Zucchini has long been loved for its versatility. You can eat any number of ways: Saute it as a dinner side, include it in a stir fry, spiralize it into pasta, or do something completely different. But even though you probably knew it was generally healthy to eat, it has so many other benefits that might surprise you.
Heart Health Benefits
Researchers have found that zucchini is effective at reducing the cholesterol in your body, specifically targeting “bad” cholesterol that’s often responsible for heart problems, weight gain, and unstable blood sugar levels.
Additionally, it’s high in the element potassium, which, among many other helpful roles, plays a part in dilating your blood vessels. This enables your cells to open and accept as much oxygen as possible in one swoop, allowing for better blood circulation and a healthier heart overall.
Moreover, studies have shown that plant-based foods rich in compounds called carotenoids — which zucchini has plenty of! — play a special role in fighting signs of aging in cells.
Weight Loss Benefits
Because zucchini is low in calorie density and high in water content, it’ll fill you up quickly while simultaneously delivering all of those key nutrients you need. And since it’s extra fibrous, it also ensures that food is properly moving down your digestive tract in a timely manner and expelling excess waste and toxins along with it.
Zucchini is rich in two key ingredients for eye health: Vitamin C and beta-carotene. They help keep your vision sharp over time and protect it from typical signs of aging and deterioration over time.
It also contains antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin that scientists have found lower the risk of contracting macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of irreversible eye damage in older adults and can results in permanent vision loss. Plus, research shows that people who eat diets high in both of these compounds are less likely to develop cataracts down the line.
The next time you’re looking for a food to give you a delicious and healthy boost, remember to add zucchini into the rotation!