Vegetable Marrow is famous in Great Britain and surrounding areas, hence why it’s a significant part of their renowned dishes. Botanically, marrow is a fruit, but it is treated as a vegetable in culinary. Slightly similar to zucchinis and courgettes, it still is distinctive and unique. It comes from the Cucurbitapepo cultivators, alongside pattypan and yellow summer squash, pumpkins, and more.
It is a fairly large fruit that belongs to the squash family. Quite similar to courgettes, it can be cooked like any other vegetable. It is tender from within and has a nutty, almost bland flavor.
Marrows belong to the genus Cucurbita. However, before the Cucurbita species was introduced to America, fruits of Lagenaria were considered as marrows. The first mention of vegetable marrows was back in 1822. The thin-skinned immature marrows gained popularity in Britain in the 1960s and in North America in the 1920s. They have been found to be an important part of the diets of Native Indians as well, who grew vegetable marrows, along with corn and beans quite regularly.
Types of Vegetable Marrows
The most common variety of vegetable marrows has an elongated shape and a vibrant green color; however, sometimes, marrows are thought to include all the summer squashes. It could be because all these squashes belong to the same family and are usually picked when still immature. They include yellow crookneck squash, zucchini, and lastly, pattypan squash.
Marrow’s Nutritional Value
This tender summer squash has a great nutritional value; it is high on 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
1. Help Regulate Kidney Function
Vegetable marrows are helpful in preventing the formation of kidney stones. According to one study, the consumption of Cucurbitapepo seeds helps the urinary tract’s functioning.
2. Help Treat Iron Deficiency
Vegetable marrows contain iron. Iron is necessary for the body to make red blood cells since the body needs iron to make hemoglobin. Intake of vegetable marrows can help you overcome weakness, excessive fatigue, headaches, and irregular heartbeats.
3. Anti-cancerous Properties
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.
4. Helps Reduce Weight
Marrow is a delicious fruit rich in nutrients and fibers. 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 then prevents you from complications like arteriosclerosis, stroke, and heart attack.
Beauty 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, hence becoming an obvious choice over other food items that lead to fat gain and bad cholesterol.
The Cosmetic Benefits of Marrow
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 also makes your hair firmer, shiner, and healthier. It usually is preferred to use marrows in hair masks in the form of pulp for the needed results.
Side Effects of Vegetable Marrows
Though vegetable marrows are extremely 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 actually cause diarrhea.
- The consumption of raw vegetable marrow can be disastrous for those individuals who already suffer from ulcers, renal failure, or similar problems.
- Vegetable marrow, like its other family members, 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.
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 as well. 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 as well because the reduced iron count can easily contribute to the development of anemia in the body. So, to prevent anemia, vegetable marrow can be very helpful.
Interesting Facts about Vegetable Marrow
- According to certain historical sites, vegetable marrow’s 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 really well with meat and spices, which add to their flavor.
- Marrows are perfect for consuming 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 apart from the fruit itself, the leaves and seeds can be consumed too.
Vegetable marrows are quite 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.