Fight Aging and Boost Your Immune System With Summer Squash

Get gorgeous inside and out with this recipe for zucchini and ginger potato pancakes with broccoli.

Summer Squash Ginger Potato Pancakes

Don’t squish out healthy eating over the summer—instead, squash it in! Summer squash—also known as zucchini—plays a huge role in maintaining a healthy body. It contains alpha and beta carotene that can be converted into vitamin A, which helps the body maintain a strong immune system, good vision and healthy skin and bones.

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Summer squash also contains almost one third of a person’s daily requirement of vitamin C, which repairs damaged tissue and like vitamin A, encourages healthy teeth and bones and strengthens the immune system. Vitamin C also helps protect against wrinkles, harmful UV rays and sun spots. If that isn’t enough to convince you, a 2012 study shows that vitamin C and beta carotene have been linked to protecting against dementia.

Get in game-changing ginger
In addition to zucchini, this recipe includes ginger, which has been praised for relieving gastrointestinal ailments. Ginger has also been proven to relieve nausea and reduce inflammation in the colon that can lead to colorectal cancer. It may improve skin tone and texture, lighten age spots and fight against blemishes. A May 2013 study shows that it may even treat asthma symptoms.

This fantastic recipe also includes broccoli—another vegetable rich in vitamin C. Broccoli also contains vitamin K, which prevents cardiovascular disease and blood clotting and promotes bone health and brain function. In addition, vitamin K may help heal scars and other blemishes faster.

Research shows that broccoli may even help prevent some cancers.

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Go Greek for extra benefits
If one desires even more benefits of this recipe, you can top it off with some Greek yogurt. It has been a growing trend in recent years, and for good reason. Greek yogurt contains tons of protein, which aids in skin cell repair. It’s being tested to see whether it can lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Another study showed that eating Greek yogurt in the morning has been proven to prevent unhealthy late night snacking. This study is especially important because 60 percent of Americans admit to not eating breakfast, which leads to overeating later in the day.

Start your day right with this fast, easy, affordable and savory meal that you simply can't pass up. Enjoy!

Zucchini, Ginger and Potato Pancakes with Broccoli Recipe

Serving size: 12 pancakes

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup onion, small dice
1 teaspoon ginger, chopped
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons skim milk or almond milk
1 ¼ Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced (5 medium sized potatoes)
1 cup zucchini, grated on large hole of box grater (one small zucchini)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
12 cooked broccoli spears
3 cups Greek yogurt (optional)

Heat a non-stick sauté pan. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil and the onions. Sauté on low heat until the onions are golden and caramelized. Add ginger, sauté for one minute, remove and set aside. While onions are sautéing, squeeze excess water out of grated zucchini and reserve. In a small bowl, combine whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and set aside. In a blender, add potatoes and skim milk, and blend until pureed. Then add bowl of dry ingredients and blend until well mixed. Pour blender ingredients into a large mixing bowl, fold in grated zucchini, sautéed onions and ginger. Heat a non-stick sauté pan. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When pan is hot, add quarter cup amounts of potato mixture and spread out to form 4-inch pancakes. Sauté until golden brown on each side and serve with broccoli and optional ¼ cup of Greek yogurt if desired.

Enjoy a great comfort food meal while fueling your body with healthy and beautifying nutrients with this delicious recipe.

Nicolette Fisher contributed to this article.

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