Vegetables and Vegetables

Zucchini benefits for health

The zucchini (scientific name Cucurbita pepo), originated in the Americas, most likely of Peru. Despite being better known as a vegetable, it is actually classified as a fruit in botany, being in the same family as watermelon, melon and pumpkin.

Zucchini is widely consumed in Brazil, where it can be grown year-round and has a high yield. It has, in general, an elongated shape, with a shiny and smooth bark in green, yellow or striped colors, which varies according to the species.

The types of zucchini found in Brazil are Brazilian zucchini and Italian zucchini. Brazilian zucchini has an irregular shape, with one of the thickest tips. The zucchini has a more regular shape and its color is darker.

Zucchini is a very versatile food and therefore it can be used in different types of recipes, such as braised zucchini, steamed zucchini, roasted, fried or breaded zucchini. In addition, it can also be used to prepare bread, cakes or other types of dishes.

When choosing zucchini, choose those that are thinner, smaller and have a firmer and brighter appearance, as these have a softer texture and also more flavor. As they spoil easily, it is recommended to buy only the amount that will be used in a few days.

Among the properties of zucchini, the one that stands out the most is the presence of B vitamins, which are essential for the proper functioning of the immune, circulatory and neurological systems. In addition, it contains vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, folate, fiber, proteins and carbohydrates in its composition.

ZUCCHINI: BENEFITS

Regular intake of zucchini helps protect against heart disease, prevent osteoporosis, prevent epilepsy, and more. Learn more about the benefits of zucchini below.

1.Anti-inflammatory action

The anti-inflammatory action of zucchini is due to the presence of beta-carotene, omega-3, lutein and polysaccharides, which help protect against inflammation. This helps to prevent gastrointestinal problems such as gastric ulcers. It also helps to keep the cardiovascular system healthier.

2. It has antioxidant action

Zucchini has a high antioxidant power, which is one of its main characteristics. It is a source of vitamin C as well as manganese, in addition to containing lutein, carotenoids and zeaxamine, which makes it a very potent combination of conventional and unconventional antioxidant nutrients.

In order to fully benefit from the antioxidants present in zucchini, it is also necessary to feed on its husk and seeds, where the antioxidants are also located.

3.Protects against intestinal parasites

The consumption of zucchini seeds and also the oil made from these seeds has an antimicrobial action. Because of this, it is often used to treat worms located in the intestine in some countries. Despite this, there is still no scientific proof of this benefit of zucchini.

4.Prevents premature aging

Zucchini has large amounts of flavonoids and phenolic antioxidants, especially those with yellow skins. The presence of these components reduces the actions of free radicals, which are responsible for aging and also for the emergence of diseases.

5. Help in the weight loss process

The amount of calories in a cooked zucchini is only 37 per 100 gram serving. For this reason, it is very suitable for people who want to lose weight. In addition, zucchini contains a large amount of water in its composition, around 95%, which helps to keep the body hydrated.

It does not have saturated fats and its bark has a good portion of fiber, which, in addition to helping to reduce the feeling of hunger, also prevents constipation.

6.Protects against asthma

As a food rich in vitamin C, zucchini contributes to the fight against asthma. That’s because it’s a very potent antioxidant, which helps keep your immune system stronger and fight respiratory illnesses, keeping your lungs cleaner.

7. Help in training the baby

Zucchini is a food that should be consumed by pregnant women. That’s because it’s rich in folic acid, which helps form the baby’s neural tube in the womb. Folic acid is an important component to prevent the baby from being born with any type of malformation.

8. Reduces cholesterol

The presence of dietary fiber in zucchini makes it help in lowering cholesterol. It also has a high level of vitamin A and vitamin C, which prevents cholesterol from remaining in the blood vessels, thus preventing atherosclerosis from developing.

9. Improves blood sugar levels

People who have type 2 diabetes benefit from regular consumption of zucchini, as it is responsible for regulating blood sugar. It also has a generous amount of dietary fiber and also pectin, a polysaccharide fiber that helps maintain insulin levels.

Other components responsible for good sugar metabolism and found in zucchini are folic acid, choline, fatty acids, omega-3s and the B-complex vitamins.

10.Contributions to prostate health

The ingestion of zucchini seeds and the oil made from their seeds help in decreasing the frequency of urination. This factor is due to men who are diagnosed with a non-cancerous prostate enlargement.

ZUCCHINI: NUTRITIONAL TABLE

Quantity per serving of 100 grams
Wisteria4
proteintwo
Lipids0
Food fibers0
Vitamin A23
Vitamin B1230
Vitamin B280
Vitamin B30
Vitamin Ctwo
Sodium29
Potassium186
Calcium20
Phosphor15
Iron0
Energy value (Kcal)28

ZUCCHINI: RECIPES

Zucchini is ideal for preparing different types of dishes. See how to prepare 3 recipes that use zucchini as the main ingredient.

FROM ZUCCHINI NOODLES

See below how to make zucchini noodles easily and with a delicious result.

Ingredients

  • 6 zucchinis
  • Braised ground beef
  • 1 cup of cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Oil
  • Salt, oregano and black pepper to taste

Preparation mode

  1. Cut the zucchinis lengthwise into very thin slices. Slicing with a vegetable sharpener is recommended, but it can also be done with a knife.
  2. Cook the zucchini the same way you cook the pasta and remove as soon as it is “al dente”. Drain the water used for cooking the zucchini and add cold water to finish cooking.
  3. In a saucepan, heat the oil and add the oregano, crushed garlic, salt and black pepper.
  4. Finally, add the zucchini and mix well.

Sauce

  1. Place the cream cheese in the microwave along with the milk, salt, oregano and black pepper.
  2. Then mix it with the ground beef, which should already be braised.
  3. Pour over the zucchini and bake for a few minutes.

STUFFED ZUCCHINI

The recipe with stuffed zucchini shown below is ideal for a variety of dishes prepared for the family.

Ingredients

  • 4 zucchinis
  • 100 g of chopped bacon
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 50 g of grated parmesan cheese
  • 300 g of ground beef
  • green smell
  • salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

Preparation mode

  1. Cut the zucchinis in the center, lengthwise and carefully remove the pulp. Cook in salted water and set aside.
  2. For the filling, put a little oil in a pan and saute the garlic and onion. Add bacon and cook well.
  3. Then add the minced meat, salt and pepper and fry a little longer.
  4. Add the pulp that was removed from the zucchini and the chopped tomato and wait for it to settle. Add the green scent and stuff the zucchini.
  5. To finish, sprinkle the zucchini with grated cheese and place in the oven to brown.

PUMPKIN IN THE OVEN

This baked zucchini is a great choice for the weekend and will certainly please the whole family.

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchini cut into cubes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 small carrot
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • Green corn
  • Peas
  • chopped olives
  • chopped mozzarella
  • Black pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
  • Oregano to taste

preparation mode

  1. Put a little oil in a pan and lightly fry the onion. Then add the zucchini, which should be chopped into cubes, the grated carrots and the chopped tomato.
  2. Saute for a few minutes and season using salt and pepper.
  3. After sauteing, turn off the heat and add the chopped olives, corn and peas to taste. Mix the ingredients well and set aside in an ovenproof dish.
  4. Beat the eggs and cover the zucchini in the ovenproof dish, then adding the oregano and mozzarella.
  5. Place in the oven and leave until the shakes are cooked and golden.
  6. Serve afterwards with white rice.

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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