The zucchini is a slightly fuzzy green vegetable (actually a fruit), and is a type of squash. Originating in the American continents, squash species have been further developed all over the world and as the name might hint, the zucchini squash was an Italian invention.
In the UK and parts of Europe, they are called courgettes. Zucchini are a summer squash and should be harvested when they are about cucumber size and tender, otherwise they can grow huge (up to a meter) and become tough and seedy. (1)
Contains more potassium than a banana!
Surely, you’ll be impressed with the amazing nutritional benefits zucchini offers. It’s incredibly low in calories and high in fiber. There are no cholesterol or unhealthy fats and it’s rich in flavonoid antioxidants including zeaxanthin, carotenes, and lutein! With all the benefits that zucchini contains, it’s an excellent food to help slow down the aging process, prevent diseases, and fights free radicals! (1)
Rich in potassium that keeps your heart healthy. In fact, the potassium content per serving is more than a banana! Also rich in B-complex vitamins, choline, and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. This wonder food regulates blood sugar levels and make sure you eat the skin since that’s where most of the antioxidants and fiber are found! (1,2)
Study shows squash may have anti-diabetic properties
Squash is a mostly starchy carbohydrate, but most of it comes from polysaccharides found in cell walls, according to food expert and food industry analyst Phil Lempert. A number of animal studies currently show that the starchy components of squash may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and insulin-regulating properties. (3)
Most people think of zucchini as something that must be cooked to enjoy, but they are missing out on some fabulous dishes. Spiralized zucchini makes a great substitute for pasta and its mild flavor is just crying out for a tasty sauce like pesto or an herbed tomato puree. (4)
While we are used to enjoying the squash component, the flowers of the zucchini plant are also edible for those of you into wild foods. The flower blossoms have a slight squash flavor and are used wonderfully for stuffing. Just make sure to remove the stamens before using! (5)
“When I pass a flowering zucchini plant in my garden, my heart skips a beat.” – Gwyneth Paltrow (6)
Image source: flic.kr