Superfoods That Begin with “Z” – Zucchini
Zucchini is a type of summer squash that is commonly green in color, although yellow zucchini exists as well. Like other non-starchy vegetables, zucchini is rich in water and low in calories (just 20 per cup!), making it a great choice for people who are trying to lose weight. It is a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that keeps skin, hair, and teeth healthy and may help prevent arthritis. Zucchini also contains potassium, a mineral that helps keep blood pressure in check, as well as potassium, manganese, and folate.
Zucchini also has anti-oxidant benefits. Much of the antioxidant nutrients are found in the seeds and skin of the plant, and not just its flesh. So it’s important to consume it without peeling the skin. To retain the strongest amount of anti-oxidant benefits, steaming is recommended over baking or boiling.
The best part? It can be used perfectly in both sweet (zucchini bread) and savory (grilled) dishes.
- The word zucchini comes from ‘zucca’ the Italian word for squash
- One zucchini is a “zucchina”
- Zucchinis were first brought to the United States in the 1920s by the Italians
- April 25th is National Zucchini Bread Day
- The flower of the zucchini plant is edible
- Fried squash blossoms are considered a delicacy.
- The world’s largest zucchini on record was 69 1/2 inches long, and weighed 65 lbs. Bernard Lavery of Plymouth Devon, UK, grew it
- Biggest is NOT best. The most flavorful zucchinis are small- to medium-sized and the darker the skin, the richer the nutrients
- Nutrients and vitamins found in zucchini can help prevent cancer and heart disease
- Zucchini are low in sodium, contain no saturated fats, and are cholesterol-free
- They are rich in vitamin C and manganese
- A zucchini has more potassium than a banana
- The peel is a good source of dietary fiber and may help in reducing constipation
- Dietitians often include zucchini in their cholesterol control and weight loss programs
26 Quick and Tasty Zucchini Recipes