Zucchini possesses an impressive nutritional content – it boasts high levels of potassium, B-vitamins, dietary fiber, and antioxidants, which all offer immense benefits to health. It can even potentially help regulate blood sugar levels, which can greatly benefit diabetics.
Zucchini is a summer squash which can grow upto nearly a meter in length. It may be dark or light green in colour and its hybrid, the golden zucchini has a yellow-orange colour. Botanically zucchinis are fruits but are treated as vegetables and used in savoury dishes. The zucchini flower may also be used while cooking. It has a smooth skin with crunchy flesh containing high amounts of moisture.
Zucchini has an extremely low-calorie content, only 17 calories per 100gm. It is an excellent source of potassium and has a high antioxidant value. It is rich in vitamin A. Zucchini contains moderate levels of thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and minerals like iron, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.
It is a low-starch vegetable which means it is high in fibre. It fills up a person quickly and thus discourages overeating.
Zucchini helps in preventing hypertension as it is low in sodium, fat and cholestrol. It also contains folate which helps in reducing heart diseases. Riboflavin deficiency is linked to birth defects in pregnant women especially in relation to the infant's heart. Zucchini contains riboflavin.
It is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that have been found to prevent age-related macular degeneration. Zucchini is also a good source of vitamin A that has shown to improve eye health. It is important for eye development and maintenance as well.
Zucchini is one of the foods which is free from cholestrol. It contains soluble fibre which interfers with cholestrol absorption.
Along with vitamin C, zucchini also contains copper which is very effective in curing asthama. It has anti-inflammatory properties as well which contribute towrads curing asthama.
Zucchini also aids in healthy digestion. The dietary fibre in zucchini adds bulk to the diet and helps in improving digestion.
As zucchini is rich in potassium, it helps to combat hypertension. Additionally, potassium also helps to reduce the herat rate and counters the harmful effects of sodium.
Watercress contains vitamin C which helps in reducing the risk of cataract development.
Zucchini is a good source of antioxidants which have powerful anti-aging properties. It also lightens the skin and improves health.
Zucchini is rich in manganese, a mineral that promotes the optimal functioning of the thyroid gland.
Zucchini is rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C. Both of these nutrients have been found to be positively associated with prostate cancer. Vitamin C reduces oxidative DNA damage and hampers the growth and ability of prostate cancer cells.
It is a highly versatile food that can suit many recipes. Mix it into soups, salads, or frittatas, serve it as a side dish with meat dishes, or make “zucchini fries,” served with an onion dip as an appetizer. Zucchini “noodles” can be made using a vegetable peeler.
Zucchini might cause digestive issues in people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Bitter zucchini might also cause stomach cramps or diarrhea. Zucchini might cause allergies in individuals like nausea and pruritus (severe skin itching). Since zucchini is a very good source of beta-carotene large doses of it might be inadvisable for pregnant and lactating women, people who smoke and individuals who have undergone angioplasty.
Zucchini, like all squash, has its ancestry in the Americas. However, the varieties of squash typically called 'zucchini' were developed in northern Italy in the second half of the 19th century, many generations after the introduction of cucurbits from the Americas in the early 16th century.
Good eyesight can be an outcome of a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin C. Including certain foods in your diet can be directly beneficial for your eye health and can improve your vision. Here is a list of 5 foods which will help you combat age-related vision problems and will supplement your overall eye health.
1. Eggs - Eggs are rich in vitamin A and lutein, which help you combat age-related vision problems and night blindness. Eggs are also beneficial for dry eyes and improving your eye health. Egg yolks are considered to be one of the best foods for your eyes and should be included in your regular diet. It also helps prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is one of the primary causes of blindness in the 60+ age group.
2. Leafy Greens - Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin which reduce the chance of cataracts. It is best to consume them raw as they have more antioxidants when uncooked. Other green vegetables like broccoli, collard greens, and zucchini are rich in lutein and play an important part in preventing age-related vision problems.
3. Carrots - Carrots improve your overall eye health as it contains vitamin A, the lack of which is one of the leading causes of loss of vision. The orange hue in carrots is due to Beta-carotene which helps the retina function better. Other foods rich in beta carotene are apricots, mangoes, pumpkin and cantaloupe which also contribute to healthy eyes. So make sure you include them in your diet.
4. Almonds - Almonds are rich in vitamin E, which prevents macular degeneration. Include a handful in your daily diet as it not only improves your eyesight but also effectively lowers cholesterol and prevents heart diseases. Nuts like pistachios and walnuts contain omega 3 fatty acids which contribute to the maintenance of your vision.
