Marrow, commonly called vegetable marrow in the UK, is a tender and light-skinned summer squash from Cucurbita pepo cultivators alongside pattypan and pumpkins. Marrow is originally a fruit; however, its term and mode of usage in the culinary makes it no less a vegetable.
What is normally referred to as summer squash or zucchini (meaning; immature marrow) is a crucial vegetable used in British cuisines. Although some consider marrow and zucchinis essentially identical, they are still different to some extent.
Marrow is a reasonably large fruit that belongs to the squash family. Quite similar to courgettes (a French term for zucchini), it can be cooked like any other vegetable. It is tender from within and has a nutty, almost bland flavor.
The vegetable is native to North America, Central America, and the United Kingdom. Anyhow, due to its wide application in the culinary arts, marrows are being exported to other parts of the world as well.
Marrows belong to the genus Cucurbita. However, before the Cucurbita species was introduced to America, fruits of Lagenaria were considered marrows. The first mention of vegetable marrows was back in 1822.
The thin-skinned immature marrows gained popularity in Britain in the 1960s and North America in the 1920s. They are an essential part of the diets of Native Indians as well, who grew vegetable marrows, along with corn and beans quite regularly.
Marrow’s Nutritional Value
Marrow is one of the low-calorie vegetables with nutrient-rich infrastructure. With the low carb and high vitamin and iron content, summer squash can be vital to your diet. Marrows are high in Provitamin A, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C. It is low on calories and has many nutrients, including iron, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and more.
Vegetable Marrow is rich with B group vitamins, including folate, thiamin, riboflavin, etc. Per 100 grams, contain:
- Calories: 28
- Protein: 2.7 g
- Sodium: 8 mg
- Potassium: 261 mg
- Carbohydrates:1 g
- Fat content: 0.4 g.
Health Benefits of Marrows
Like most other nutrient-rich vegetables, marrows offer numerous health benefits and protection from various diseases. Some effective health benefits of the nutrient-dense organic supplement are:
1. Help Regulate Kidney Function
Vegetable marrows help prevent the formation of kidney stones. The high fiber content in the vegetable eliminates the chances of developing kidney stones in the gall bladder. According to one study, the consumption of Cucurbita pepo seeds helps the urinary tract’s functioning.
2. Help Treat Iron Deficiency
Iron is necessary for making red blood cells since the body needs iron to make hemoglobin. Excessive iron deficiency can lead to anemia – a disease characterized by weakness, dizziness, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
Fortunately, vegetable marrows contain high iron amounts. An iron-carrying diet promotes the production of hemoglobin, which oxygenates cells and tissues present in the blood.
3. Anti-cancerous Properties
Modern-day medicine researchers are exploring ways to adapt and utilize natural and organic substances to treat severe diseases such as cancer. In that scenario, marrows that have already been identified with different healing properties are being studied as a cure for cancer.
According to research, marrows have anti-cancerous properties. This is primarily because they contain antioxidants like vitamin E. Antioxidants can eliminate free radicals from our body and protect our skin, hair, and body cells from diseases.
Moreover, the presence of cucurbitacins and cucurbitacin-derived compounds determines its efficacy in treating cancer. There are indications the summer squash carries high proportions of squalene that have proved effective against cancerous cells.
4. Helps Reduce Weight
Marrow is a delicious fruit rich in nutrients and fibers. Advanced levels of dietary fiber in the diet improve digestion. Instead of requiring rigorous activity and time to digest, these fibers ensure the proper movement of food through the digestive tract. They limit and eliminate the chances of gastrointestinal diseases like constipation and bloating.
It also has a small number of calories per serving. That makes the vegetable ideal for people watching their weight or looking to shed some pounds. You can also snack on this vegetable in between meals. Other vegetables that can help you reduce weight include cauliflowers.
5. Reduces Cholesterol Levels
The high amount of fiber in marrows helps promote heart health by reducing the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood. This prevents complications like arteriosclerosis, stroke, and heart attack.
Similarly, marrow also contains vitamin C, that aids in the formation of collagen in the brain. The collagen improves the strength of blood vessels, cells, muscles, and in short, everything in the body that is linked to the cardiovascular system.
The Cosmetic Benefits of Marrow
The health benefits of vegetable marrows become, in turn, beauty benefits. For instance, the low caloric content of bone marrows means they help you stay fitter and healthier. They also have no fat content and can be consumed in large portions, becoming a popular food choice.
