Commercial gluten-free products from supermarkets often make me mad! Not only they are super expensive but they usually offer zero nutritional value what so ever. The only good thing is the absence of gluten, but that’s it. Commercial gluten-free products can be highly refined and processed and they are commonly made from purified starches such as maize starch, white rice flour, potato flour, tapioca starch and soy flour. This makes them high GI (Glycemic Index) which means they are rapidly digested and absorbed and therefore swing the blood sugar even higher than “normal” bread or pasta. That’s why gluten-free bread and pasta are not on the top of my list.
So in my case, since my obvious gluten sensitivity, I’m passing the grain, pasta and processed carbohydrates department in the supermarket as well as the gluten-free section. Sometimes I might use gluten free pasta to prepare gluten-free lasagne, but that’s about it.
The good news is, that you don’t need to give up spaghetti! Sliced zucchini is a delicious substitute for a traditional pasta and adds a lot of nutritional value for the meal as well!
Some health benefits of Zucchini
Zucchini, which is actually a fruit, not a vegetable, belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo and is related to certain other squashes and pumpkins. Zucchini contains good amounts of potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin C and calcium. It’s also a great source of dietary fibre (pectin) and antioxidants.
Potassium can help reduce blood pressure for example and vitamin C can be good for fighting asthma. Vitamin C is also a good antioxidant keeping the immune system healthy and helping respiratory problems by keeping lungs open and clear. Much of the antioxidant content is held within zucchini’s skin, so it’s a good idea not to peel your squash if it’s fresh and organic. The carotenoid Beta-carotene can be converted into vitamin A in the body. The presence of Vitamin A in the squash helps in active cell development in the eyes, which enhances vision. Pectin fibre can offer protection against insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Zucchini also contains calcium that helps the nervous system to function properly and gives strength to the bones and teeth.