Butternut squash is one of the most common varieties of winter squash. It also offers a good supply of vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. Contrary to the name, winter squash is grown in the summer and harvested in the fall. Its thick, tough exterior and firm flesh make it suitable for storing over several months. This means it can be eaten during the winter season
BENEFITS OF BUTTERNUT SQUASH
- Preventing asthma
People who consume a high amount of beta-carotene appear to have a lower risk of asthma. Beta-carotene is the antioxidant that gives certain fruits and vegetables, like squash, their bright orange pigment. Other orange plant foods with a high beta-carotene content include papaya, sweet potato, apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, pumpkin, and carrots.
- Lowering cancer risk
Studies have indicated that people who consume more carotenoids, including, beta-carotene are less likely to develop colon cancer.
- Managing diabetes
People with type 1 diabetes who consume high-fiber diets have lower overall blood sugar levels. For people with type 2 diabetes, additional fiber improves blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels. One cup of butternut squash provides about 6.6 grams of fiber. The AHA recommend consuming 25 grams of fiber a day for a 2,000 calorie diet.
- Healthy skin and hair
The vitamin A content in butternut squash can lead to healthier hair and skin. Butternut squash can enhance the hair and skin because of its high vitamin A content. Vitamin A is needed for sebum production, which keeps hair moisturized. Vitamin A plays an important role in the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair. One serving of butternut squash also provides over 50 percent of the required vitamin C intake for a day. Vitamin C helps build and maintain collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair.
- Digestive health
Maintaining a high fiber diet helps to prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract. Studies have suggested that dietary fiber may decrease inflammation and improve immune function. This means it can help reduce the risk of inflammation-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. A high fiber intake has also been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, nourish gut bacteria, and enhance weight loss for people with obesity.
- Boosting immune function
Plant foods like butternut squash that are high in both vitamin C and beta-carotene can help boost immunity. Some studies have shown that high-fiber foods may also contribute to better immune function.