green veggies and fruits in one's regular diet is no hidden secret. They come loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the body to carry out various functions. So think out of the box, and try and make veggies more fun and delicious. And one ingredient that you can extensively experiment with is zucchini. Botanically speaking, zucchini is a fruit; however, in the culinary world it is treated as a vegetable that can be eaten both raw and cooked. Zucchini belongs to the same species as pumpkins and cucumbers i.e. Cucurbita Pepo.
A popular summer squash, zucchini is touted to be one of the best sources to lose weight and keep the heart healthy. It is extremely low in calories - 17Kcal per 100 grams, and contains dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamin A, B6 and C. Here are a few facts about zucchini that you should know:
1. Zucchini Helps Lower Cholesterol
Zucchini is known for its high-fiber content that helps in lowering excessive cholesterol. It consists of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, which prevent oxidization, thus reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. Moreover, it helps in reducing body's excess toxins keeping it hale and hearty.(Read: Oats, Tofu, Nuts & More: 10 Things You Must Eat For a Healthy Heart)
2. Helps Shed Extra Kilos
Before you think of hitting the gym, do not forget to add lots of zucchini in your diet, raw or cooked. Because of its high moisture content and low calorie content, it proves to be a great summer refresher as well as a beneficial ingredient for those on a strict diet. Zucchini keeps your body hydrated with its 95 percent water content.
(Read: 6 Amazing Benefits of Aloe Vera for Hair, Skin and Weight-Loss)
3. Eye Health
Similar to cucumber, zucchini is a great cure for puffy eyes due to its high water retention. The vitamin A present in this vegetable helps in active cell development in the eyes, which enhances eye vision, especially beneficial for kids.
(Read: 4 Easy Eye Exercises To Relax and Reduce Strain)
4. Maintains Good Hair
Rich in vitamin A and C, zucchini makes for a superb natural treatment for your hair. Vitamin C plays a vital role in maintaining healthy collagen around the hair follicles, while vitamin A protects your tresses from facing dryness.
(Read: How to Make Your Hair Soft: 5 Natural Ways)
5. Zucchini is a Heart-Friendly Veggie
Interestingly, zucchini has a decent amount of potassium in it, probably more than that of banana. Its intake helps reduce high blood pressure, further lessening the harmful effects of excessive salts in your body. The magnesium content in it helps in keeping up the heartbeat rhythm normal. Include at least one cup of sliced zucchini every day to maintain a healthy and young heart.
(Heart Health: What to Eat and What Not to Eat)
Did you know that zucchini can be an excellent substitute for pasta or noodles? Well, it's true! All you need to do is replace noodles and pasta with zucchini from the recipe you choose to prepare. You can buy spirulisers which are available in the stores that can cut zucchini into noodle-like strings.
Zucchini is undoubtedly an excellent source of keeping a healthy diet. Think of some super ways to consume it every day and keep yourself fit! Here are some recipes to get you started - 10 Best Zucchini Recipes.
The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
Thanks to the trend of 'getting healthy', we are slowly learning to inculcate healthy eating habits in our daily regimes. The benefits of including