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Zucchini

Zucchini
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Zucchini or courgette is a summer squash which can reach nearly a meter in length, but which is usually harvested at half that size or less. Along with certain other squashes and pumpkins, it belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo. Zucchini can be dark or light green. A related hybrid, the golden zucchini, is a deep yellow or orange color.

In a culinary context, the zucchini is treated as a vegetable, which means it is usually cooked and presented as a savory dish or accompaniment. Botanically, however, the zucchini is a fruit, being the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower. The zucchini or courgette originates from Italy.

One cup of zucchini has 36 calories and 10% of the RDA of dietary Fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar and curbs overeating.

The dietary fiber in zucchini helps lower cholesterol by attaching itself to bile acids that the liver makes from cholesterol for digesting fat. Because ?ber binds so well with bile acid, thus crowding its ability to immediately digest fat, the liver is charged with producing more bile acid.
The liver then draws upon even more cholesterol to produce bile acid, consequently lowering the overall cholesterol level in the body. Furthermore, the high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A prevent cholesterol from oxidizing in the body's blood vessels, thus hampering the onset of atherosclerosis.

Because dietary fiber promotes healthy and regular bowel movements, the high amounts of ?ber in zucchini also help prevent carcinogenic toxins from settling in the colon. Moreover, the vitamins C and A, as well as folate, found in zucchini act as powerful antioxidants that fight oxidative stress that can lead to many different types of cancer.

Studies show that the phytonutrients in zucchini aid in reducing the symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BOH), a condition in which the prostate gland enlarges and leads to complications with urination and sexual functions in men.

Anti-Inflammatory Vitamins C and A not only serve the body as powerful antioxidants, but also as effective anti-in?ammatory agents. Along with the copper found in zucchini, these vitamins deter the development of many hyper-in?ammatory disorders, including asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

A one cup serving of zucchini contains over 10% of the RDA of magnesium, a mineral proven to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Zucchini also provides folate, a vitamin needed to break down the dangerous amino acid homocysteine, which - if levels in the body shoot up - can contribute to heart attack and stroke.

Along with magnesium, the potassium found in zucchini helps lower blood pressure. If unchecked, hypertension, or high blood pressure, can lead to arteriosclerosis (blood vessel damage), heart attack, stoke, and many other serious medical conditions. Both the potassium and magnesium in zucchini, however, can help alleviate the stress on the body's circulatory system.

A trace mineral and essential nutrient, manganese provides many health benefits and contributes to a slew of normal physiological functions. One cup of zucchini contains 19% of the RDA of manganese, which helps the body metabolize protein and carbohydrates, participates in the production of sex hormones, and catalyzes the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol.

The manganese in zucchini also increases the levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), the enzyme responsible for protecting mitochondria against oxidative stress. Finally, manganese is essential for the production of proline, and amino acid that allows collagen to form, thus allowing for healthy skin and proper wound-healing.

Read More at Wikipedia

Nutrition Data for Squash, summer, zucchini, includes skin, raw (11477)

Proximates
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup, chopped1 cup, sliced1 large1 medium1 slice1 small
Water94.79 g117.5396 g107.1127 g306.1717 g185.7884 g9.38421 g111.8522 g
Energy17 kcal21.08 kcal19.21 kcal54.91 kcal33.32 kcal1.683 kcal20.06 kcal
Protein1.21 g1.5004 g1.3673 g3.9083 g2.3716 g0.11979 g1.4278 g
Total lipid (fat)0.32 g0.3968 g0.3616 g1.0336 g0.6272 g0.03168 g0.3776 g
Carbohydrate, by difference3.11 g3.8564 g3.5143 g10.0453 g6.0956 g0.30789 g3.6698 g
Fiber, total dietary1 g1.24 g1.13 g3.23 g1.96 g0.099 g1.18 g
Sugars, total2.5 g3.1 g2.825 g8.075 g4.9 g0.2475 g2.95 g
Minerals
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup, chopped1 cup, sliced1 large1 medium1 slice1 small
Calcium, Ca16 mg19.84 mg18.08 mg51.68 mg31.36 mg1.584 mg18.88 mg
Iron, Fe0.37 mg0.4588 mg0.4181 mg1.1951 mg0.7252 mg0.03663 mg0.4366 mg
Magnesium, Mg18 mg22.32 mg20.34 mg58.14 mg35.28 mg1.782 mg21.24 mg
Phosphorus, P38 mg47.12 mg42.94 mg122.74 mg74.48 mg3.762 mg44.84 mg
Potassium, K261 mg323.64 mg294.93 mg843.03 mg511.56 mg25.839 mg307.98 mg
Sodium, Na8 mg9.92 mg9.04 mg25.84 mg15.68 mg0.792 mg9.44 mg
Zinc, Zn0.32 mg0.3968 mg0.3616 mg1.0336 mg0.6272 mg0.03168 mg0.3776 mg
Vitamins
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup, chopped1 cup, sliced1 large1 medium1 slice1 small
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid17.9 mg22.196 mg20.227 mg57.817 mg35.084 mg1.7721 mg21.122 mg
Thiamin0.045 mg0.0558 mg0.05085 mg0.14535 mg0.0882 mg0.004455 mg0.0531 mg
Riboflavin0.094 mg0.11656 mg0.10622 mg0.30362 mg0.18424 mg0.009306 mg0.11092 mg
Niacin0.451 mg0.55924 mg0.50963 mg1.45673 mg0.88396 mg0.044649 mg0.53218 mg
Vitamin B-60.163 mg0.20212 mg0.18419 mg0.52649 mg0.31948 mg0.016137 mg0.19234 mg
Folate, DFE24 µg29.76 µg27.12 µg77.52 µg47.04 µg2.376 µg28.32 µg
Vitamin B-120 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg
Vitamin A, RAE10 µg12.4 µg11.3 µg32.3 µg19.6 µg0.99 µg11.8 µg
Vitamin A, IU200 IU248 IU226 IU646 IU392 IU19.8 IU236 IU
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.12 mg0.1488 mg0.1356 mg0.3876 mg0.2352 mg0.01188 mg0.1416 mg
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg
Vitamin D0 IU0 IU0 IU0 IU0 IU0 IU0 IU
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)4.3 µg5.332 µg4.859 µg13.889 µg8.428 µg0.4257 µg5.074 µg
Lipids
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup, chopped1 cup, sliced1 large1 medium1 slice1 small
Fatty acids, total saturated0.084 g0.10416 g0.09492 g0.27132 g0.16464 g0.008316 g0.09912 g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated0.011 g0.01364 g0.01243 g0.03553 g0.02156 g0.001089 g0.01298 g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated0.091 g0.11284 g0.10283 g0.29393 g0.17836 g0.009009 g0.10738 g
Fatty acids, total trans0 g0 g0 g0 g0 g0 g0 g
Cholesterol0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg
Others
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup, chopped1 cup, sliced1 large1 medium1 slice1 small
Caffeine0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2013. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page
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Gina.Robinson2016-02-16 20:05 (3 years ago.)

I hardly ever cook this vegetable, prefer eating it raw by chopping it into salads