What is “winter” squash?

Winter squash is part of the Cucurbitaceae family. They vary wildly in appearance and flavor. Still, they all share hard shells, permitting a long storage period, and preserving inner flesh that is mildly sweet and textured, with heavily seeded hollow inner cavities.

  • Why it’s good for you:

Antioxidant Support

Current science reveals that winter squash is very important for antioxidant intake globally, a distinction once given primarily to leafy greens. Many people do not know that across nations, no single food provides more carotenoids than winter squash.

The vitamin C in winter squash (about one-third of the “Daily Value” in every cup) and high amounts of manganese are vital, protective nutrients found in their phenolic phytonutrients.

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Bitter-tasting Cucurbitacins retain natural defense mechanisms against animals and microorganisms and foster anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory substances within them. When we eat them, we benefit. Winter squash is also not a high-fat food, but contains healthy fats, including vital and large amounts of anti-inflammatory omega-3s.

Promotes Optimal Health

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in winter squash pack a dual punch against illness, chronic pain or diseases, and even cancer. Research shows that winter squash has a lot of potential in cancer treatment. Prostate cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer all have been the subjects of recent study, primarily involving purified extracts of Cucurbita foods.

Helps Blood Sugar Regulation

Winter squash has been shown to help blood sugar regulation and prevention of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, winter squash contains all five B-complex vitamins: B1, B3, B6, pantothenic acid, and folate.

More Benefits

Beyond key antioxidant and anti-inflammatory advantages, there is some preliminary evidence indicating that Cucurbita vegetables contain unique substances that help impede cholesterol formation in our cells.

  • How to eat it:
    • Steam it. Cut into cubes. Dress with olive oil, soy sauce, ginger and pumpkin seeds.
    • Purée it. Add cinnamon and maple syrup to taste.
    • Bake it. Pull the “strings” of spaghetti squash and add pasta sauce.
    • Add it. Toss cubes of winter squash into vegetable soup or stew.

Read the full article here: Squash, winter