Winter squash is a nutrient – dense and delicious vegetable which is popular all around the world. Winter squash is a term which describes many different cultivars of squash varieties and all of them belong to the Cucurbita genus. Summer squash is the most popular form of squash. Most winter squash have elongated, round or even pear shape and the flesh tends to range from a light yellow to a vibrant orange. Winter squash grow on the vine and they tend to have hard and inedible seeds. When you are harvesting winter squash, then it is very important to choose those with hard outer rinds and which have no visible damage or cuts.
Health benefits of winter squash
Sleep disorders: This type of vegetable has magnesium. This element in addition to other B vitamins and minerals can help to regulate your sleep patterns by stimulating the production of neurotransmitters which can induce sleep and relaxation. People who suffer from insomnia should eat a bit of winter squash before they go to bed because it can help prevent interruptions and it will ensure you that you will be rested in the morning.
Cancer prevention and treatment: Winter squash is rich source of antioxidants and this is a reason why many studies have been done about the effects of this fruit on cancer. When it comes to breast and prostate cancer, the regular consumption of winter squash has been shown that it can help to reduce tumor formation and also it can slow the spread of cancerous cells because it has powerful antioxidants.
Digestion: Winter squash has starchy nature which in addition to the significant levels of dietary fiber is making this vegetable an ideal component of our digestive health. Dietary fiber can stimulate peristaltic motion and it can optimize nutrient uptake in the gut. It can give you a relief from the symptoms of cramping, bloating and constipation and it can lower your risk of ulcers and colorectal cancer.
Cholesterol: This vegetable has more than 20% of your daily recommended intake of dietary fiber. This element scrapes excess cholesterol from your body and it can protect the health of your heart. Also it has Omega – 3 fatty acids which can balance cholesterol levels, increasing HDL and lowering LDL, which can help prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Vision health: It is known fact that in one cup of winter squash there are 60% of your daily recommendations for Vitamin A and also it has other beneficial carotenoids which all can boost the health of your eyes. The antioxidant substances in the winter squash can reduce the oxidative stress on the retina and they can slow down the development of macular degeneration and also they can reduce the progression of cataracts.
Inflammation: All squash varieties have unique compounds that are known as cucurbitacins which are part of the defensive mechanism of this vegetable. These unpleasant – tasting molecules will prevent animals and pests from eating the squash. Also they will deliver anti – inflammatory benefits to the body and they will neutralize the symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions and they will cut down on overall oxidative stress.
Blood sugar: People who suffer from diabetes should not eat foods that are rich in carbohydrates. This can be dangerous for them because it can cause spike in their blood sugar. Winter squash has unique types of carbohydrates such as polysaccharides like pectin. There are some studies in which is said that these compounds have insulin – regulating and anti – inflammatory properties and the moderate consumption of winter squash is making this vegetable safe for diabetic patients.
Metabolism: Winter squash has range of B Vitamins which are essential to metabolic processes throughout the bodies in which are included enzymatic production, hormonal fluctuations, repair and growth and energy metabolism.
Immune system: In a single serving of winter squash there are more than 25% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin C which is important for the immune boosting of our bodies.