When we moved into our new rental home in Fanny Bay, BC in the summer of 2019, I was SO excited to get started on gardening in actual gardening beds, as all I’ve really had before are balcony gardens (which can be limiting). It’s definitely been a learning process (and continues to be!), but one of the ‘easiest’ foods to grow for me over the past year has been ZUCCHINI. It has grown fast-and-furious pretty consistently, which has also allowed me to be witness to many beautiful zucchini flowers (which pop up as it begins growing).
Like most fruits and veggies, zucchini contains zero fat, and is high in water and fiber (of which most of us are very much lacking!). It also contains significant amounts of vitamins B6, C, and K, riboflavin, folate, and minerals like potassium and manganese. It boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which all add up to zucchini being quite nutrient dense (aka shove it in your pie hole asap!).
If you struggle with constipation or other digestive issues, eating zucchini can help improve your digestion. It’s high in water content, and also contains an abundance of fiber and electrolytes. Its fiber content, along with potassium, help maintain healthy blood circulation, blood pressure, and can lower cholesterol levels.
Concerned about your peepers? The zeaxanthin and lutein in zucchini help to maintain and improve eye health by fighting free radicals. Like you see people in movies/tv do with cucumbers, you can place slices of raw zucchini on your eyes for ½ hour each session to reduce puffiness (great idea to try while you’re face-masking to get more of that spa experience!).
Feeling lethargic? Zucchini could be that extra ‘something’ your body is craving to reduce fatigue and even give your mood a boost. The content of B-vitamins (in particular folate, riboflavin and B6) in zucchini helps with energy, as well as providing support for your brain functions, including cognition.
No need to peel the zucchini either (although make sure to wash it, especially if it’s store-bought!) as many of its health benefits can be found in the peel.
Try to incorporate zucchini more into your meals, and benefit from the reduction of oxidation and inflammation in your body, which boosts your immunity and protects against diseases associated with inflammation (like arthritis, alzheimer’s, IBS, etc.). One of my favourite ways to prepare zucchini is to pan fry it with some vegan butter and spices (I currently use freshly ground pepper, Herbamare – which is herbed sea salt, and Dulse granules – excellent plant-based source of iodine).
What’s your favourite way to prepare zucchini?