Zucchini as a superfood? Who would have thought. This unglamorous vegetable is often unappreciated. The plants are so amazingly productive that most gardeners grow more than they can eat. The classic joke goes: people in the country usually don’t lock their car doors except in the summertime. Why? So that their neighbors can’t put zucchini’s in their cars as a “gift”.

Well, it just so happens that my garden is overflowing w/ zucchinis right now, even though I pragmatically only planted one plant. I have been eating zucchini omelets, zucchini enchiladas, grilled zucchini, zucchini bread, etc. and giving them away for weeks now and started wondering about the nutrient profile of the humble zucchini.

A search of the nutrition information on the zucchini, from nutritiondata.com, was better than I had hoped. Zucchini is low in Saturated Fat, very low in Cholesterol and low Sodium. It’s a good source of Thiamin, Niacin and Pantothenic Acid, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper and Manganese. It has a , good for diabetics and those on weight loss programs and is a mild anti-inflammatory. Zucchinis are quite nutritionally complete compared to other foods.

So, if you aren’t lucky enough to be a gardener and have zucchinis coming out your ears, or a neighbor who has too many, pick up some zukes at your local farmer’s market or grocery to enjoy an inexpensive, versatile veggie that will help you stay fit and healthy. This is also recommended for people doing allergy elimination diets as it is quite hypoallergenic.

Lastly, if anyone out there can tell me how a giant zucchini can appear on the vine seemingly overnight, please let me know. Every summer I try to pick all the zucchinis when they are small. I look every day for new ones, yet somehow a few the size of baseball bats show up every year. It’s one of those mysteries that confounds me.

In health,

Margaret Philhower, ND