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This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Zucchini Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 94.8 g
Calories: 17 kcal
Protein: 1.2 g
Carbohydrate: 3.1 g
Dietary fiber: 1 g
Sugars: 2.5 g
Fat: 0.3 g
Saturated fat: 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 17.9 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.5 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg
Vitamin B9: 24 μg
Vitamin A: 10 μg
Vitamin E: 0.1 mg
Vitamin K: 4.3 μg
Calcium: 16 mg
Iron: 0.4 mg
Magnesium: 18 mg
Phosphorus: 38 mg
Potassium: 261 mg
Sodium: 8 mg
Zinc: 0.3 mg

Zucchini, otherwise known as courgette, is a member of the marrow family, ranging in colour from yellow to green and has a tasty, if inoffensive taste. This understated vegetable, known by the scientific name cucurbita pepo, has a surprising range of scientifically proven benefits.

Has Protective Effects Against Diabetes. Diabetes not only affects blood sugar levels in sufferers, it can also cause problems such as increasing blood pressure and the levels of lipids and cholesterol in the blood stream; these in turn can lead to cardiovascular problems. According to a study carried out in 2010, the peel of zucchini offers some incredible protective benefits against the complications associated with diabetes.

Researchers fed the rats one of the following: zucchini peel, cucumber peel or gourd peel; then they induced diabetes in the rats and continued to feed them the peel for five days afterwards. The results showed that all of the peels had a positive effect in drastically reducing the complications associated with the induced diabetes, such as blood glucose, insulin levels, “bad” cholesterol and lipids in the blood, but zucchini peel was the most effective.

Inhibit Cancer Growth And Inflammation. Cucurbits are a family of vegetables in which common foods like zucchini, pumpkin and squash belong. A recent study has examined their propensity to prevent cancers from growing, as well as their anti-inflammatory properties. The research was conducted on colon cancer cells using extracts from bottle gourd, zucchini and Egyptian cucumber.

The results showed that the extracts reduced the viability of the colon cancer cells significantly, thus inhibiting the growth of the cancer. The experiment also revealed that the vegetables excreted interleukin 8, which is important as an anti-inflammatory and therefore proves that zucchini has anti-inflammatory properties.

Could Help Protect Against Neurotoxicity. Neurotoxicity is essentially what causes brain damage thanks to natural or artificial stimuli. A new study has examined how extracts from zucchini might protect the brain from artificially induced neurotoxicity. The experiment was carried out using rats, and further research needs to be done using human participants, but the initial findings are promising.

The rats that received treatment using zucchini peel extract experienced protective qualities and a reduction in the symptoms of brain damage caused by neurotoxicity. It is thought that this protective effect is caused by antioxidants in the zucchini peel.