Good Living

Healthy Food – Zucchini

 Zucchini belongs within the Cucurbitaceae (cucurbita-pepo) family of vegetables. Zucchini is one of the very low calorie vegetables; provides only 17 calories per 100 g. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Its peel is a good source of dietary fiber that helps reduce constipation and offers some protection against colon cancers. Zucchinis have anti-oxidant value (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity – ORAC) of 180 Trolex Equivalents (TE) per 100 g, the value which is far below to some of the berries, and vegetables. Nonetheless, the pods are one of the common vegetables included in weight reduction and cholesterol control programs by the dieticians. Furthermore, zucchinis, especially golden skin varieties, are rich in flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, lutein and  zea-xanthin. These compounds help scavenge harmful oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) from the body that play a role in aging and various disease processes. Courgette hold relatively moderate amounts of folates; provides 24 µg or 6% of RDA per 100 g. Folates are important in cell division and DNA synthesis. When taken adequately during early pregnancy it can help prevent neural tube defects in the fetus. It is a very good source of potassium, an important intra-cellular electrolyte. Potassium is a heart-friendly electrolyte and helps bring the reduction in blood pressure and heart rates by countering pressure-effects of sodium. Fresh fruits are rich in vitamin A; provide about 200 IU per 100 g.

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