Health benefits of zucchini, a very versatile food

two fresh zucchini isolatedZucchini is a very versatile food. It can be eaten raw or cooked, can be consumed virtually in its entirety and has several health benefits. Of course, be sure to choose organic zucchini.

It even has some interesting tidbits that many people aren’t aware of.

For example, their blossoms, or flowers, which appear under its leaves as it grows, are edible. (1) They’re typically sold at farmers’ markets, and not only can they be cooked with a little olive oil, but the delicate flowers can also be eaten raw; many enjoy adding their sweet, slightly herbal flavor to salads. (1)

In addition to the blossoms, its skin can also be eaten. While many are aware of this, several still opt to peel and toss the outer layer. However, the skin is where most of its water is found and where the most concentrated source of vitamin K, fiber and antioxidants are housed. (2)

Then there’s interesting tidbit number two. While it’s commonly referred to as a vegetable and sold in produce sections as such, it’s technically a fruit since it comes from a flower. (1)

Health benefits of zucchini

Weight loss

For people looking to shed some pounds, zucchini is an ideal low-calorie option. One cup contains just 20 calories; it’s 95 percent water by weight and is a good source of fiber, making it a filling option that staves off hunger. (2, 3)

Stronger bones and better wound healing

Eating zucchini boosts the body’s uptake of the mineral manganese, which plays a role in the development of healthy bone tissue and proper wound healing. (4)

Boosts eye health

Zucchini contains the phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, which are associated with healthy eyesight. Therefore, eating them is a smart choice when it comes to maintaining eye health and fighting age-related macular degeneration. (4)

Fights free radicals

It’s no secret that free radicals are damaging to the body. Zucchini is a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals and, in turn, protect cells. (4)

Sources:

(1) http://www.nytimes.com

(2) http://www.livestrong.com

(3) http://www.naturalnews.com

(4) http://www.livestrong.com


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