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Is Zucchini Toxic To Humans & Pets? [Life Saving Hacks]

Aren’t you surprised that the Zucchini you normally eat are toxic? Well, not all, of course, and you can easily sort the toxic from safe ones from their taste!

Generally, it’s safe to eat domestic Zucchini raw or cooked, but the vegetable contains little amount of phytochemicals. However, it’s better to avoid wild Zucchini varieties as it’s toxic and bitter due to Cucurbitacin. 

Zucchini, also known as Courgette, is a nutritious vegetable with a mild savor that goes well with any cuisine.

So, read this article till the end to know whether this popular vegetable is safe to eat and to identify toxic Zucchini varieties.

Can You Eat Raw Zucchini?

Like other cucurbits like Cucumbers, you can eat raw Zucchini as salads, saute them or make their noodles too.

Moreover, this versatile vegetable with a sweet flavor and crispy texture, making it suitable for any vegetable platter.

Yellow Colored toxic wild Zucchini
Wild Zucchini contains high Cucurbitacin than cultivated ones.

Usually, the young Zucchini is very crispy with thin skin, so you can eat them as it is after washing them.

However, as the fruit grows, it becomes more fibrous with a tough texture. So, it’s better to peel them before eating them raw.

While eating raw Zucchini, ensure to eat the fruit that is free of chemical pesticides or fungicides.

Is Zucchini Toxic?

Normally, Zucchini is loaded with dietary fiber and proteins but contains a small amount of phytochemicals.

These phytochemicals can make Zucchini toxic if they are present in large amounts. 

Thus, domestic zucchini is not toxic as we grow them in our own vegetable garden without breeding them.

However, wild Zucchini are bred with other wild varieties that contain a defense chemical called Cucurbitacin.

Zucchini, which contains Cucurbitacin, is very bitter, and when you eat them raw, it may lead to serious gastrointestinal disorders.

The bitterness often becomes low when you cook them, but the chemical compound does not disappear.

So, if you are really into wild Zucchini, make sure you cook them properly until soft and consume them in low amounts.

Moreover, it’s better not to risk feeding the pregnant woman as Cucurbitacin can be harmful.

While domestic Zucchini is safe for pets, excessive intake may cause stomach upsets, diarrhea, vomiting, and gastritis.

 Furthermore, avoid wild varieties as they are extremely toxic to your pets, like dogs, cats, and horses. 

If you witness any unusual symptoms and behavior in your pets after eating Zucchini, never be too late to contact the pet poison helpline.

How To Avoid Toxic Zucchini?

The Zucchini that you buy from markets or commercial stores are generally non-toxic. 

But it’s better to avoid buying suspicious varieties with unique colors from unfamed grocery stores. 

  • Only buy cultivated varieties with negligible amounts of Cucurbitacin from reputed grocery stores.
  • Never consume wild or ornamental Zucchini varieties from unknown places.
  • To check the amount of Cucurbitacin, taste the small piece of Zucchini. Throw away the fruit if it tastes bitter.
  • Avoid cross-pollinating Zucchini with other Cucurbits like Squash, Melons, etc.
  • Select the safe and widely cultivated Zucchini variety before planting it.
  • Always consume Zucchini that is free of pests and diseases.

From Editorial Team

Benefits Of Zucchini

While wild Zucchini are bitter and toxic, cultivated varieties bear several digestive benefits and antioxidants.

Furthermore, the high water content provides hydration to your body and promotes good skin health.