Marrows are rich in potassium, so they help improve your skin’s texture and feel and keep it healthy and fresh. The element of folate prevents premature aging and wrinkles. It makes the skin firm, supple, and toned, saving you from needing expensive cosmetic surgeries.
Besides providing skin benefits, marrow makes your hair firmer, shiner, and healthier. It is usually preferred to use marrows in hair masks in pulp for the needed results.
Role in Disease Prevention
Among the many benefits of marrows, one is the role they play in disease prevention. Marrows have the required nutrients that make the bones stronger and healthier. Thus, if you make them a part of your diet, they will help prevent or reduce the chances of osteoporosis.
As mentioned above, in the health benefits of marrows, they can prevent kidney stones. This is highly helpful for those individuals who consume stone-producing foods in their diets in excessive amounts, like spinach, tea, chocolate, nuts, etc. Therefore, adding marrow to the diet can create the needed balance and help prevent future kidney problems.
Marrows can prevent cancer, primarily because they contain antioxidants and carotene in a specific ratio. Individuals at high risk of cancer (where cancer runs in the family) should make marrows a part of their diet. People whose iron levels run low should include vegetable marrow in their food because the reduced iron count can easily contribute to the development of anemia in the body.
Potential Side Effects of Vegetable Marrows
Though vegetable marrows are incredibly beneficial for one’s inner and outer health, they, unfortunately, have some side effects.
- It is usually advisable to have this vegetable in the summer season, when it is still young, because the larger the size of the marrow, the bitter its taste will be, making its consumption unpleasant.
- As mentioned earlier, marrows have high fiber content. Too much consumption of fiber can cause adverse effects on the human body. For example, for individuals who have gastrointestinal issues, instead of improving their digestive system, it can cause diarrhea.
- The consumption of raw vegetable marrow can be disastrous for those individuals who already suffer from ulcers, renal failure, or similar problems.
- Like its other family members, Vegetable marrow can attract certain viruses, including Mosiac Virus. It is easy to tell when a vegetable has contracted the virus because it is deformed and acquires an unpleasant taste.
Interesting Facts about Vegetable Marrow
- According to specific historical sites, vegetable marrow seeds were first brought to Africa and Europe by the famous Italian explorer Christopher Columbus.
- Marrows are known to reduce swelling and so are helpful for pregnant women who suffer from excessive swelling on their hands and feet in their second and third trimesters.
- Vegetable marrows naturally have a bland flavor profile; therefore, they go well with meat and spices, which add to their flavor.
- Marrows are perfect for consumption during the sweltering summer months because they naturally have a cooling impact on the human body.
- Vegetable marrows are beneficial for chain smokers because they help clean the lungs of the effects of nicotine.
- Vegetable marrows are easy to grow at home. Their vines can grow all year. The best part is that the leaves and seeds can be consumed apart from the fruit itself.
The health benefits of vegetable marrows become, in turn, beauty benefits. For instance, the low caloric content of bone marrows means they help you stay fitter and healthier. They also have no fat content and can be consumed in large portions, becoming an obvious choice over other food items that lead to fat gain and bad cholesterol.
FAQs: A Complete Guide to Marrow Vegetable
1. Are vegetable marrow and zucchini different from each other?
Marrow and zucchini is the same vegetable with different names. The term marrow is commonly used to describe a soft and thin-layered summer squash in the UK. Whereas, in the US, the same vegetable is called zucchini. Furthermore, the Australian term for vegetable marrow is courgette, which is derived from French.
2. Is it okay to eat raw marrow vegetable?
Although the external layer or skin of the marrow vegetable is edible, it is better to remove the seed core before eating it raw. The vegetable is commonly consumed in boiled, fried, steamed, roasted forms.
3. What is the correct way of storing marrow vegetables?
Marrows typically exhibit long life. They can last up to 3 months if stored in a cool and airy atmosphere. If you freeze these vegetables (before packaging), they can stay alive for more than nine months after the harvest. In the case of standard at-home refrigerators, don’t keep them stored any longer than three weeks.
4. Are there any side effects of eating vegetable marrow?
Despite being a relatively nutritious organic supplement, vegetable marrow can still have some side effects if consumed unattended. For instance, because of the high fiber content, consuming marrow in large quantities can lead to adverse effects on the digestive system. Moreover, eating it raw or with the skin on top can raise health issues for people already suffering from ulcers or renal failure.
Vegetable marrows are beneficial for maintaining health, beauty, and fighting off diseases. They should be a part of everyone’s diet. Moderate consumption of this fruit will lead to a positive health effect.