5. Citrus Fruits and Berries - Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits and lemons are rich vitamin C which reduces the risk macular degeneration and cataracts. Blueberries also aid in the protection of the retina from damage caused due to sunlight and oxygen. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ophthalmologist.
From a young age, we are taught that different nutritious foods can help our bodies stay healthy. Want strong bones? Drink milk to get your calcium. Looking to bulk up your muscles? Eat more meat to pack in the protein. But did anyone ever tell you that there is a super nutrient that can boost your brain?
In the past, lutein – a carotenoid or pigment found in many fruits and vegetables – was primarily known as a nutrient for good eye health. But new research shows that it may also play a strong role in developing and maintaining brain function, and can enhance learning and memory. New research suggests lutein, a nutrient known for supporting eye health, also enhances cognitive skills.
Benefits Babies to Boomers
From infants to seniors, everyone can benefit from a lutein-rich diet.
Increased levels of lutein may help speed up cognitive milestones in infants. Research suggests that as babies get more lutein, either from formula or from breastmilk (when their mother has a high-lutein diet) - supports the development of brain function. “These cognitive milestones could include an infant making eye contact with a parent, moving their head to look at something in their peripheral vision, or turning their attention to someone when they hear their name.”
School-age children may see higher test scores when they eat more lutein. The amount of lutein present in preadolescent children’s eyes directly relates to their brain development and learning skills, which can predict performance on tests.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin (another carotenoid) improves processing speed and efficiency, along with memory in young and older adults. Lutein is known to accumulate in the retina and several other regions of the brain and has been shown to protect against eye disease and preserve cognitive function in older adults.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help increase your lutein intake each day. Aim to eat foods rich in lutein like green leafy vegetables: spinach, kale, turnip green, celery and broccoli, zucchini, garden peas, carrots, tomatoes, beets and eggs.
With a helpful brain boost from lutein, people of all ages may be able to improve their cognitive function, from learning and memory to concentration and focus. So, treat your brain to a tasty snack - amp up your next meals by incorporating more lutein.
Dry skin refers to the lack of moisture within the skin, specifically within the layer known as epidermis. Dry skin is a fairly common condition resulting in the flaking of skin. The abnormal lack of moisture in skin can be caused by several influencing factors.
The loss of moisture
Dry skin may be mild, where it may last for a few days to severe, where it lasts for prolonged periods of time. This tends to become increasingly common with age. Although normally having a dry skin is a common skin type, abnormally low moisture content in the skin might become a serious and chronic condition leading to many problems.
Causes of dry skin
1. Dry skin might be caused by winter weather or dry and harsh climatic conditions
2. Bathing or washing skin frequently with rough soap,
3. Severe deficiency of vitamin A
4. Using hot water for showers for prolonged periods of time
5. Individuals with eczema are more prone to dry skin and may lead to several bacterial infections as well
6. Underlying physical disorders such as hypothyroidism and diabetes may also be contributing factors.
7. Medication for lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and to remove acne may also lead to the dryness of skin.
The symptoms of dry skin include
1. Itchiness and discomfort
2. Tightness of skin
3. Continuous scratching
4. Appearance of white lines on scratching
5. Extremely dry skin may result in the cracking or breaking of skin causing pain and discomfort.
6. Skin that easily bruises with minor abrasions.
Dryness of skin is very common and can be treated easily. However, extreme dryness can lead to severe discomfort of the skin and cause infections and skin diseases. Visiting a dermatologist is always preferred in such cases.
1. Certain preventive steps you can take to prevent the occurrence of dry skin along with some treatment options are mentioned here.
2. Temporary dry skin may be treated with the use of lotion. Frequent moisturizing also helps.
3. It is also advisable to drink a lot of water and avoid soaps that suck moisture out of your skin.
4. You should also try and increase the intake of food rich in Vitamin A. Carrots, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, celery, are good examples of such food.
5. Natural oils may also be used to temporarily remove the dryness in skin. Regular massages and frequent application of moisturizing agents always helps.
