Zucchini, also known as “courgette,” is an iconic summer veggie that’s in season from June through late August. There are so many ways to eat this nutrient-packed vegetable, but do you know all the health benefits hidden inside this summer squash? Read on to find out!
Benefits of Eating Zucchini in a Balanced Diet
Antioxidants in zucchini help protect your body from free radicals, which, when left unchecked, are linked to several illnesses including heart disease and diabetes. Zucchini contain antioxidants called carotenoids, which can benefit your skin, eyes, and heart. Research shows there may be a higher amount of carotenoids in yellow zucchinis than compared to their light green alternative, so eat the rainbow by preparing both kinds!
Supports Heart Health & Cholesterol
A ¾ cup of zucchini provides about a gram of fiber, and contains a type of soluble fiber called pectin. According to research, this type of fiber plays an important role in reducing overall cholesterol levels and “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Cooked and spiralized zucchini is a popular alternative to pasta. By substituting low-carb options for traditional dietary staples, individuals may be able to lower their blood sugar and insulin levels. A low carb, ketogenic type of diet may even reduce the needed dosage of medication for type 2 diabetes. Of course, always check with your doctor before significantly changing your diet or making any changes to your medications.
Heart-Healthy Zucchini Recipes
It’s no wonder why zucchini is so popular - it’s one of the most versatile veggies out there! For a quick serving of vegetables, simply slice a zucchini and use it as a salad topper. Or, try out a new side by roasting zucchini spears topped with parmesan and herbs. If you’re interested in reducing your carb intake, substitute “zoodles” on your next pasta night (you can find a mouthwatering Shrimp Picatta and zoodles recipe in our free Heart Healthy Cookbook). No matter how you slice it, dice it, roast it, or eat it, zucchini is as delicious as it is good for you. What recipe will you try first?