Going out to dinner? Check out the squash soup! And Wow! Is that really squash in the stew? If you want to eat for immunonutrition, you’re off to a great start with organic winter squash.
Once you know how valuable winter squash is for your healthy body, you’ll be ordering differently on travels and outside meals. Cucurbita moschata may be available for another month or two.
HINT: Look for squash from August to March, keeping it stored in a cool, dry place for soups, stew, pie, seeds …. and soup bowels!
10 Health Benefits of Winter Squash:
- Vitamin A. 450% of daily requirement. Helps skin, vision, and even the mucous membranes.
- Anti-oxidant flavonoids and carotenoids. Precursors of Vitamin A, you get twice the punch! The carotenoid beta-cryptoxanthin reduces lung cancer risk.
- Vitamin C. 45% of daily requirement. Need we go on?
- High in 5 B-Vitamins. Includes B1, B3, B6, pantothenic acid and folate.
- No cholesterol.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. This gives an anti-inflammatory benefit that counteracts chronic metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart disease.
- Vitamin Bs. There is an association between sugar regulation and B vitamins, and squash has high Vitamin B content.
- Heart-stabilizing. Cucurbita vegetables partially block cholesterol formation in our cells by inhibiting an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase.
- Antiparasitic, antimicrobial, and antifungal. Seeds also protect against parasites.
- Anti-cancer. Squash has been studied for its use in prostate and breast, colon, and lung cancer. Food extract from Cucurbita genus is most studied in this regard. Vitamin A has been researched in regards to reducing risk of mouth and lung cancer.
To boot, the American Institute of Cancer Research says, “one quarter of a butternut squash provides an an entire day’s worth of vitamin A.”
Juan, JM, et al from Keck USC School of Medicine PubMed article found:
“… a 15-40% reduction in risk of lung cancer…” in compared groups with high vs. low food consumption of beta-cryptoxanthin, a key ingredient in squash. This supported the hypothesis that:
“… dietary beta-cryptoxanthin is a chemopreventive agent for lung cancer in humans.”
This may be the best vegetable one can eat.
Look for squash soup or stew on the dinner menu!
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The Collection: Health Benefits of Winter Squash
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Additional Articles by Dr. Margaret Aranda
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