Zucchini, Calories, benefits and harms, Useful properties

Zucchini made its way from Central America to Europe back in the .th century,
but its fruits were tasted by the inhabitants of the Old World only for two centuries
later, when this plant ceased to be perceived exclusively
as decorative. Since then, the zucchini gradually began to win back
a place for yourself in the fields and gardens.

Today it is grown in almost all households.
Zucchini (and its zucchini variety)
fried, steamed, pickled and canned for the winter. The people appreciated
diuretic properties of this product, the ability to restore
salt metabolism, remove toxins and “bad” cholesterol. But serious
scientific research on squash is just beginning, discovering several
promising directions.

Useful properties of zucchini

Composition and calorie content

Raw zucchini contains (per 100 g): .

Calories 17 Kcal

Vitamin C 17,9 Potassium, K 261 Vitamin
B4 9,5 Phosphorus,
P 38 Vitamin
B3 0,451 Magnesium, Mg 18 Vitamin B5 0,204 Calcium, Ca 16 Vitamin
B6 0,163 Sodium,
On 8

Full composition

The table shows that zucchini is rich in vitamins B1, B2, PP (niacin,
or nicotinic acid), but it is especially high in vitamin C.
In zucchini (a variety of zucchini bred by Italian breeders)
the vitamin C content is even higher. In addition, zucchini contains
folic, pantothenic acid. From mineral salts in its own way
potassium is released in a relatively high concentration.

The nutritional value of this product is also related to the presence of
in the pulp of zelents (unripe fruits) of easily digestible carbohydrates.
Young zucchini contains about 2-2,5% sugars, 5-6% dry matter.
As fruits ripen, the amount of sugars increases,
but the amount of carotene also increases markedly. By content
of this substance, mature yellow-fruited zucchini outstrip carrots.
In addition, the skins of such yellow zucchini are rich in antioxidants.
lutein and zeaxanthin. But since the skin of the “old” fruit becomes coarse
and becomes unusable, for healthy food they choose
young yellow zucchini.

Changes the concentration of certain substances in vegetables and heat treatment
product. So, for example, in boiled zucchini, the amount of
vitamin A, which even in raw vegetables reaches (depending
of the variety) 40% of the daily value.

Zucchini seeds contain about 45-50 mg of Omega-3,
which is about 3,5 times more than eggplant.
At the same time, omega-6 in zucchini seeds is much
less than eggplant – 2,25 times.

Medicinal properties

In zucchini, unlike, for example, eggplants, there are very few coarse
dietary fiber (4% versus 14% eggplant), which makes them great
a dietary product that can and should be included in the diet
people with gastrointestinal diseases and patients who have undergone surgery
digestive organs. For the same reason, this vegetable can be eaten and
old people and babies (complementary foods in the form of a monocomponent puree are introduced
usually from 6 months, and after a year they try to give boiled zucchini).

The diuretic properties of this product make it possible to include it in therapeutic
programs during the treatment of kidney, gout.
Potassium in the composition ensures normal salt metabolism and excretion
excess fluid from the body. There are zucchini in this case, it is desirable
with the peel, do not use salt during cooking
and oil.


Pectin substances cleanse the body of toxins and “bad”
cholesterol, which simultaneously becomes the prevention of atherosclerosis.
Also, zucchini is recommended to be actively consumed after antibiotic treatment.
Pectins protect the digestive tract from damage and help to strengthen
vessels and heart.

Zucchini fruits contain specific enzymes that provide
transition of protein compounds into a soluble state, which is important
for people with liver disease. In addition, they contribute to
the separation of bile, which can be used for prevention
diseases of the gallbladder.

Squash flowers

Zucchini “derivatives” also have medicinal properties:

  • juice drink to improve the quality of sleep and improve condition
    nervous system;
  • decoction of flowers treat purulent wounds and some skin
  • unroasted seeds expel worms
    (in order for the seeds to retain their effectiveness, they are not
    should be fried, but you can dry a little in the oven).

