zucchini contains high amounts of water, which improves digestion, helps heal stomach ulcers, reduces the risk of irritable bowel syndrome , and supports the health of the digestive system.
Since zucchini is easy to digest and contains high amounts of fiber, it can help improve bowel movement and treat constipation and diarrhea.
10. To improve heart health:
benefits of eating zucchini
Zucchini is low in cholesterol, sodium and fat, and helps maintain carbohydrate balance, which is required for optimal heart health.
In addition to the fiber in zucchini, high fiber intake has been associated with a lower risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Zucchini is also rich in folic acid, and according to a Chinese study, folate intake is inversely associated with the risk of heart disease. Thanks to its richness in other nutrients such as potassium and magnesium, which makes zucchini a superfood for the heart, research has stated that a deficiency in these two nutrients can be directly related to heart failure.
Another nutrient in zucchini that deserves your attention is riboflavin, which is a B- complex vitamin essential for energy production . In one study, children with heart disease were found to have an appalling deficiency of riboflavin, emphasizing the potential link between riboflavin and heart health.
Riboflavin deficiency is also associated with some birth defects in pregnant women, particularly problems with the outflow ducts in the infant's heart.
11- For the treatment of high blood pressure:
Zucchini contains high amounts of potassium, which helps lower high blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
12- To reduce cholesterol and fats in the blood:
Vitamin C, beta-carotene, as well as the high fiber content found in zucchini reduces high cholesterol and fats in the blood and reduces the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
13. Benefits of zucchini for eye health:
Zucchini contains high amounts of vitamin C, manganese, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are beneficial for eye health and the prevention of macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma.
14- Treatment of asthma:
The high amounts of vitamin C and copper found in zucchini have anti-inflammatory properties and can help treat asthma and reduce its symptoms.
A Finnish study showed that vitamin C in zucchini not only treats asthma attacks, but also treats bronchial hypersensitivity (a characteristic of asthma).
15- Prevention of gout:
The vitamin C present in zucchini reduces the level of uric acid in the blood and helps treat gout through a process called uric acid effect. This vitamin not only prevents gout, but also other urea-related diseases.
Although gout affects men over the age of 40 or anyone with a family history of the disease, it can strike at any time, and for anyone. This is caused by excessive accumulation of uric acid in the body, which causes it to build up in the tissues in the form of needle-shaped crystals. But don't worry, apart from eating zucchini and other foods rich in vitamin C, something as simple as drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day can prevent gout.
16- Prevention of prostate cancer:
The high amount of carotenoids in zucchini reduces the risk of prostate cancer in men.
17- Preventing colon cancer:
The fiber in zucchini is the most important reason for treating colon cancer. According to a Los Angeles study, dietary fiber plays an important role in regulating the normal functioning of the intestines and maintaining the health of the intestinal mucosa. Although the exact amount and type of fiber is still not clearly known, an expert panel from the study recommended a fiber intake of 20 to 35 grams per day to prevent colon cancer.
18- For strengthening bones and teeth:
Lutein and zeaxanthin in zucchini keep bones and teeth strong, as well as strengthen blood cells. Zucchini also contains vitamin K, which contributes to strengthening bones.
Zucchini is also rich in magnesium, as most of the body's magnesium is found in the bones and teeth, which helps build strong bones and teeth. Magnesium also works with calcium to improve muscle contraction.
Folate and beta-carotene in zucchini also protect against osteoporosis. Studies show that the body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which contributes to bone growth and strength.
Zucchini also contains phytochemicals like indole, which help maintain strong bones and teeth. Similar results have been published by the California Department of Public Health.
19- To maintain the balance of the thyroid gland and the function of adrenaline:
Zucchini is rich in manganese, a mineral that promotes optimal functioning of the thyroid gland.
20- Improving brain function and memory:
zucchini good for you
Zucchini is rich in folic acid and is great for brain health. Folic acid helps in the production of DNA and RNA, which are the main genetic material of the body. In addition to increasing mental health, it also increases emotional health.
A deficiency of folic acid is associated with megaloblastic anemia, which leads to weakness and fatigue. Increased folic acid intake has been linked to a reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease in women.
Also, our brain is made up of 75% water, so when there is enough water in your system, you will be more focused, think quickly, and also show more creativity. Most importantly, adequate water efficiently delivers nutrients to the brain and aids in the removal of toxins, leading to increased focus and mental alertness. Apart from being rich in water, zucchini also contains vitamin C, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which contribute greatly to brain health.
Cautions for consumption of zucchini
Despite the many health benefits provided by zucchini to the body, there are some cases in which caution and caution should be taken by some people when consuming it, including the following:
Eating zucchini raw may lead to oral allergy syndrome , a condition that can cause itchy throat and swelling of the lips, tongue and mouth, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, but cooked zucchini is generally considered safe.
People who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, it may cause some digestive problems, such as bloating and stomach pain, and in such cases, the person either avoids eating it completely or eats it in small quantities.