7 Reasons You’ll Want to Add More Zucchini to Your Diet

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Whether raw or cooked, zucchini is a great alternative to carb-heavy meals and can also benefit weight loss. But there’s so much more to this delicious squash!

Zucchini (also known as a courgette) is a summer squash in the same plant family as melons, spaghetti squash, and cucumbers.

Chock-full of health benefits, zucchini not only gives way to a guilt-free plate but nourishes the body from the inside out.

Let’s take a look at the top 7 health benefits of zucchinis, plus some different ways to prepare it.

1. They’re Full of Nutrients

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Zucchinis are low in calories, sugar, and carbs and loaded with healthy nutrients, including:

  • Fiber
  • Vitamin A
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin K
  • Folate
  • Vitamin B6

Moreover, one cup of chopped, raw zucchini (with the skin on) contains less than 20 calories, so you get a nutrient-rich addition to your meal without a bunch of added calories.

2. They’re Heart-Healthy

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Zucchini is high in potassium, which is known for its ability to help reduce blood pressure. A healthy blood pressure is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

The zucchini’s heart health benefits are also partly due to its fiber content. Research has shown that people who eat more fiber have a lower risk of heart disease.

3. They Can Help With Digestion

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Because zucchini is so hydrating and full of essential electrolytes and nutrients, it is often recommended to combat digestive issues. Its high water content can certainly help reduce your risk of constipation.

Zucchini has been found to offer anti-inflammatory protection in the GI tract, which can help reduce IBS, leaky gut syndrome, and ulcer issues.

4. They Help Strengthen Bones and Teeth

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Zucchini is a good source of calcium, which has been shown to decrease bone loss while improving tooth retention. One study found that participants who took calcium and vitamin D supplements decreased losing one or more teeth by 40 percent.

Zucchini is also a source of vitamin K, which is known for its role in keeping your bones healthy. People who consume higher levels of vitamin K have greater bone density, while low levels of vitamin K have been linked to osteoporosis.

5. They Can Help With Weight Loss

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One of the biggest benefits people enjoy from zucchini is its super low-calorie count, which makes it a great addition to any weight loss diet.

Swapping out calorie and carb-rich foods with a good portion of zucchini will fill you up without weighing you down. It’s also full of fiber, which is beneficial for helping burn fat in the body. And because it’s 95 percent water, it will rehydrate you and keep you feeling full for longer!

6. They Help Maintain Strong Vision

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Zucchini is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are all great for eye health.

Lutein and zeaxanthin, in particular, are carotenoid antioxidants known for warding off age-related diseases and vision loss.

7. They Can Help Regulate Diabetes

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Zucchini offers polysaccharide fibers like pectin that work to regulate blood sugar.

For people suffering from diabetes, zucchini can control blood sugar levels, as it’s an extremely low-carb, low-glycemic food that keeps insulin from spiking and dipping.

Different Ways to Prepare Zucchini

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Need some tips for making zucchini part of your daily meals? Try some of the tips below:

  • Grill it! All it needs is a little olive oil, salt, and pepper for an easy, nutritious side dish.
  • Use it as an ingredient when baking breads, muffins, pancakes, or cakes. You can replace it 1 for 1 with oil.
  • Incorporate it into your salads. (Raw or cooked.)
  • Stuff it with meat, rice, or other vegetables, then bake it.
  • Saute it with olive oil in a skillet.
  • Add it to soups after boiling it.
  • Spiralize it into spaghetti noodles for your favorite pasta.

14 Health Benefits of Cucumbers (And a Few Refreshing Recipes)

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From healthy skin to improved memory, check out the top 14 health benefits of cucumbers!

And if you’re lucky enough to have a load from your garden or farmers market on hand, you’ll definitely want to check out some of our favorite cucumber recipes, too.

14 Health Benefits of Cucumbers (And a Few Refreshing Recipes)

5 Powerful Health Benefits of Artichokes (+ 7 Yummy Recipes!)

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Whether you’re looking for a reason to add artichokes to your diet once and for all or just another reason to keep eating them, you’ll definitely want to check out their best health benefits!

Plus, we’ve added some delightful recipes to try.

5 Powerful Health Benefits of Artichokes (+ 7 Yummy Recipes!)

21 Healthy Quinoa Recipes You’ll Want to Make ASAP

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On the hunt for the best quinoa recipes? We don’t blame you! Quinoa—an edible seed and plant-based protein—is known for being a nutritional powerhouse and easy to incorporate into any meal needing a healthy boost.

Check out our favorite quinoa recipes that are so delicious, you’ll forget how healthy they are!

21 Healthy Quinoa Recipes You’ll Want to Make ASAP

This content was originally published here.

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