In the skin of yellow eggplants (about 3-10 times more than in
pulp) contains a high concentration of lutein and zeaxanthin,
which prevent eye diseases and are generally good for vision
.… At the same time, like other antioxidants,
they neutralize the negative effects of free radicals, protecting
cells from damage.

In 2015 at the American Association for Cancer Research conference
Annual Meeting the conclusions of the research group were presented,
according to which patients with neck cancer
and scalp eating of some containing sulforaphane is indicated
products, which include zucchini. Scientists claim
that zucchini (along with broccoli
and watercress) qualitatively reduce the risk of developing laryngeal cancer
and pharynx in people undergoing cancer treatment
neck and head. A similar effect was recorded not only in laboratory
mice, but also in healthy human volunteers who, with the help of regular
consumption of vegetable juice acquired protective mechanisms that prevent
cancer formation.

Use in medicine

In clinical pharmacology, squash (along with pumpkins,
eggplants and cucumbers)
recommended for maintaining anabolic processes in sugar
diabetes. When immunotherapy for type 1 diabetes mellitus,
take into account that the glycemic index of a product is not a constant value,
depending on the combination of adjacent products, cooking method,
temperature of the dish during meals and other factors. Therefore low
the glycemic index characteristic of raw zucchini will increase,
if you put them out.

Despite the pharmacological potential of zucchini, this product,
nevertheless, to a greater extent so far interested manufacturers,
not drugs, but dietary supplements
and vitamins.
So, in an extensive directory of dietary supplements described
a preparation containing zucchini and carrot cryopowders. The remedy is claimed
as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and diuretic, capable of
prevent the development of urolithiasis and, in particular, become
prevention of the formation of the most common type of stones
calcium oxalate. The instruction recommends the use of dietary supplements
with inflammatory diseases of the urinary system and kidneys,
with kidney stones and renal colic.


In folk medicine

Traditional medicine gradually revealed the beneficial properties of squash.
Healers have appreciated the delicate consistency of this product and the ability
stimulate bowel function without causing stomach irritation.
Soft dietary fiber zucchini in folk recipes and today are called
absorb “excess” water, toxins, cholesterol and remove them from
organism. Thanks to this, zucchini are recommended for the elderly,
in the diet of which they provide the prevention of atherosclerosis,
improve the secretion and motor function of the gastrointestinal tract, have a beneficial
effect on hematopoiesis.

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Another effect of the diuretic function is the removal of puffiness associated
with disorders in the functioning of the kidneys, bladder and cardiovascular
systems. Also in folk medicine, zucchini-based remedies
are used to activate the function of the gallbladder. Alkalizing
the action enables healers to use zucchini for treatment
gastritis with high acidity, as well as – with stomach ulcers
and the duodenum.

In some eastern countries there is a tradition of using
zucchini-based means to increase potency. Perhaps it
associated with the ability of the vegetable to effectively remove cholesterol,
which, in turn, qualitatively affects the state of blood vessels and
normalizes blood circulation, including in the genitourinary organs
systems. An increase in testosterone levels can be promoted by
the zinc content in the zucchini. However, in 100 g of this product zinc
only 0,3 mg, which is approximately 2% of the daily intake.
Freshly squeezed juice in small doses (along with some herbs) is used
with sleep disorders and an increase in anxiety, and an improvement in the quality of sleep
itself has a positive effect on male potency.

For the treatment of diabetes mellitus in folk medicine, there is
recipe for the so-called “squash milk”. Two
tablespoons of dry zucchini seeds are ground into a fine powder,
to which is added 0,5 teaspoon of flower honey.
The mixture is dissolved in 100 ml of boiled water until a greenish
“Milk” of homogeneous consistency. The product is prepared daily
for two meals a day on an empty stomach: before breakfast and before lunch.
The course usually lasts several months.

