Squash encompasses several different species of plants, including pumpkins, zucchinis, butte-nut, acorn, and marrows. It is considered a nutrient-rich vegetable and one of the most versatile and delicious foods available throughout the world.
Squash offers a variety of health benefits due to its dietary carotenoids, fiber, and numerous vitamins and minerals.
Squash And Bone Health
High amounts of vitamin C and manganese are present in yellow squash.
Vitamin C is needed in the production of collagen which is vital for building bone mass. Moreover, it has antioxidant abilities that protect bone from oxidative damage. Additionally, vitamin C also helps keep the adrenal glands healthy, which reduces levels of bone-damaging stress hormones (1,2).
Meanwhile, manganese is needed in calcium absorption, enzyme creation, bone-building, and healthy bone structure. In addition to these, manganese is also important in improving the mineral density of the spinal column. Other minerals in squash such as folate, zinc, and phosphorus also contribute to the mineral health of bones and provide protection against osteoporosis (1).
In a study, it was found that manganese deficiency can prevent the absorption of calcium (3).
Another important mineral present in squash is iron. Aside from being primarily involved in the transfer of oxygen from the lungs to tissues, getting this mineral is also important for our bone health.
Results of a study showed that iron deficiency causes diminished bone formation which contributes to bone loss (4).
What’s more? Pumpkin, a type of squash, and its seeds are great alkalizers, offers significant antioxidants that protect against osteoporosis, and is high in plant-based omega-3 fat (alpha-linolenic acid) that are highly anti-inflammatory. Studies revealed that women with higher blood levels of omega-3 fats have lower rates of hip fracture (5).
This nutrient-dense veggie packs a punch when it comes to fighting disease. Listed below are some of the health benefits we can obtain from adding squash to our diet.
- Regulate blood sugar as a good source of fiber and vitamin B, which helps stabilize insulin and glucose levels.
- Boost immunity with antioxidants such as vitamin C.
- Prevent heart disease with cholesterol-lowering pectin.
- Improves vision health.
How To Enjoy Squash In Many Different Ways
- Top salads with roasted squash.
- Toss chunks of squash into hearty stews.
- Cut a butternut squash into cubes and roast with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a quick, tasty side dish.
- Use pumpkin to make smoothies, muffins, pancakes, bread—even the seeds make a great snack.
- Swap potatoes with butternut squash when making homemade fries.