I am not sure about you; however, when we are talking about replacing noodles and pasta with zucchini I wasn’t buying it, let alone could I convince my wife (a pasta and noodle lover) of the transition.
Lucky enough we have a rule in our house, you have to give everything a go before you say no. So she agreed, then we placed bets to see if the kids would notice and how they would respond.
The first time I tried it, I purchased a pack of already noodled zucchini to save buying a spiraliser. I then made a traditional Bolognese sauce and replaced the spaghetti with zucchini noodles and I can honestly say I was shocked, totally surprised, that a fresh vegetable could replace pasta and yet pull off the dish.
Our kids gave it the thumbs up after we told them the difference it will have on their health and that they can help me make it next time.
From this moment on we gave pasta the flick and are sold on zucchini noodles, to the point now that if I have pasta I feel bloated, heavy and tired, in comparison to the light and nourished feeling after eating zucchini noodles.
When my kids are acting out of character, I often show them how it links back to the food they ate. This way they can see that eating high-sugar foods is a choice they can make; however, it often leads to bad behaviour, which inevitably leads to discipline. My older boy Hunter (8) is now at the point of where he is conscious about wanting to be in control of how he behaves so he often chooses not to eat sweets. Now we don’t need to say no you can’t, just remind him it’s his choice and every choice has an outcome.
Here are some comparative health benefits of zucchini noodles – I encourage you to share them with your kids. At first, they might blow it off; however, the more you talk to them about how food impacts their health, mood and performance, the more they will start to pay attention and make better choices.
Benefits of Zucchini Noodles.
Here are some comparative health benefits of zucchini noodles:
Digestion and gut health
Zucchini is high in fibre, water, electrolytes, and other micronutrients that are necessary for a healthy digestive system.
Substituting zucchini into your diet is not just a great way to lower your sugar intake, but it can help improve digestion, including reducing the incidence of constipation, digestive issues relating to inflammation, improve nutrient absorption and if consumed regularly it is known to help prevent ulcers, IBS, and colon cancer.
Keto enhancing properties
As mentioned zucchini is high in fibre, water, and electrolytes while being extremely low in sugar, making it the ideal Keto vegetable.
As discussed in our hydration article, while you are on the Keto diet or living the Keto lifestyle, consuming electrolytes and extra water are of necessity, and zucchini is a natural way to supplement these essentials.
Likewise the objective of a Keto diet, when it comes to food selection, is optimising the number of nutrients you get while trying to keep your sugar intake as low as possible; zucchinis are perfect for this.
With a macronutrient profile of:
Zucchini is rich in antioxidants, two major ones being lutein and zeaxanthin which are found to prevent age-related macular degeneration. The benefit of zucchini’s cocktail of antioxidants is a reduction in body toxins, free radicals and inflammation. These are the benefits directly related to zucchini, which is multiplied when we look at the benefits of zucchini replacing foods such as pasta and noodles.
Earth to plate benefits
Zucchini allows you and your kids to engage much closer in the earth-to-plate relationship, which not only has tremendous educational benefits, it’s also great for your soul. Often we are caught up in the finished product and lose our connection with creation and creativity; however, a simple step of growing zucchini, noodling it and then eating it can spark a sense of wholeness, earth connection, creativity and wellness.
Zucchini is a rich source of micronutrients such as folate, B6, riboflavin and other B-group vitamins which can help to boost mood stability, fatigue, muscle recovery, brain function and energy.