9 Zucchini Nutrition Benefits
1. High Source of Antioxidants and Vitamin C
Seeds from various squash vegetables are known to hold many types of phytonutrients that can help fight inflammation and oxidative stress. Some of these antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin A, superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSHpx) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase). In many nations, summer squash is a primary source of carotenoid antioxidants, including alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. Much of the antioxidant content is held within zucchini’s skin, so it’s a good idea not to peal your squash.
One medium zucchini has over 50 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. Vitamin C foods can help maintain the crucial lining of your blood cells, lower blood pressure, and protect against inflammation and clogged arteries. Seeds from squash plants also have a long history of use in traditional and folk medicines when it comes to immune system boosting. Historically, seeds from squash were believed to be antimicrobial and offer antiparasitic properties, so populations believed that zucchini nutrition positively benefited gut, nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems.
One 2006 study that investigated the effects of squash seeds (from pumpkin) on immune function found that the raw seeds were effective in alleviating detrimental effects associated with protein malnutrition, free radical damage and oxidation. Pumpkin seed protein isolates hold components that have anti-peroxidative properties that can help improve liver function and detoxification, and researchers believe that, to a somewhat lesser extent, similar benefits exist within seeds of other squash varieties like zucchini.