Zucchini broth

Decoctions and infusions

  • With edema,
    at an early stage, gynecological inflammations. 100 g cut
    the peels of raw zucchini (or about 70 g of dried) are poured
    water (1 l), which is brought to a boil. The broth is defended
    during the night in a thermos, after which a glass is taken
    3-5 once a day.
  • With disorders of the nervous system. Zucchini seeds (150 g)
    0,5 liters of vodka are crushed and poured. Canteen is added to the mix
    a spoonful of mint leaves,
    a teaspoon of cinnamon. In this form, the infusion is kept for
    3 weeks, while it is advisable to shake it daily. Through
    For 21 days, 4 teaspoons of honey are added to the product, after which
    the mixture is infused for another week. You need to take a sedative
    one teaspoon in the morning and in the evening.
  • With ascites (dropsy).
    Zucchini rind, cucumber and watermelon rind
    cut into centimeter plates, dried, crushed
    and mix. For the infusion, you need 1 tablespoon of the mixture
    300-350 ml of boiling water. The remedy is infused for an hour,
    after which it is filtered. It is taken 50 ml twice in
  • With inflammation of the bladder. Dried zucchini seeds (1
    glass) are mixed with the same amount of hemp seeds and ground
    in a mortar to obtain a milk emulsion, which, in turn,
    mixed with 600-700 ml of boiling water. After cooling, the infusion is filtered
    and is taken in approximately equal portions throughout the day.
  • With infertility (for men). Sprouted zucchini seeds are eaten
    without additional preparation, daily 70-100 g before
    breakfast. To germinate seeds, they are laid out in a moistened
    gauze or cloth on a plate in a warm place for about 1-1,5 days.
  • With hypertension. Zucchini juice is mixed with honey (in proportion
    100 ml of juice per 1 teaspoon of honey) and is taken in the specified
    volume twice a day in the mornings and evenings for 1-2 weeks.
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In oriental medicine

In Tibetan and Chinese medicine, zucchini is attributed to similar
properties: there it is sweet and cold (in the Tibetan practice of healing
– slightly cool) product. Sweet “status” is formed by the combination
two elements: Earth and Water. (In some sources, zucchini is defined
as a “bitter” product – the result of the interaction of Water and Wind).

As a “cold” food, zucchini reduces the warmth of life,
therefore, with an amendment to the constitution (that is, for a certain
type of distribution of the energies of Wind, Bile and Slime), age, place
accommodation and some other parameters, it is more correct to eat zucchini
in the heat and people with an excess of vital warmth.

In Tibetan medicine, it is recommended to enhance lactation, healing
damage to the mammary gland, restoration of various body tissues.
Doctors also use antibacterial properties.
zucchini seeds.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that zucchini is capable of
reduce the “heat” of the pericardium, stomach, gallbladder,
liver, bladder and colon. Raw materials are contraindicated.
zucchini for people with gastrointestinal diseases.

In the classical Chinese work on pharmacology, Li Shichen mentions
winter narrow-necked zucchini, which during the harvest season (autumn)
brought with special ceremonies already married, but still childless
women, as zucchini is believed to increase the ability
to childbirth.


In scientific research

In the study of zucchini, scientists, first of all, are interested in more
zucchini common in the West. Therefore, the results of scientific
studies are given for this product variety.

