Zucchini: Properties and benefits for health

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It is estimated that zucchini production exceeds 5,000 million tons per year. The months in which zucchini can be eaten in Spain are June, July and August.

The popularity of zucchini is not surprising, as it is a low-calorie food rich in several nutrients.

Zucchini is now considered to have slimming and antioxidant properties.

Most likely, it is not seen beyond its use in cooking, but this post will help to understand that more than a tasty meal ingredient, it is an ally of health.

Nutritional value of zucchini

In an edible portion of 100 grams of zucchini are present the following minerals and vitamins:

Properties of zucchini

Zucchinis contain a great amount of vitamins and minerals important for the organism, among them:

  • Vitamin C. This provides an antioxidant action, it also favors the absorption of iron from food, strengthens the immune system and helps to better resist infections.
  • B group vitamins. The highest concentration of this group is vitamin B3, which intervenes in the chemical balance of the nervous system and regulates the production of hormones related to sex and stress.
  • Folic acid. It is concentrated mainly in the vegetable peel and is essential in all the processes of growth and renovation of structures of the organism
  • Potassium. This mineral is key for muscles to function properly, as well as for the transmission of nerve impulses.
  • Magnesium. It is involved in the construction of DNA and is necessary for the nerves to function properly
  • Iron. It is a mineral that favors the oxygenation process and the metabolism of most cells
  • Fiber. They are rich in fiber, so they contribute to fight constipation and favor a regular intestinal transit.
  • Mucilages. These are substances that soften and deflate the mucous membranes of the digestive tract.

Benefits of zucchini

Nutritionists often recommend the consumption of zucchini to lose weight and slow down aging. Its nutritional composition confirms its usefulness for these purposes, since it is very low in sugars and calories, and produces a feeling of satiety.

Among its many health benefits are the following:

  • Improves digestion. Thanks to its soluble fiber content, zucchini is an activator of intestinal function, it also reduces inflammation of the digestive and intestinal mucosa, which makes it very desirable for people suffering from gastritis and constipation.
  • It is a good diuretic. Since it is rich in water and potassium and has a low proportion of sodium, it contributes to the elimination of liquids in the body, which is beneficial for those who suffer from hypertension, kidney stones or fluid retention.
  • It helps prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases. It is a good source of antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which help fight free radicals that alter the DNA of genes, proteins and fats, and can cause cancer or cardiovascular diseases.
  • Ally in weight reduction and maintenance. Its low caloric content makes it an ideal food in low-calorie diets and weight maintenance diets.

Uses of zucchini

Being a very versatile vegetable, zucchini can be consumed in many ways, either raw or cooked. When used raw it can be added to salads, while cooked it can be used as an ingredient in purees and creams. It can also be eaten fried, sautéed, roasted or as an accompaniment to meat, fish or omelets.

However, the best way to take advantage of all its slimming and antioxidant power is to eat it fresh. Another way to take advantage of all the properties of zucchini is to steam it for a short time.

In some pharmaceutical establishments, you can also find zucchini capsules, which are used as a dietary supplement.

Advantages and disadvantages of zucchini

More than 90% of zucchini is water, making it a wonderful natural alternative for staying hydrated. On the other hand, its carbohydrate content is low, so it is low in calories.

Zucchini is not far behind in terms of vitamins, as it contains vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6 and B9, which are vital to maintain the immune system and the nervous system in an optimal state.

The minerals it contains, such as potassium, are essential to take care of the muscles and the nervous system, on the other hand, it also contains small amounts of calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus.

Finally, the mucilage of zucchini has the ability to reduce inflammation and soothe the mucous membranes of the digestive system, besides favoring the absorption of nutrients.

All of the above, places zucchini on the list of vegetables that should not be missing in the kitchen. However, when using it, it should be used in moderation, because although it is very healthy, it has its disadvantages, as we will see now.

Advantages of zucchini

  • It is suitable for a low-calorie diet to lose weight.
  • It provides vitamin C, vitamin B and folic acid.
  • It contains minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
  • As it contains antioxidants, it fights damage caused by free radicals.
  • It is rich in fibers that favor the regular intestinal transit.
  • It is a natural anti-inflammatory.
  • It improves the immune response of the organism.
  • It can contribute to regulate cholesterol levels.

Disadvantages of zucchini

  • The excess of insoluble fiber, such as the one in zucchini, can affect people who already have gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Zucchini contains oxalates, so if consumed in excess, these may crystallize and lead to kidney stones.

Zucchini is a vegetable that not only pleases the palate and can be used in a multitude of dishes, but also has very important curative facets.

Carlos José Belmonte López
Carlos José Belmonte Lópezhttps://www.google.com/search?kgmid=/g/11rcl91syn
Degree in Pharmacy from the University CEU San Pablo and Master's Degree from the Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid. Doctorate and committed to Human Health

Aunque pueda contener afirmaciones, datos o apuntes procedentes de instituciones o profesionales sanitarios y la información contenida en PharmaSalud esté redactada por profesionales en medicina, recomendamos al lector que cualquier duda relacionada con la salud sea consultada con un profesional del ámbito sanitario.

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