Health Benefits of Zucchini
FOOD AS MEDICINE:
Did you know: zucchini is the cousin to squash and melons? Zucchini is an excellent source of manganese, vitamins C, A, and B, and antioxidants, particularly lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are especially beneficial in protecting eye health, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts. The manganese, zinc, and B vitamins in zucchini help maintain blood sugar metabolism support. The pectin form of soluble fiber found in zucchini, D-galacturonic acid, helps balance insulin metabolism and blood sugar levels. The slow moving fiber acts as a gel to decrease the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar, aiding to curb blood sugar level spikes. The combination of antioxidants and fiber help cool and soothe the body and decrease inflammation. Research shows that zucchini has the ability to retain their antioxidant qualities with various cooking techniques. Raw, frozen, roasted, and sautéed preparations all have a strong presence of healthy nutrients when eaten in its whole food form.
Pasta can be substituted for zucchini noodles or you can also roast them into chips. Zucchini muffins are also gaining popularity! If you have zucchini and other vegetables lying around, roast them! Try our Roasted Summer Veggies recipe below.
2 zucchini, cut into 1 to 2 inch chunks
1 yellow squash, cut into 1 to 2 inch chunks
1 pint cherry tomatoes, whole
1 red onion, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
Sprinkle sea salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss vegetables in oil and mix in herbs. Lay on cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned and softened.
There are many different preparations for zucchini! Share your favorite preparation on Twitter!
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