The Real Health Benefits Of Zucchini

Zucchini is a flavorful summer squash known for its versatility and many health benefits. Although zucchini is often referred to as a vegetable, it's actually a fruit from the Cucurbitaceae plant family and has long been used in traditional medicine to treat colds and other health conditions (via Healthline). First cultivated in Italy in the early 1800s, zucchini is a staple in many Italian dishes and can be prepared in a variety of different ways.

Tender and slightly sweet, zucchini generally takes on the flavor of whatever it's cooked with. Raw or cooked, the squash can be added to salads, soups, sandwiches, stews, stir-fry dishes, or served as a side. It can also be breaded, fried, stuffed, spiraled into spaghetti, or baked into muffins and breads. If you're interested in eating raw zucchini, you can cut it up into sticks and dip them in hummus, guacamole, or salad dressing for added flavor.

Will eating zucchini improve your health?

Alongside its flavor and versatility, zucchini is a nutritious squash that is linked to a number of important health benefits. Rich in vitamin C, zucchini can help boost your immunity and protect your cells from long-lasting damage (via Verywell Fit). This is due to the fact that vitamin C can prevent oxidative stress by fighting off the effects of disease-carrying free radicals. The vitamin C in zucchini can also help produce collagen, which can protect your skin from sun damage and wrinkles.

Eating zucchini may also help reduce the risk of cancer. Research suggests that diets with certain fruits and vegetables may be linked to a lower risk of breast, lung, stomach, esophagus, and colon cancer. However, other studies indicate that this benefit may actually be the work of the vitamin C contained within, because of its anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, zucchini may help improve and aid digestion (via Healthline). That's because it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can help reduce constipation and inflammation in the gut.