Discover Zucchini Nutrition

Here are some interesting zucchini nutrition facts and basic information. Is zucchini good for you? Yes! This popular, versatile summer squash, also known as courgette among French and British English speaking people, is chock full of health benefits and nutritional goodness. You may even be surprised at some of the health benefits of zucchini! Let's bite into the nutritional value of zucchini together, shall we?

Surprising Zucchini Nutrition Benefits

Zucchini health benefits go beyond the vitamins and minerals. Zucchini nutrition promotes bone and teeth health, it's good for the heart, and it helps to regulate blood pressure. Health benefits of zucchini include aiding in weight loss, lowering of blood sugar levels, and vision improvement.

Eating zucchini hydrates us. Zucchini is helpful in protecting against oxidation and inflammation. It may reduce stress and muscle tension. And a couple other health benefits of zucchini may be to help with digestion and to aid in the production of collagen. 

It's been suggested that eating zucchini can lead to improvement in your eye health. Zucchinis contain compounds such as zeaxanthin and lutein which protect the cells of our eyes cells by filtering blue light wavelengths, believed to reduce the risk of developing cataracts or other eye-related health problems. 

Add Zucchini Nutrition to Your Diet

There are a multitude of ways that we can add the benefits of zucchini nutrition to our diets. They're quite versatile and can be eaten raw, cooked or even dehydrated! If you're looking for savory healthy zucchini recipes, delicious zucchini dessert recipes, or other creative zucchini recipes, you'll not want to miss our Zucchini Recipes page (coming soon) where we have a growing collection of a wide variety of ways to enjoy zucchini, both savory and sweet!

Also check out our page on Preserving Zucchini (coming soon), as well as our page on how to make Dehydrated Zucchini Chips for more ways to enjoy, and benefit from, zucchini nutrition!


Zucchini Nutrition Factoids

Here are a few zucchini nutritional facts as well as health benefits of zucchini that you'll be glad to hear about! 

  •   Zucchinis are 95% water and are wonderfully hydrating.

  •   Zucchinis help support weight loss. One medium zucchini has only 33 calories, 100 calories less than a baked potato!

  •   A medium zucchini has more potassium than a medium banana.

  •   Zucchini's high content of vitamin C, carbs, protein, and fiber may help to treat asthma.

  •   Zucchinis are rich rich in manganese, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins A and C — nutrients which may lower risk of age-related eye conditions and contribute to healthy vision.

  •   Zucchini also contains vitamin A, magnesium, folate, copper, phosphorus, zinc, and niacin.

  •   Zucchini also has a high content of omega-3 fatty acids and protein which both help us to maintain optimal health.

  •   Zucchini's short chain fatty acids reduce inflammation and are said to improve conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Crohn’s disease.

  •   Zucchinis are rich in vitamin B6 which aids in regulating blood glucose, and may play a role in diabetes prevention and management.

  •   Zucchini is known to increase insulin sensitivity and improve conditions such as type 2 diabetes.

  •   Zucchini offers anti-oxidant benefits found in the seeds and skin of the plant, and not just its flesh. Because of this, it's believed to help prevent cancer. Because it containing zeaxanthin and several other compounds that can play a role in preventing oxidative stress, it in turn, may limit the likelihood of developing cancer. Source




What About Zucchini's Flamboyant Flowers?

What cheery brilliance is added to the garden by those golden-orange pre-zucchinis! Besides being lovely eye-candy, zucchini blossoms are also edible, and considered a delicacy, especially in Mediterranean cuisine. 

Though perhaps not quite on par with zucchini nutrition, zucchini blossoms are also a source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. These benefit the immune system, aid in overall heart health, and promote healthy skin and eyes. 

Zucchini blossoms are eaten both raw or cooked. They're low in sodium and calories, and are high in fiber. They provide iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and calcium, and contain a bit of beta carotene as well. 

Try it for yourself! You may enjoy this Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms baked recipe that sounds delish!

And Can You Eat Zucchini Seeds?

Some have asked, "Does zucchini have seeds? And if so, can you eat zucchini seeds?" The answer is, Yes! and Yes! There are oodles of seeds in a single zucchini, and they are good for you as well!

If you enjoy roasted pumpkin seeds or other types of squash seeds, you'll enjoy roasted zucchini seeds. Just like other squash seeds, roasted zucchini seeds are a tasty, healthy, nutritious snack to have on hand when you get the nibbles.

Zucchini seeds are an great source of both fiber and protein, making a far healthier snack chips or other store-bought munchies. Besides that, they contain iron, calcium and magnesium.

You can easily roast them yourself and they can be safely stored for weeks. Here are instructions for How to Make Roasted Zucchini Seeds. Their nutritional benefits are the same as that of other squash seeds. You'll also find a simple, yummy recipe here: Roasted Squash Seeds (from Allrecipes.com). 


Zucchini Nutrition Q and A

Q:  Can you eat zucchini raw?

