You may ask yourself what Zucchini is several other names including summer squash and courgette. When zucchini is allowed to grow larger it is called a marrow.Zucchini’ grows very quickly in warm conditions and is usually dark green in colour, although you can see them in other colours including yellow and gray.
How is zucchini helpful?
Some people find zucchini has a bland flavour, but if you pick them when small and young they make a nice vegetable with the best taste. Otherwise, you can use the larger zucchini squash in soups and stews by cutting them or if preferred they can be stuffed when whole and baked.
Zucchini is a widely found summer perennial squash, but is often not available when out of season. On on such occasions, you may need to consider using a substitute.
Health benefits of zucchini
Considered as one of the favourite members of the summer squash family, zucchini can be a tasty addition to your recipes with considerable health advantages. Once you know these benefits, you may find it advantageous to add them to your pantry at home.
- They Can lower blood sugarAlthough many people find sugary foods delicious and enjoy eating them, they have many health disadvantages such as a risk of high blood sugar levels or diabetes. Because it is often hard to maintain self discipline in your diet, especially if you love sweet foods, it is a good idea to include fiber rich foods like zucchini in your menu. Zucchini’s high fiber content helps remove excess sugars from your system if eaten regularly.
- Improves your digestionZucchini contains a large amount of water and soluble as well as insoluble fiber that are essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. They help to keep you regular reduce the chances of constipation and other digestive system related issues.
- Puffy eyes treatmentIf you have puffy eyes and you are looking for a home remedy, slice raw zucchini and place two pieces on your eyes for about 30 minutes. Doing this process several times a day until there is a significant change is said to work wonders.
- Source of extra energyHaving a good serving zucchini in the morning before hitting the road for your work or any other activity can help to boost your enthusiasm for extra performance. This is because zucchini is a good source of vitamins B. This vitamin is essential for helping your body to produce extra energy and improved brain functioning as well as improving your mood.
Substitutes for zucchini
There are a number of other squash grown in summer conditions that can be substituted for zucchini squash. They are of a similar in texture and taste, for example, the crookneck squash and the canary yellow straight-neck squash.
Eggplant has a similar texture to zucchini with a slightly different, almost bitter flavor, It comes in several shapes, one is slender, almost the same as zucchini and the other is more egg shapedEggplant has a similar texture to zucchini with a slightly different, almost bitter flavor, It comes in several shapes, one is slender, almost the same as zucchini and the other is more egg shapedEggplant is also known as aubergine, guinea squash, garden egg, melongene or brinjal, the eggplant is commonly purple in colour also comes in yellow, orange and green. It is rich in fiber, low in calories and contains many essential nutrients, a perfect zucchini substitute.Eggplant factsThey are loaded with anthocyanins, essential antioxidants that help protect the heart problems.It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as colours.Eggplant can be cooked by boiling, roasting, frying or baking, but most preferably steaming so most of the delicate nutrients are preserved.Nasunin a chemical contained in eggplant helps with blood flow and brain improvement.
Health benefitsEggplant contains a large amount of dietary fiber and other essential elements such as phenolic compounds, anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid as well as chlorogenic acid, a free radical scavenger or antioxidant.The anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid found in eggplant have been found to function as anti-inflammatory agents. According to researches, if you are consuming any amount of foods rich in flavonoids like those found in eggplant it will boost your health in different ways.
- The heartEggplant contains fiber, vitamin c, vitamin B6, potassium and a multitude of phytonutrients that together helps with heart problems and reduces the likelihood of heart disease according to research.One study revealed that if you consume more than three vegetables and fruit servings containing anthocyannis a week, you will have a 34-per cent lower risk of developing heart disease compared to those who don’t.Furthermore, they suggest, you will enjoy a significantly lower risk of developing high blood pressure.2. Blood cholesterolAccording to research, eating eggplant helps to significantly lower blood cholesterol levels and for weight control
Yellow squash is also a perfect zucchini substitute, is available in summer conditions. These kinds of vegetables have crookneck and naturally grown in the United States. Because of its versatility and nutritional value, it is widely used in a variety of dishes.