  • A team of Spanish specialists measured cytotoxicity
    (toxicity to cells) components of light green and yellow-fruited
    zucchini, and their ability to fight cancer cells that cause
    leukemia (HL60). Moreover, the peel and pulp of the fruit were examined according to
    separately. As a result, it was found that the peel of yellow
    fruit does the job best. Bind
    this is due to the fact that it contains more carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin,
    b-carotene) than in the peel of green fruits and in the pulp of the samples.
    Scientists have come to the conclusion that zucchini needs to be introduced into the diet in order to
    pathogenic cells did not have a favorable environment for development.
    Yellow zucchini is also effective in the early stages of cancer – during this period
    it contributes to the destruction of infected cells..
  • Iranian experts tested the effectiveness of water-alcohol
    zucchini extract on normal ovarian cells of female hamsters
    and fibroblasts of rats, as well as on cancer cells (liver and straight
    intestines). Moreover, it was checked in comparison with the effectiveness of the extract.
    black nightshade, and in the zucchini it turned out to be higher at once by four
    studied parameters..
  • Another research group during the in vitro experiment
    recorded a significant decrease in cell growth with hyperplasia
    prostate gland when zucchini seed extract was tested
    at a concentration of 200 and 400 mg / kg. Scientists have suggested that here
    antioxidants played a decisive role, but it was clarified that the mechanism
    such influence has not yet been fully studied..
  • On the island of Menorca (Spain), scientists observed pregnant women
    women, and then after their children (from birth to 6,5 years), studying
    the effect of diet in women during pregnancy and in those born
    their children for the development of asthma
    and childhood allergies.
    The study involved 232 boys and 228 girls.
    Every year mothers filled out a very detailed questionnaire with questions
    about the health, weight, diet and breathing problems of their children. Have
    90% of children took samples for 6 of the most common allergens.
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The researchers concluded that those children who
ate more than 40 g of salad, which included zucchini, tomatoes,
eggplant, green beans, or cucumber were less likely to develop
asthma and allergies. The consumption of fish was also important (at least 60
g per day). Moreover, other fruits and vegetables (outside the list) did not provide
similar influence.

The study was conducted by analyzing eating habits and statistical
indicators. 17% of children tested positive for at least 1
allergen. And when we studied the diet of children who have no allergies
was, then we came to the conclusion that the relationship between the absence of symptoms and the use of
of the aforementioned vegetables is significant and statistically significant.
Explaining the mechanism of action, scientists suggested that vegetables from the list
and fish reduce inflammation that leads to asthma and allergies

Squash smoothie

For losing weight

Eating zucchini makes it possible to lose excess
kilograms and stay slim thanks to two features
of this vegetable:

  • insignificant amount of calories;
  • the ability to remove fluid from the body and, therefore,
    relieve puffiness.

The main advantage is low-calorie content (in zucchini – 27 kcal / 100
g, for zucchini – 16 kcal / 100 g) – makes this vegetable one of the most
popular foundations in various diets. In the middle of the .th century, thanks to
special interest of media stars (Sophia Loren, Catherine Deneuve, Alena
Delona), the following diet became widespread, suggesting
five meals a day during the day:

  1. 1 Stewed zucchini (250 g) in a stew with other vegetables
    (150 g), green tea
    (200-250 ml).
  2. 2 Orange
    juice (200-250 ml) and an apple.
  3. 3 Baked zucchini (300 g), boiled meat (200
    d) plum
    (1-2 pcs.), Kiwi,
    green tea.
  4. 4 Baked zucchini (200 g), carrot and cabbage salad (100-200
    d), apple juice (200-250 ml).
  5. 5 prunes
    (100 g), plums (2-3 pcs.), Green tea.

There are other variations of this diet, where, for example, meat is replaced
stewed fish, apple juice – green tea, and the first and second
breakfasts change places. But the amount consumed during
day calories remain about the same. “Sit” on such a diet
recommended no more than once a year. Having held out on the described
diet for a week, you can lose up to 2,5 kg, and in a month – lose weight
at 5-6 kg.

Sometimes seeds are included in “squash diets”. But we must take into account
that the nutritional value of zucchini seeds increases with an increase in the period
storage. Thus, researchers at the Massachusetts Experimental
the station recorded an increased content of protein in seeds,
stored for more than 5 months.

Fried zucchini pancakes

In cooking

The culinary history of zucchini began in Mexico even before the arrival
there the European conquistadors. True, the locals preferred
not the pulp of a vegetable, but its seeds. But even after moving to Europe, the zucchini
did not immediately appear on the dining table. Almost two centuries
the plant with its bright large flowers adorned the botanical
gardens, not beds. Only in the .th century did Italian chefs figure out
include unripe zucchini in dishes.