A:  Yes, you can certainly eat uncooked zucchini! In fact, the zucchini nutritional value is highest when eaten raw. You can slice it like you would carrot sticks, or cut it in "wheels", dice it and add it to salads or other raw dishes. Use a peeler on the whole zucchini to create super thin zucchini slices is a fun way to eat it, or wrap the thin slices around a filling or other ingredients. You can add zucchini slices to sandwiches for an extra crunch. You can grate or even spiralize them into 'zoodles' (zucchini noodles) and top them with your favorite salad dressing... Or you can pop chopped zucchini in with other ingredients to make a nutrient rich smoothie. The sky's the limit, be creative!

Q:  How many calories in zucchini?

A:  There are only 33 calories in one medium sized zucchini, 19 calories in a cup of sliced zucchini, and 21 calories in a cup of diced zucchini, per an online calorie counter.

Q:  In what way is zucchini good for weight loss?

A:  Zucchini is a great veggie to support weight loss. Not only is the zucchini nutritional value something to consider, but being 95% water, it's both hydrating and filling with a low calorie density. Zucchini is also a good source of fiber, which is great for weight loss because it slows down digestion of food and keeps you feeling full longer. It's a great choice to reach for when you have the nibbles! Since you can both freeze and dehydrate zucchini, you can enjoy this low caloric, low carb, munchy in a variety of creative ways!  

Q:  What's the best way to cook zucchini to retain the most nutrient value?

A:  Some ways of cooking zucchini are better than others when it comes to retaining valuable zucchini nutrition. Steaming is good because the zucchini doesn't don't come in contact with boiling water, which leaches out some of its goodness. Dry cooking methods such as grilling, roasting, and stir-frying also retain a greater amount of nutrients than boiling.

Q:  How many carbs in zucchini? Is zucchini OK on a keto diet?

A:  There are only 6 g of carbohydrate in one medium sized zucchini, 3.5 g in a cup of sliced zucchini, and 3.9 g of carbs in cup of diced zucchini, per an online carb counter.

Zucchini is a great keto diet vegetable! It's low in carbs, mildly sweet, and is quite versatile. You can enjoy it raw, grill it, or roast it... Lightly cooked zoodles (zucchini noodles) topped with olive oil and Parmesan cheese, or with a meaty, low-carb spaghetti sauce, makes a wonderful pasta substitute! 


Do Farm Animals and Pets Benefit From Zucchini Nutrition?

Critters and Zucchini Nutrition Q and A

Livestock: If you live on a homestead or hobby farm, when presented with an abundance of zucchini, you probably have fed some to your livestock. While individual animals have their own tastes, generally cows, goat, pigs, etc. enjoy a raw zucchini treat. They are benefitted by zucchini nutrition as well. 

Pets: Several have asked questions regarding whether zucchini is safely enjoyed by their pets as well. Here are some of those questions briefly answered. 


Q:   Can chickens eat zucchini?

A:   Yes, chickens love zucchini! All parts of the zucchini plant are good for the chickens, the leaves, blossoms, fruit, and the seeds. Actually, the seeds can serve as a natural dewormer for the chickens. Your chickens will benefit from zucchini, whether raw or cooked. Some say that zucchini that's too old may play havoc with their digestive system. Having said that, avoid giving young chicks things like zucchini and cucumber as it gives them diarrhea. Chicks can't digest squash seeds either. 


Q:  Can dogs eat raw zucchini?

A:   Yes, zucchini nutrition is great for dogs! It's loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber, zucchini has a high water content and is low in cholesterol and calories. Especially if your dog tends to be overweight, feel free to give crunchy, raw zucchini! It makes a great replacement for high calorie dog treats. So as you can see, zucchini is very healthy food for dogs.


Q:   Can guinea pigs eat zucchini?

A:   Yes, guinea pigs can eat zucchini. They really love the taste and texture, and zucchini health benefits include the essential vitamin C that guinea pigs require. Although zucchini can be used as a frequent treat for your guinea pig, like with every type of food, it's best not to overdo on the frequency and size of serving that you feed it. 


Q:   Can rabbits eat zucchini?

A:   Yes, rabbits love zucchini! Zucchini provides variety to your rabbit's diet, as well as extra vitamins and minerals. Interestingly, every part of zucchini is edible to rabbits. They'll enjoy eating zucchini leaves, flowers, flesh, as well as the seed. 



Q:   Is zucchini good for turtles and tortoises?

A:   With turtles and tortoises, their diets may be more complicated than with other pets. 

Tortoises are mainly vegetarian, living their lives solely on land, while turtles are omnivorous and spend time in water. In both cases, zucchini can be fed to them occasionally, if they like it, but it must only be a part of a varied diet. Research to verify what's best for your particular type of turtle or tortoise.



Q:   Can bearded dragons eat zucchini?

A:   Bearded dragons are omnivores, which means their diet needs to consist of a mix of insects, veggies, and fruits. You can add zucchini to their diet in moderation as an occasional snack. Even though zucchini is safe to feed to your bearded dragon, it’s not a good idea to feed it to them every day as it may not meet their dietary requirements. There are generally much better veggie options available, like collard greens, to feed your bearded dragon.


So, You Thought You Have Too Many Zucchini?

So, your garden is overflowing with zucchini? Now you know how much goodness and zucchini nutrition is tucked into each of those plump summer squashes! They'll be a blessing to to family, friends, and neighbors, as well as your animals if you decide to share! Enjoy your harvest of zucchini! 



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