- Low in fat and cholesterol freeYellow squash has a very low fat content and no cholesterol content which helps those on a low-fat diet. It contains significant amounts of beta-carotene and lutein, antioxidants, that permanently protect your body from radical damages and helps solve eye issues like cataracts and eye problems experienced in old age known as, macular degeneration causing blindness.Yellows squash and zucchini have some differences, although you can blend them together, adding color to your recipe. You can prepare yellow squash by baking, steaming or grilling without adding fat.Yellow squash helps build a shield against damage from harmful chemicals and pollutants commonly referred to as free radicals. When you take a cup of sliced yellow squash, you are guaranteed approximately 2,400 micrograms of lutein and 135 micrograms of beta carotene. You can increase your daily intake of yellow squash by dicing and shredding them into salads, stews, soups and casseroles to improve their nutritional value
- Source of vitamins CVitamins C, also known as ascorbic acid is a vital compound in your body system because it forms collagen, which can be found in your bloodstream, skin, bones and joints. Vitamin C is also an essential in the fight against infections because it supports the immune system
- Source of iron and folateVegetarians are like everyone else, need Iron and folates that can be found in yellow squash. Iron and folates are more commonly found in eggs, meat and other animal products. Since your body requires iron and folates, especially in early pregnancy to provide for the development of the fetus brain and the nervous system, vegetarians can benefit significantly from eating yellow squash
This is a common vegetable found in Latin and Asian countries, and it differs from the zucchini in shape although it is delicious and highly nutritious. Chayote squash is shaped in the form of a pear and light green in colour. This vegetable belongs to the Cucurbitaceous or gourd family.
Its flavour is slightly mild, often its added raw to salads steamed or sliced and added to stir-fries and other dishes.
The whole of chayote squash starting from the stem, leaves to its fruit is highly nutritious. They all contain anti-inflammatory properties which are useful in high blood pressure treatment, indigestion as well as kidney stones.
Weight lossThe chayote squash contains a large amount of water and dietary fiber that mainly helps you to reduce a high calorie intake. A chayote squash contains only 38.6 calories with 0.1 grams of fat content. Being low in calories and therefore helps in weight lossIt can be taken as a snack when hungry and used to replace other foods that are high in calories as a portion of regular daily foods. It is great added to a fruit salad to add flavour.High fibreChayote squash is high in dietary fiber, and because of this, it helps to improve your bowel movement and reduce constipation problems. A daily chayote squash also helps to control your blood sugar levels, diabetics will benefit from this in their diet.A single chayote squash consists of 3.5 grams of fiber, which translates to 14 percent of your daily value intake of about 25 grams. It also lowers cholesterol in your body, boosting your cardiovascular systemSource of vitaminsEach chayote squash contains 189 micrograms of folate adding up to approximately 50 percent of your recommended daily intake.Chayote in your diet gives you essential sources of vitamin c and folate, a water-soluble vitamin that aids female fertility and prevents cancer.Any intake of chayote squash before conception and during pregnancy can lower the risk of neutral congenital disabilities.Vitamin c is an essential antioxidant element in our body that assists in fighting free radicals that could be capable of promoting cancer and heart diseases. Each chayote consists of 15.6 micrograms of vitamin C translating to about 26 percent of our RDA.Provides trace of mineralsChayote squash contains magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, potassium and calcium, trace minerals, all are essential in maintaining a healthier metabolism, strong bone structure and proper immune system. The trace elements found in chayote also contributes to maintaining your body’s enzymes and hormones.Each chayote contains a milligram of zinc, about 7 percent of your daily recommended intake. The leading role of zinc in your body is to heal wounds and promote the sense of smell and taste.Magnesium and calcium promote healthy bones, while potassium minerals aid your nerve and muscle function
The Pattypan also belongs to the squash family, although its shape is different from zucchini and yellow squash having a flat shape. It comes in 3 colours; yellow, white and green, although its texture makes it a substitute for zucchini it is not as well accepted like the rest of the squash.Pattypan belongs to the gourd family, it has a bitter taste compared to the zucchini and has a thicker consistency. Younger and tender patty pans are more palatable than the fully matured ones because their flesh contains a lot of fiber.
