I will be fully honest and admit that squash is arguably one of my least favourite vegetables. I wish I could say that it is something I look forward to feasting on with the fall season, but, it just isn’t, and it likely won’t ever be for me, personally.
Despite my lack of appreciation for squash, it definitely is a hearty vegetable that a lot of us consume when the weather cools off. So, rather than be selfish because of my own dislike for this veggie, I thought I would do a little bit of research to see what sorts of health benefits squash offers to those of us who are brave enough to ingest it. This information comes from StyleCraze.
“1. Beneficial For Heart
Yellow squash can reduce the risk of heart disease, as it contains negligible fat and almost no cholesterol. It also contains magnesium which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Magnesium along with potassium helps in reducing high blood pressure, whereas vitamin C and beta-carotene levels aid in preventing the oxidation of cholesterol. These nutrients abate the development of atherosclerosis by preventing the build-up of oxidized cholesterol in the walls of the blood vessels.
The vitamin folate present in yellow squash helps in removing the unhealthy metabolism byproduct called homocysteine responsible for heart attack and stroke. Moreover, yellow squash is particularly rich in folate which lowers cholesterol levels. Thus, reduces the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.
“2. Good for Weight Loss
Summer squash for weight loss is a very good choice, as it is fat-free and very low in calories. A cup of yellow squash contains about 36 calories, 7 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein and less than 1 gram fat besides being cholesterol free. It derives its few calories from its carbohydrate content which is also quite low. Hence, if you want to lose weight, you can easily replace higher calorie vegetables like potatoes and corn with yellow squash.
“3. Prevents Cancer
Summer squash has a high content of antioxidants which help in eliminating free radicals from the body. The high levels of beta-carotene provide protection from pollutants and chemicals that can lead to cancer. It is also a rich source of vitamin C, which prevents premature aging and cancer as well as inhibits cell division. It also contains vitamin A which provides protection against lungs and oral cavity cancers.
“4. Healthy Bones
Yellow squash contains abundant amounts of manganese and vitamin C. Manganese helps in maintaining healthy bone structure, calcium absorption, enzyme creation and bone building as well as improves the mineral density of the spinal column. Vitamin c is involved in the production of collagen, which is vital for building bone mass. Magnesium also contributes to the health of joints and bones. Other minerals in squash such as iron, folate, zinc and phosphorus contribute to the mineral health of bones and provide protection against osteoporosis.
“5. Eye Health
Summer squash contains high amounts of beta-carotene and lutein. Dietary lutein plays an important role in preventing the onset of cataracts and macular degeneration, which often leads to blindness. A cup of summer squash contains about 135 milligrams of beta carotene and 2400 micrograms of lutein. Carotenoids found in winter squash also reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
“6. Good For Colon Health
The abundant content of fiber in yellow squash makes it beneficial for colon health. Fiber helps in the excretion of toxins from the body and maintains colon health by preventing constipation. A cup of yellow squash provides about 2.52 grams of fiber.
“7. Maintains Prostate Health
Yellow squash is effective in alleviating the symptoms of a condition called benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH. This disease is characterized by a problematically enlarged prostate gland that causes difficulties in both urinary and sexual functions.
“8. Reduces PMS Symptoms
Summer squash is a good source of manganese. A study proved that the women who consumed high amounts of this mineral as part of their daily diet, suffered from lesser mood swings and cramps than others. Thus, eating squash is a great way to increase your intake of magnesium.
“9. Boosts The Immune System
Vitamin C in squash boosts the immune system, in a way preventing colds and fighting allergies. The rinds of few varieties of squash are a rich source of fiber, which aids in proper digestion and can prevent many types of diseases. Thus, you should consider eating the peel or rind along with the squash to avail these benefits.
Summer squash is especially rich in vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin A and other minerals like magnesium, folate, copper, riboflavin, and phosphorus. It has a high concentration of carotenoids, like beta-carotene. Summer squash also contains a high amount of potassium and manganese, which help balance fluids and process glucose. Summer squash is rich in other essential nutrients like dietary fiber as well,” the website states.
From this information it is pretty apparent that squash is something we certainly should be eating more of (minus myself).