Courgette also known as zucchini is a member of the summer squash family. It has some amazing health benefits; helping to balance blood sugar levels, supports eye health and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Recent studies have indicated that courgette is one of the riches sources of a number of health supporting carotenoids. The skin of the courgette is particularly packed with these nutrients which are especially beneficial for eye health.
Nutrients including folate, choline, zinc and magnesium and vitamins B6, B1, B2 and B3 all contribute to the blood sugar balancing benefits of courgette. Additionally, courgette is high in dietary fibre and the seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids, which further enhance these properties. By aiding insulin regulation, this combination of nutrients may offer protection against diabetes.
Courgette contains excellent levels of the mineral manganese and high levels of vitamin C which contribute to its antioxidant benefits. The omega3 fatty acids in the seeds provide anti-inflammatory benefits especially notable for the gastro-intestinal tract and cardio-vascular system.
Courgette is extremely versatile and can be grated onto salads, pureed into a creamy vegetable soup or used in chunks in a ratatouille or minestrone soup. It can be tossed into a frittata, used as courgette ribbons instead of pasta or sliced into crudités to serve with a tahini dip. Steaming or healthy sautéing in water helps retain most of the courgette’s fantastic nutrients.
My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics
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