Source of vitaminsPatty pans contain vitamin A and vitamin C, both essential for fighting illnesses such as flu and colds in your body.Aids digestionA high fiber content guarantees nutrient optimum absorption and keeps your gastrointestinal tract (GI) in a required shape. Daily consumption of patty pan aids the excretion of waste products in your body and allows good bacteria to grow and reside in your gut.Aids heart healthHigh fiber content contributes to low cholesterol levels in your body, and together with antioxidants and vitamins ensures your body is free from inflammation, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.Aids in Weight lossVegetables help provide good health and body structure, a daily intake of patty pan will significantly improve your figure because of its low-calorie value but high fiber.Good for expectant mothersThe desired intake of patty pan promotes reduced congenital disabilities, especially when taken by pregnant women in your first few months of pregnancy. This is because of the nutrient found in the patty pan called folate, one of the B vitamins that aid in the proper development of the spinal cord and brain of the growing fetus.
Pumpkins are traditionally used during Thanksgiving and Halloween festivals for decorations, but they are a highly nutritious plant, rich in vitamins, minerals with little calories.
Pumpkin is a perfect substitute for zucchini and butter. Because of its versatility; it can be incorporated into soups, desserts, preserves as well as salads. It is a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, fibre and potassium.
High fibre benefitsPumpkins have a high fiber content that helps in slowing down the rate of sugar absorption into your bloodstream. The daily fiber absorption recommendation ranges between 25 g to 30g can promote easy digestion and regular bowel movements.Having a high fiber diet can also reduce the risk of developing colon cancer, one of the leading causes of death in the US today.Controls diabetesPumpkins are useful in controlling sugar absorption in our bloodstream, this in turn, helps to reduce the risks of developing diabetes and helps to control diabetes.Its seeds and pulp can help to promote the proper uptake of glucose into your body tissues as well as the intestines.Reduces the risk of cancerAccording to studies conducted, consuming an adequate diet rich in beta-carotene has the effect of reducing prostate cancer and reducing or prevent colon cancer development.Vitamin C, vitamin E as well as beta-carotene are good antioxidants able to provide good health to the eye and also protect from degenerative damage. A daily intake of pumpkin protects you from the risks of old age-related macular degeneration.
Regulates blood pressurePumpkins have a reasonable fiber content, potassium and vitamin C which are functional elements for your heart health. Having an adequate intake of potassium is vital, according to research as it reduces excess sodium in your system. This helps to substantially reduce the risks of high blood pressure or hypertension.
Potassium also reduces the risks of having a stroke as well as and shielding you from muscle mass loss. Potassium also helps to keep your bones healthy by maintaining their mineral density.
Cucumbers belong to the Cucurbitaceae family, they contain 95 percent of water, an essential element in your body. When taken during the summer season they help to keep you hydrated. They contain vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin K, Manganese, copper and potassium, helping to provide many essential nutrients.
Protects the brainCucumbers contain an anti-inflammatory flavonol known as fisetin responsible for maintaining good brain health. It boosts your memory and helps shield nerve cells from old age problems.Reduces cancer risksThe presence of polyphenols known as lignans in cucumbers helps to prevent the chances of contracting cancers of the ovary, uterus, breast and prostate.Cucumbers also contain phytonutrients known as cucurbitacins, these have a range of anti-cancer properties.Have antioxidant propertiesVitamin C and beta-carotene are important antioxidants found in cucumbers as they fight the free radicals that can cause different illnesses in your body. Cucumbers also contain other important antioxidants such as the flavonoids like quercetin. These are believed to stop the release of histamine in the body. This is thought to substantially lower the risk of contracting chronic diseases like heart problems and strokes.Fresh breathCucumber is able to eliminate bad breath When you eat or put cucumber on the roof of your mouth, the bacteria that causes bad odour is destroyed.Weight reductionA single cup of sliced cucumber has only 16 calories, but contains lots of soluble fiber that when eaten dissolves into your gut in the form of a gel that helps with controlled digestion.