6. You should also switch to bathing in cool or lukewarm water.
If the problem seems to persist, visit a dermatologist for further consultation. Special medicated lotions are often prescribed to deal with dry skin. Anti-itching lotions may also be prescribed by dermatologists along with certain oral medications for rare cases.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Indian foods rich in complex carbohydrates
Whole grains are rich in complex carbs and dietary fiber. Additionally, whole grains contain bran and endosperm that supply vital nutrients to the body. Brown rice is a source of complex carbohydrates and it contains a lot of dietary fiber which aids in digestion. Some whole grains may have more amounts of stronger disease fighting compounds compared to many typical veggies and fruits. Whole grains are also an essential part of weight loss diets. Oats and rye contain high amounts of dietary fiber, iron, protein, zinc, and b vitamins. Starting your day with a bowl of oats and milk is one of the best ways to include whole grains in your diet.
Potatoes are the most favorite and most commonly used indian foods rich in complex carbohydrates. Potatoes contain high amounts of starch, potassium, fibers, iron, and vitamins c and b6. One cup of boiled potatoes will give you 31 grams of carbohydrates and hash browns contain 35 percent carbohydrates. One medium sized potato has 110 calories and these are healthy calories given the fact that potatoes do not contain fat, sodium, or cholesterol.
Citrus fruits are the most tasty and tangy indian foods rich in complex carbohydrates. These fruits are rich sources of dietary fibers, minerals, and vitamins which support health functioning of the body. Carbohydrates constitute the main energy boosting ingredient in citrus fruits and they are present in the form of sucrose, fructose, and glucose. Additionally, citrus fruits contain high amounts of dietary fiber which supports the body’s digestion process. Lemon, lime, oranges, sweet lime and grape fruits tremendously help in weight loss.
Berries are loaded with antioxidants and carbohydrates. One cup of blueberries contains 21 grams of carbohydrates. Rich in pro-anthocyanin natural pigments, berries are noted for being strong antioxidants and for their roles in reducing the risk of cancer and other diseases.
A low-calorie carb, watermelons have high water content and they are rich sources of vitamin c and vitamin a. While vitamin c is a skin vitamin, vitamin a promotes eye health by preventing cataract and improving eye sight. There are about 5.5 grams of carbs in ½ cup of diced watermelons. Water melon and other variety of melon fruits are best natural appetite suppressants.
Apples, which are delicious snacking options for weight watchers and health conscious individuals, contain high amounts of healthy carbohydrates. One apple contains 23 grams of carbohydrates and 8 oz. Of apple juice contains 30 grams of carbs. Besides, apples also contain loads of antioxidants and phyto nutrients that support health.
Sweet potatoes are rich sources of carbohydrates and 8 ounces of sweet potatoes produces 240 calories and 55 grams of carbs. Sweet potatoes have very low sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat content. Besides, sweet potatoes have high amounts of dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, and vitamins b5, a, and c.
Nuts and legumes:
Legumes have high amounts of proteins which make them good food sources and replacements for animal meat in terms of food value. Nuts and legumes have high amounts of complex carbohydrates and they also contain omega 3 fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. They also contain a lot of fiber which promotes digestion and helps to maintain a healthy weight. Some important and most commonly used nuts and legumes include chick peas, soybeans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, pinto beans, and kidney beans.
Kiwis, dates, and prunes contain high amounts of carbohydrates, vitamins, and fibers. Dried apples, prunes, and bananas contain 88 percent of carbohydrates whereas dried peaches, raisins, and apricots contain 75 percent of carbohydrates. While dried fruits can be an “any time” delicious snacking option, you can creatively use them to enhance the taste and look of your dishes. Sprinkle dry fruits in salads or baked desserts to enjoy them to the fullest.
Bananas have a high fiber and potassium content and one banana contains 24 grams carbs. Bananas are also loaded with vitamin c, fiber, and vitamin b6. You can enjoy bananas in many different ways. Enjoy them in your milk shakes and yoghurts or include them in your oatmeal breakfast to kickstart your day with loads of energy. Create fruit salads and relish the taste of mixed fruits whenever your sweet tooth demands a treat.
With more and more people shifting into a go-brown food philosophy, brown bread has emerged as one of the healthiest breakfast options in the modern day. Breads are rich in carbs, vitamins, and minerals, and brown breads have high dietary fiber content which keeps you full for long, preventing hunger pangs and helping you maintain your body weight. They are low in fat and cholesterol.
Green vegetables have high amount of minerals and vitamins and they are rich in carbs as well. Though some veggies contain some amounts of simple carbohydrates, they are not harmful and provide the maximum health benefits because of their high nutritional value. Include peas, asparagus, acorn squash and broccoli in your diet. You may also try out various salad recipes as well as main course dishes with cucumbers, okra, beans, spinach, and zucchini.