Having a neutral, slightly sweetish taste and smell, these vegetables adopted
the taste of “neighbors” in the dish, giving the food a special delicate consistency.
They could be eaten raw or baked, stewed, fried, pickled
and canning. They went well with cereals, fruits,
fried fish and chicken.

Celebrity British chef Angela Harnett has zucchini
Is the most favorite vegetable. She also recommends watering squash dishes.
juice or make a more complex gremolata sauce, consisting of
butter, lemon peel, garlic
and parsley.

However, zucchini flowers have also become ingredients in a number of Mediterranean
cuisines (for example, in Greek
or french
culinary tradition). Flowers are prepared in different ways: stuffed, baked
in dough, fried, added to soups and salads. In Greece, for example,
squash flowers are stuffed with rice mixed with cheese and aromatic
spices, then deep-fried or baked in tomato
sauce. There are similar dishes in the Mexican

By the way, baking
in the oven is considered the most “gentle” way of cooking
not only flowers, but also the pulp of vegetables. With this processing of zucchini
retain the maximum amount of nutrients.

Some dishes with zucchini in the composition are known all over the world: for example,
Mediterranean ratatouille. Some are very popular, but only
in the same country or region. So, famous throughout the Soviet
Union squash caviar (the recipe for which, in addition to chopped pulp,
included tomato paste, onion
and carrots) are among the favorites for generations.

Zucchini face mask

In cosmetology

In home cosmetics, zucchini is presented in masks (less often – in creams)
for the face of a wide spectrum of action. Ingredients in this
vegetables moisturize and tighten the skin, which eliminates micro-wrinkles,
peeling, feeling of dryness. Often auxiliaries are added to the recipe.
components designed to enhance the effect. Here is a recipe for example.
moisturizing zucchini mask with honey.

  1. 1 The zucchini is peeled and grated on a fine grater.
  2. 2 Honey is added to the gruel (in the proportion of 2 tablespoons of zucchini
    for 1 teaspoon of honey).
  3. 3 The mixture is applied to the face for a quarter of an hour, after which it is washed off
    slightly warm boiled water.

At the same time, as with any other moisturizer, one must take into account
the degree of dryness of the air in the environment (room). If the air
not humidified (and this often happens in closed overheated apartments
in winter, on airplanes, on a frosty street, etc.) along with moisturizing
elements should use retaining barrier fat
Components. Therefore, there is also a recipe for zucchini cream with milk.
and lard in the composition. In it, 50 g of zucchini gruel is taken
the same amount of lard and 1,5 tablespoons of milk, and then everything
ingredients are ground and mixed until smooth.

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Zucchini is also widely used in hair care. Moreover, not
only in home, but also in professional cosmetics. Exist
shampoos, mousses, firming conditioners, hair sprays
with zucchini extract, intended for chemically damaged
exposure and thinning hair. (For example, the “squash” series
the Italian brand Parisienne Italia). There is another, unexpected one.
the effect of zucchini on hair: regular consumption of this vegetable
in food slows down the appearance of gray hair.

We have collected the most important points about the benefits and possible dangers of zucchini.
in this illustration and we will be very grateful if you share
a picture on social networks, with a link to our page:

The homeland of the marrow is the Oaxaca Valley in the northern
Mexico, where this vegetable began to be grown about 5 thousand years ago.
However, there is one more, albeit fantastic, but more
beautiful version of the origin of the squash..

For example, an old Indian legend tells of how on the ocean
a tribe lived on the coast, providing its own food with the help of fish
fishing: every day men went to sea fishing, and women
prayed to the gods for their safe return. But one day when
men were absent for too long, women turned to the gods on the other
a request: to give them food that would not have to be obtained in the ocean,
but which at the same time would be tender, like fish meat, tasted like
would be clams, color would be like an ocean wave on a moonlit night,
and the strength of the peel would not be inferior to the shell of a turtle. In response to
the gods gave the tribe a courgette at the request.

