What's so special about courgette?

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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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Sensational Sweetcorn!


Sweetcorn kernels are the fruit of the ‘Zea Mays’ plant. Packed with nutrients, including vitamins B1, B3, B5 ,B6 ,folic acid , and the minerals phosphorus and manganese, this wonderful plant is also rich in an array of phytonutrients and high in fibre.

The unique amalgamation of phytonutrients in sweetcorn provides general antioxidant protection. However it is the lutein and zeaxanthin, which are especially beneficial for eye health. Studies have indicated that these nutrients can help reduce the risk of AMD (Age-related macular degeneration) and cataracts.

Preliminary studies have also found that some of the phytonutrients in corn may have an action that helps to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

The rich fibre content of sweetcorn, greatly benefits our digestive system. The fibre helps to promote the growth of friendly bacteria in the large intestine and can reduce the risk of intestinal health conditions.

The combination of the fibre and protein content of sweetcorn can also help with blood sugar control. By balancing the uptake of sugar into the gastrointestinal system, blood sugar levels can be stabilized.

To maintain the most nutrients and flavour, steam for 5 minutes, and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of black pepper and Himalayan salt. For an extra kick, add lime juice and chilli powder to your steamed cob. Add sweetcorn to soups, stir fries and salads or combine with pulses to make tasty vegetarian patties.

My 'Nutritional Nugget' written for Field to Fork Organics