Summer is winding down, but most of us are still trying to soak up the last bit of sunshine! Who wants to be inside cooking over a hot stove when you could be outside enjoying the beautiful weather? So if you’re looking for a quick, nutritious seasonal food grab a zucchini.
Zucchini, also called courgette, may just be a SCI super food. I know what you’re thinking-at first glance it doesn’t seem that impressive but check out the nutritional facts of this wee member of the squash family;
Low in calories and carbohydrates, it’s a fantastic food for anyone trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
1 medium zucchini contains over 50% of your daily vitamin C needs. Vitamin C helps maintain skin integrity to protect again pressure sore development and/or helps heal them; is an antioxidant to help protect against cardiovascular disease (leading cause of death for individuals with SCI); helps support the immune system to fight infections(such as bladder and respiratory).
Contains heart healthy potassium. This mineral helps; trigger your heart to squeeze blood through your body; supports nerve, muscle and kidney function.
Has a high water content to keep you hydrated.
Are easily digestible for those with common SCI-related digestive issues such as heartburn, gas and bloating.
Has anti-inflammatory properties. People with SCI tend to be systemically inflamed contributing to a host of other secondary health complications such as pain.
Are high in B-vitamins such as B6 which is often depleted due to chronic stress (and we know living with an SCI can come with a certain level of stressors).
Contain polyphenols in the peel, which have beneficial effects in thyroid and adrenal gland regulation. This is important as people with SCI often experience hormonal imbalances.
If that’s not enough to get you rolling to your local farmers market this summer I don’t know what is!
Easy to chop and peel, zucchini’s can be enjoyed raw with a dip or as a main dish such as the one I’ve include here.
No Cook Zucchini pasta
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
10-12 sundried tomatoes (packed in oil or soaked)
2 large tomatoes, seeded & chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 leaves fresh basil
2 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp sea salt
1. Place garlic, basil and parsley in blender
2. Add sundried tomatoes and blend
3. Add fresh tomatoes, pepper and remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth
4. Cut off ends of zucchini. Using vegetable peeler, create long ribbons by drawing peeling down all sides of zucchini until you reach core. Cut ribbons into narrow strips like fettuccine. Ready to serve with sauce.