The Health Benefits of Squash

Kelraye78Starred Page By Kelraye78, 21st Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/vqw8.8pk/
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Diet & Nutrition

There are many health benefits of consuming both winter and summer varieties of squash. Eating squash is a natural way to make your heart healthier, lower high blood pressure, and ward off cancer.

History

Squash is considered a vegetable. Different varieties of squash are classified according to their growing seasons. The two main categories of squash are winter squash and summer squash. The many varieties of squash were a staple among early Native American tribes, and the plant originated in the Americas. As more and more Europeans began to settle in the Western Hemisphere and trade increased between North and South America, new types of squash were cross-cultivated. Early settlers also grew their own plots of squash, including founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Squash continues to be grown in many family and commercial gardens to this day, and offers many health benefits for those who consume it.

Nutrients of Squash

Squash is one of the most nutrient-rich vegetables there are. Summer squash often contains much more water than denser varieties of winter squash. For this reason, winter squash is considered to have many more health benefits and is packed with more nutrients. However, summer squash is still very beneficial, if it is cooked appropriately. Squash that is baked or steamed is better able to retain its nutrient rich properties and health benefits. Boiling squash or adding more water than necessary when cooking squash depletes many of these nutrients.

All varieties of squash are rich in carotene. Carotene has been proven to be beneficial at preventing cancer and lung disease. The carotene from squash can also help prevent high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. In the summer months, the health benefits of squash include protecting against the damaging effects of sun exposure and preventing dehydration. The juice from summer squash has also been proven to be just as effective as some varieties of winter squash in preventing cell mutations in the protection against cancer.

Since both winter and summer squash varieties are rich in B vitamins, they can also help to reverse many of the damaging effects of stress on the body and further prevent other types of illness. Squash is also a good source of vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system, prevent colds, and help fight allergies. The rinds of many squash are also a good source of fiber, which aids in proper digestion and is a vital element in preventing many types of disease. It is important if you eat squash to also eat the peel or rind.

Other nutrients found in squash include potassium and niacin. One of the most important beneficial nutrients of squash is one that has only recently been discovered. Squash is known to contain coumarins. Although coumarins are not anticoagulants per se, they interact with other nutrients to work as anticoagulants in the body. This means that squash can potentially have blood thinning effects, which can be beneficial for those with high blood pressure or poor circulation. In addition, this property can provide added protection against heart disease.

Types of Squash

There are many different varieties of squash, all of which provided the numerous health benefits listed here. Winter squash typically includes your darker varieties of squash such as pumpkin, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, and butternut squash. Delicatta squash is also a winter squash, and is also referred to as a sweet potato squash. Summer squash include lighter varieties of squash that come in straight neck or crook neck varieties. Summer squash includes cucumbers, zucchini, and the many varieties of yellow squash. Zucchini is the most popular of all summer squash and is readily available throughout the summer months.

Tags

Health, Nutrition, Squash, Summer Squash, Winter Squash

Meet the author

author avatar Kelraye78
Kelly Dare is a freelance writer and former full-time journalist living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She writes about many health and business topics for a number of print and online publications.

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Comments

author avatar Patrice Campbell
21st Jul 2010 (#)

Nice article. I love most types of squash, but I haven't found a way to prepare spaghetti squash that makes it worth the effort.

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author avatar Spetto7
31st Dec 2010 (#)

Just poke a couple holes adequate to vent steam and microwave it until tender. Time will vary base on your oven and the squash. Try intervals of 3 mins on high. Becareful because it will get very hot an can hold scalding steam. Let it cool some, then halve it lengthwise. You can then fluff the spaghetti-like strands with a fork and dress with butter, tomato sauce, Alfredo sauce, or anything you like. It is easy and yummy. I promise.

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author avatar Petra Newman
21st Jul 2010 (#)

I love squash, and it's so good for you:) Your article is full of good info.
Patrice; my mother just made it like you would spaghetti. Just add the sauce, It's much juicier, not like pasta, but is low in carbs and calories. big bonus:)

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author avatar Mawuko
13th Jun 2012 (#)

Hello my dear can you tell me more about how squash are use and other health information,
l would like u to make my friend so get in touch,from Ghana,

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author avatar SuzAlicie
21st Jul 2010 (#)

The health benefits of squash have it appearing on most health conscious diet plans. Great page.

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author avatar MaryAnneSimpson
23rd Jul 2010 (#)

Love Acorn Squash. You are so right about the health benefits. Banana squash is interesting as well. I may post in the future a really good recipe for the acorn--easy and yummy. Nice article btw

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author avatar Brenda Shelton
28th Jul 2010 (#)

This is great information. In my garden this year I got an abundance of winter Squash I didn't even plant it. Yet now I will try cooking it,see what happens.

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author avatar Leslie
14th Sep 2011 (#)

I enjoy summer squash like zucchini as a replacement for pasta. Just use a vegetable pealer to peel long strips and then top with pasta sauce. It's a good way to reduce starch.

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author avatar Sydney
28th Oct 2011 (#)

This is an amazing site!!

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author avatar Jeanet T. Taladtad
31st Oct 2011 (#)

Nice information about squash especially summer squash.....

Great job,,, benefited to the researcher

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author avatar Jeanet T. Taladtad
31st Oct 2011 (#)

Nice information about squash especially summer squash.....

Great job,,, benefited to the researcher

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author avatar Marl Xtian
5th Jun 2012 (#)

How many balls are bouncing?? O.o

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author avatar Ashanti
29th Jun 2013 (#)

uhhmmm..

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author avatar Cecil
30th Jun 2013 (#)

my favorite vegetable, squash.... i love squash, that's why when i read about it's benefits, it makes me love more of it....

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author avatar Vincees
4th Jul 2013 (#)

Squash is available as juice
16 oz. Price $4.99 plus Shipping.
Available at
Taj Mahal
7104 Hull St Road, North Chesterfield, VA 23235, USA
Tel +1 804 745 2400

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