Winter Squash: Health Benefits And Recipe

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Published on: 13-Dec-2022

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Ritika Sharma

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Winter Squash: Health Benefits And Recipe

Winter Squash: Health Benefits And Recipe

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Squash, an autumn favourite, is warm and tasty and good for you. Its name comes from a Native American word for raw or undercooked vegetables. However, it is most often prepared by steaming or roasting. Among the most versatile vegetables is squash. The two most common types are summer squash, picked when still young, and winter squash, which matures on the vine and often has tough skin.

Acorn squash, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, and kabocha squash are just a few examples of the many types of squash readily accessible. There are many reasons to eat winter squash, given its health benefits. It promotes weight loss and good eyesight and curbs medical conditions like heart disease. 

Table Of Contents

1. Nutritional Values Of Winter Squash

2. Health Benefits

3. Winter Squash Recipes 

4. The Final Say

5. FAQs

Nutritional Values Of Winter Squash

About 205 grams or 1 cup of winter squash contains the given amount of nutrients:

  • Calories: 82
  • Carbs: 22 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fibre: 7 grams
  • Vitamin A: 457% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin C: 52% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 13% of the RDI
  • Thiamine (B1): 10% of the RDI
  • Niacin (B3): 10% of the RDI
  • Pyridoxine (B6): 13% of the RDI
  • Folate (B9): 10% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 15% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 17% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 18% of the RDI

Health Benefits Of Winter Squash 

There are many reasons to add winter squash to your diet. Let us look into the health benefits provided by it.

1. Improves Skin

Winter squash types may benefit skin health due to their high carotenoid and phenolic component content. These veggies include antioxidants that may help decrease oxidative stress, which contributes to the development of wrinkles, age spots, and other skin flaws; they can also hasten the healing process, restoring a youthful shine to the skin in the process.

2. Increases Bone Density

Some of the minerals found in abundance in these squashes are potassium, magnesium, manganese, and copper, all of which aid in maintaining bone mineral density and keeping the body sturdy and robust as we become older. By increasing your consumption of these vital minerals, you may minimise your chance of developing osteoporosis.

3. Immunity Booster

With more than 25 per cent of your daily value in just one serving, winter squash is an excellent source of vitamin C, which plays a key role in maintaining healthy tissues and a strong immune system. In addition to acting as an antioxidant and neutralising free radical activity throughout the body, vitamin C may also boost the creation of white blood cells.

4. Improves Metabolism 

Winter squash has a wide variety of B vitamins, which are needed for a wide variety of metabolic activities in the body, such as energy homeostasis, repair and development, hormonal fluctuations, and enzyme manufacturing. Preventing birth abnormalities of the brain and spine, this folate-rich diet provides 10% of the daily value.

5. Boon For Diabetics

Carbohydrate-rich foods pose a health risk for those with diabetes since they may raise blood sugar levels rapidly. Still, winter squash has its special kinds of carbs, such as polysaccharides like pectin. Consuming winter squash in moderation is safe for diabetes people due to the substances that have anti-inflammatory and insulin-regulating characteristics, as discovered via scientific research.

6. Decreases Inflammation

Cucurbitacins are the peculiar molecules present in all squash types, as well as some melons and other similar foods, that are truly a component of the vegetable’s defence system. These unpleasant-tasting chemicals will not only deter pests and animals from consuming the squash. Still, they will also give anti-inflammatory effects to the body, neutralising symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory illnesses while also cutting down on total oxidative stress.

7. Manages Cholesterol

Winter squash has over 20% of the daily recommended consumption of dietary fibre, which is proven to eliminate excess cholesterol from the body and maintain heart health. Also, the omega-3 fatty acids in winter squash will aid in regulating cholesterol levels by decreasing "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and raising good (HDL) cholesterol, both of which are protective against heart disease.

8. Improves Digestion

Winter squash is a great complement to a healthy digestive diet due to its high fibre content and starchy texture. Constipation, bloating, and cramping are just some of the issues that may be alleviated by increasing your fibre intake. You may even reduce your risk of colorectal ulcers and other digestive issues.

9. Anticancerous

Carotenoids, which give winter squash its characteristic yellow hues, have been shown in lab studies to inhibit sun-induced skin cancer growth and to regulate cell proliferation by facilitating communication between cells. It is among the anticancerous foods.

Winter Squash Recipe 

Roasted Buttercup Squash And Red Pepper Soup

Using coconut milk, ginger, and smoked paprika, this soup is a medley of roasted butternut squash and red peppers. Creamy, flavorful, and soothing; that is how we would describe it. 

Ingredients

  • Butternut squash, peeled + cubed- 1, small 
  • Red bell peppers, cored + cut into quarters- 3, medium-large 
  • Garlic, peeled- 3-4 cloves 
  • Olive oil- 2 Tbsp 
  • Vegetable broth- 2 cups 
  • Coconut milk, full-fat-1 cup 
  • Ground ginger- 1/2 tsp 
  • Smoked paprika- 1.5 tsp 
  • Salt + pepper, to taste
  • Optional garnish: fresh herbs (like parsley or basil), micro greens (as pictured), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • Optional: a squeeze of lime juice

Preparation Method

1. Have your oven ready at 400 degrees F.

2. Use a vegetable peeler to prepare butternut squash for cooking. You may remove the seeds and chop the squash into cubes of about 1/2 to 1 inch in size. Spread the cubed squash on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper before baking. This recipe calls for one tablespoon of olive oil. Prepare in an oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

3. Meanwhile, wash the bell peppers, remove the centre, and cut them into quarters. Throw them and the garlic cloves onto a separate baking sheet. Mix in the salt and pepper and the last tablespoon of olive oil. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

4. While the vegetables are roasting, heat the vegetable broth on the burner.

5. Take the squash, peppers, and garlic out of the oven. Throw them into a high-powered blender along with vegetable broth, coconut milk, ginger, and smoky paprika. Add salt and pepper to taste. For best results, blend on high for a few minutes. To thin the soup to your liking, feel free to add a little extra coconut milk or vegetable broth.

6. A variety of condiments may be added and served upon request. Have fun with the sizzling temperature!

The Final Say

Vital vitamins, minerals, and illness radicals may be abundant in butternut squash. With its low-calorie count and high fibre content, winter squash may aid in weight loss and protect you from diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and dementia.

FAQs

1. Is winter squash good for weight loss?

Yes, it has been noticed that eating winter squash for a long period aids in weight loss.

2. What is the difference between winter squash and pumpkin?

Pumpkins are fruits belonging to the genus Cucurbita, whereas squashes belong to the same genus but have a less solid and hollow stem.

3. What is the most commonly used winter squash?

The most common winter squash is butternut winter squash. It is easily available and is used for cooking most dishes requiring squash.

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