Top 9 Health Benefits of Zucchini

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Zucchini Nutrition Facts

Even though most people use zucchini like other vegetables — for example, adding it to savory dishes with herbs and protein sources — botanically speaking, it’s actually a fruit. Zucchini belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo and is related to certain other squashes and pumpkins.

All summer squashes are members of the Cucurbitaceae plant family, which includes squash relatives like melon, spaghetti squash and cucumbers. These all have similar large seeds and grow above the ground on short plants. Zucchini can come in dark, light green or white spotted varieties and is also closely related to the hybrid vegetable known as yellow squash (or “summer squash”) that has a bright golden or deep-orange color.

Indeed, zucchini is a type of squash vegetable, so it has a lot in common with other squashes, including butternut and winter squash. Squashes come in two types: winter and summer. While both types share some similarities and benefits, there are a few major differences. Summer squash, including green zucchini and yellow squash, are lower in calories and much lower in natural sugars and starch, so they have lower scores on the glycemic index. All summer squash are technically picked before they fully ripen and become hardened. Both types of squash groups are a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C, plus potassium and fiber.

One medium zucchini (or about 1 ½ cups of raw slices) has about:

  • 33 calories
  • 0 fat
  • 2 grams fiber
  • 2 grams protein
  • 5 grams carbs
  • 3 grams sugar
  • 3 milligrams vitamin C (56 percent DV)
  • 4 milligrams vitamin B6 (21 percent DV)
  • 3 milligrams manganese (17 percent DV)
  • 3 milligrams riboflavin (16 percent DV)
  • 514 milligrams potassium (15 percent DV)
  • 57 milligrams folate (14 percent DV)
  • 4 milligrams vitamin K (11 percent DV)

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