12 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Zucchini

Zucchini, also known as courgette, is a summer squash in the Cucurbitaceae plant family, alongside melons, spaghetti squash, and cucumbers.

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It can grow to more than 3.2 feet (1 meter) in length but is usually harvested when still immature — typically measuring under 8 inches (20 cm).

Although zucchini is often considered a vegetable, it is botanically classified as a fruit. It occurs in several varieties, which range in color from deep yellow to dark green.

While squashes originated in the Americas, this particular variety was first developed in the early 1800s in Italy (1Trusted Source).

Zucchini has been used in folk medicine to treat colds, aches, and various health conditions. However, not all of its uses are backed by science.

Here are 12 evidence-based benefits of zucchini.

1. Zucchini contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds.

 Cooked zucchini is particularly high in vitamin A, though raw zucchini contains slightly less.

2. Zucchini boasts several antioxidants that may provide various health benefits. The highest levels are found in the fruit’s skin.

3. Zucchini is rich in water and fiber, two compounds which can promote healthy digestion by reducing your risk of constipation and symptoms of various gut disorders.

4. Zucchini’s fiber may increase insulin sensitivity and stabilize blood sugar levels, potentially reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes.

5. The fiber, potassium, and carotenoids in zucchini may lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and other risk factors for heart disease.

6. Zucchini is rich in manganese, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins A and C — nutrients which contribute to healthy vision and may lower your risk of age-related eye conditions.

7. Zucchini is rich in water and fiber yet low in calories, all of which may help reduce hunger and help you feel full — potentially leading to weight loss over time.

8. Zucchini may benefit bone, thyroid, and prostate health. It may also have anticancer properties. However, more research is needed before strong conclusions can be made.

9. Zucchini can be eaten raw or cooked in soups, stews, sandwiches, salads, baked goods, and more.

10. Anticancer effects. Test-tube and animal studies indicate that zucchini extracts may help kill or limit the growth of certain cancer cells. However, human research is needed.

11. Thyroid function. Testing in rats reveals that zucchini peel extracts may help keep thyroid hormone levels stable.

12. Zucchini is rich in several vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds.

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