All vegetables are definitely an indispensable part of our everyday lives and as we have already said, it would be ideal to include them in each one of our meals and to fill at least half of our plate with them.
It is true that some vegetables are included in our everyday meals a little more than some others. This is due to their nutritional value, but also due to how easily we can cook them. One of these vegetables is zucchini...It is a summer vegetable and -as I imagine you already know- we can cook them in many different ways: Roast, boiled, stuffed, fried, as well as create many different, quick and easy recipes.
Specifically, zucchinis offer us the following benefits and nutrients:
- They contain only 22 calories per 100 g and, as a result, we can enjoy them without worrying about the calories or the extra carbs. For sure, calories and carbs of a complete meal may differ a little depending on zucchini's cooking method and the accompanying foods. The only thing that is certain is that we can add them to any one of our main meals and enjoy them exactly as we want. In that way, it will be like eating something different all the time!
- They contain 2 g fiber per 100 g; that is, 8% of the daily intake. Therefore, they are suitable for making us feel full for longer, while they improve digestion and bowel function.
- They are rich in vitamin C, essential for the immune system’s proper function, the production of collagen, the body’s development, while it acts as an antioxidant and protects our body from free radicals (harmful molecules).
- They are rich in folic acid which contributes to the synthesis of DNA and to the proper development and production of new cells. The deficiency/lack of folic acid is one of the most common ones in our days. This is due to the fact that many people consume foods high in saturated fats, sugars, and salt that definitely do not offer nutrients to our body.
- Moreover, they are rich in vitamin A, another vitamin that plays an important role in bone development, in reproduction, and in the improvement of vision and skin health.
- They are a good source of potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium; as a result, they contribute to the strengthening of bone mass and teeth, as well as potassium and magnesium seem to reduce muscle cramps.
- They contain many antioxidants and, as it was mentioned above, they help fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.
- They contain plenty of the B vitamins which also help in the proper function of the nervous and immune system.
Shall we take a look at some zucchini recipes I prepared for you?
Zucchinis are definitely not the only vegetable with so many nutrients and, at the same time, so low in calories. Try discovering a different vegetable every week; how are you going to do that? By cooking it a little bit differently!
This article was written in collaboration with Kitchen Lab’s Sports Nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr.
*The above information is based on published research findings.