Zucchini provides many health benefits. Zucchini suits many diets, such as keto, paleo, vegan, or low-carb, and a person can prepare it in many different ways based on taste preferences.

Zucchini is a summer squash that is a part of the Cucurbitaceae plant family, otherwise known as gourds.

While many people refer to it as a vegetable, zucchini is a fruit. Other names for a zucchini include courgette and baby marrow. They range in color from dark emerald green to a yellowish shade.

This article looks at the health benefits of zucchini and offers suggestions as to how to prepare and enjoy it.

a bowl of zucchini noodlesShare on Pinterest
OlgaMiltsova/Getty Images

Zucchini has various health benefits. They include the following:

High in antioxidants

Free radicals are unstable atoms in the body that fight infection. If a person has an imbalance of free radicals, they can damage the body’s fatty tissue, DNA, and proteins. Doctors call this oxidative stress, and it can cause a range of health issues.

Antioxidants help maintain a healthy level of free radicals and benefit health.

Zucchini is high in antioxidants and might help protect a person from the following health problems:

Promotes healthy digestion

Zucchini can help promote healthy digestion in several ways.

Firstly, it is rich in water, containing 94.8 grams (g) of water per 100 g of fruit. Water is essential for helping improve digestion. Water in the diet helps soften stools and makes them easier to pass, reducing the chances of constipation.

Also, zucchini contains soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber help keep the gut healthy and promote good digestion. It does this by adding bulk to the stool to help it move more easily through the gut, reducing the risk for constipation.

One 2015 article states that dietary fiber can aid healthy digestion and reduce a person’s risk for various chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.

Reduces blood sugar levels

Carbohydrates turn into glucose inside the body, which can increase a person’s blood sugar levels.

Zucchini is low in carbohydrates. If a person uses zucchini as an alternative to high carbohydrate products, such as pasta, they will reduce their carbohydrate intake, which can help lower their blood sugar levels.

Diets low in carbohydrates can improve blood sugar levels and may even reduce the need for medication for people with type 2 diabetes.

A 2015 meta-analysis of studies concluded that fiber present in fruit and vegetables could reduce blood sugar levels and reduce a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Improves eye health

Zucchini may also help improve eye health. For example, zucchini is high in vitamin C, which is also an antioxidant. Some evidence suggests that vitamin C can reduce a person’s risk of developing eye problems, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.

Additionally, zucchini also contains the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants can also help reduce a person’s risk of developing AMD and cataracts.

Improves heart health and circulation

Zucchini can help improve heart health in various ways.

As previously stated, zucchini is a fruit that is high in fiber. As well as improving digestion and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, high-fiber diets also help improve heart health.

Studies have shown that diets that high fiber diets can help reduce a person’s risk of developing coronary heart disease.

High lipid levels in a person’s blood can increase a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease. High levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, can also cause an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Zucchini contains the water-soluble fiber pectin. Pectin may lower bad cholesterol and lipid levels in a person’s blood, promoting good heart health.

Furthermore, zucchini is also high in potassium, which can help manage high blood pressure. This is important as high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart attack, heart failure, peripheral artery disease, stroke, and kidney failure.

To keep zucchini fresh and make it last longer, a person should store them whole, dry, and in an open paper bag in the fridge.

Some people choose to cut the zucchini into small pieces, blanch them in boiling water, and then when cooled, freeze them. Once blanched, a person can store zucchini in the freezer for 12 months before they go bad.

Zucchini is a very versatile fruit that a person can eat both raw and cooked. Here are some examples of how to prepare and eat zucchini.

  • Thinly slice or grate raw zucchini and add it to salads.
  • Chopped, sliced, or diced zucchini is a good option to add to stir fry dishes.
  • Spiralize zucchini into a spaghetti or linguine shape as a low-carbohydrate alternative to pasta.
  • Addboiled or roasted zucchini to soups.
  • Thinly sliced and grilled zucchini makes a good side dish, particularly when combined with olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Zucchini is also one of the main ingredients in the popular dish ratatouille. This involves combining the zucchini with other vegetables, such as tomato, garlic, onion, and a selection of leafy green herbs, such as basil.
  • Breadcrumb the zucchini and fry it in oil to make a crispy side dish.
  • Baked zucchini is a tasty side dish that works well with a variety of other dishes.

Zucchini is a versatile fruit that a person can eat raw and cooked. It works well in various of dishes, including soups, salads, stir-fries, and is a primary ingredient in ratatouille.

Other names for a zucchini include courgette and baby marrow.

There are many health benefits to eating zucchini. Zucchini is high in antioxidants and can improve eye health, digestion, and heart health and lower a person’s blood sugar levels.