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Zucchini Nutrition Facts

zucchiniZucchini squash is the favored jewel of the summer squashes. Summer squashes, as well as winter squashes, are native to the Americas and belong to the family of cucurbita. Archaeologists have traced their origins to Mexico, dating back from 7,000 to 5,500 BCE, when they were an integral part of the ancient diet of maize, beans, and squashes. That pre-Columbian food trio is still the mainstay of the Mexican cuisine and is known today as the "three sisters."

Many explorers who came to the Americas brought back what they considered strange foods. The zucchini eventually found its way to Italy where it was named zucchino. Many names have been given to this squash. The French call it courgette, a name that has been adopted by the English. The English also refer to a variety that is slightly larger and plumper as marrow.

Zucchinis contain useful amounts of folate (24 mcg/100 g), potassium (280 mg/100 g) and vitamin A (384 IU [115 mcg]/100 g). Zucchinis are also an excellent source of vitamin C. Dark green zucchini also have some beta carotene and all types provide small quantities of minerals. Skin colours range from almost black, dark green, pale green, pale green with grey, and yellow. The darker the squash, the more the nutrients.

With their high water content (more than 95 percent), zucchini squashes are very low in calories. There are only 13 calories in a half-cup of raw zucchini, with a slight increase to 18 calories in the same quantity cooked.

Definitely wash your zucchini but don't peel because most of the nutrients are in the skin.

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