Giant squash can easily grow up to 50 kg or more. In 1998
year John Handbury from British Chesterfield showed a fetus weighing
61,23 kg. But, as in any other competition, the previous records
give way to new ones: in 2008 Australian farmer Ken Dade
presented a vegetable weighing almost 65 kg. The longest vegetable in
“Squash” category is a fruit 2 meters 52 cm long, grown
in Canada by the Italian Giovanni Scosafava in 2014.

By the way, the famous literary detective Hercule Poirot, in one
from stories sent by the author (Agatha Christie) to rest in the village,
of all the possible activities I chose to grow zucchini at home
in the garden.

Farmers present their special fruits at various fairs
and festivals. One of the most famous is the pumpkin and zucchini festival,
held from the middle of the XX century in the British Slindon. Festival idea
appeared at Ralph Upton by accident. Once this farmer placed
your bright harvest of zucchini and pumpkins for ripening right on the roof
barn, which unexpectedly attracted the attention of all the surrounding residents.
From the next year, Ralph began to deliberately lay out multi-colored
fruits in the form of fresco paintings with plots on various topics, which gradually
became his life’s work and attracted numerous tourists to Slindon
from around the world.

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At this and similar fairs, you can find zucchini next to the pub.
– a vegetable bred by Italian breeders on the “base” of a vegetable marrow.

The difference between zucchini and zucchini is negligible, but there is:

All this affects the keeping quality of tender and whimsical zucchini, large
some varieties of which are stored worse than zucchini and, when grown, require
more attention (watering, feeding, observing temperature
mode, etc.). Zucchini is considered a green-fruited variety of zucchini,
although its shades can range from almost black to yellow.

Both when harvesting and when buying zucchini in a store or
the market should adhere to general principles that help to choose
vegetables with excellent taste that can be stored

It is recommended to collect zucchini in sunny weather, stopping watering.
a few days before harvest. If the fruits are wet due to the rains,
then before sending for storage they should be laid out to dry
in a ventilated area for several days. Moisture on the surface
vegetable can provoke rotting, so the fruits are not washed, but the remaining
on the skin, clean the ground with a dry cloth. In good weather, the harvest
can be spread out in the sun. So the skin will dry well,
and hardens, providing reliable protection for the pulp. Anyway, the harvest
it is advisable to have time to collect before frost, since frozen fruits
cannot be stored for a long time.

There are several rules by which you can keep the zucchini longer:

In addition, you can not put fruits next to the zucchini that secrete
ethylene (e.g. apples). From time to time, you should sort out the zucchini,
rejecting fruits with darkened “tails” and spots on the skin.
If you want to keep vegetables that have started for a few more months
deteriorate, they can be cut into rings of centimeter thickness, and sent
directly on the board in the freezer, and after freezing
– transfer to a more convenient plastic bag.

Despite the fact that zucchini in the pumpkin family represent
a perennial plant, in temperate climates they are often grown as
annual. Seeds can be grown by direct sowing or seedlings
way. The second is considered more preferable because it shortens
harvest time. However, a number of varieties grown for this
technologies, give a crop that tolerates storage worse and requires
processing as it ripens.

When sowing in the ground, it is necessary to exclude the threat of frost. Zucchini
loves warmth and light, so they plant it on the sunny side.
The soil should warm up well throughout the growing period.
Sandy loam and loamy soils are considered the best for this culture.

Different varieties of zucchini may differ markedly from each other in external
type of fruit:

Today, zucchini is an affordable and healthy product that helps
not only diversify the menu, but also becomes an excellent alternative
eggplant in dietetics in cases where the use of rough
dietary fiber is unacceptable.

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Anna Evans

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