Squash Benefits for Health, Nutrition, And Its Side Effects

squash benefits for health

Squash benefits health in several parts. Squash is a good source of vitamin A, C, and B vitamins; they’re high in antioxidants; and they’re rich in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and manganese. And, of course, as whole plant foods, they’re also rich in fiber and water, making them both hydrating and good for the gut.

Squash Benefits for Health

Improved Eye Health

The vitamin C and beta-carotene found in squash may help to slow the progression of macular degeneration and reduce the chances of related vision loss. Foods rich in vitamin C can also help prevent cataracts.

Reduced Risk of Depression

Several squash varieties are rich in vitamin B6. People with vitamin B6 deficiency may be at a higher risk of developing mental health concerns such as depression.

Enhanced Skin Health

Although not as effective as topical sunscreen, beta-carotene can play a role in protecting the skin from sun exposure. Reduced exposure to UV light can improve skin appearance.

Good for Weight Loss

Summer squash for weight loss is a very good choice, as it is fat-free and very low in calories. A cup of yellow squash contains about 36 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein, and less than 1 gram of fat, besides being cholesterol-free. It derives its few calories from its carbohydrate content which is also quite low. Hence, you can replace higher-calorie vegetables like potatoes and corn with yellow squash if you want to lose weight.

Prevents Cancer

Summer squash has a high content of antioxidants which help in eliminating free radicals from the body. The high levels of beta-carotene protect from pollutants and chemicals that can lead to cancer. It is also a rich source of vitamin C, which prevents premature aging and cancer as well as inhibits cell division. It also contains vitamin A which protects against lung and oral cavity cancers.

Healthy Bones

Yellow squash contains abundant amounts of manganese and vitamin C. Manganese helps in maintaining healthy bone structure, calcium absorption, enzyme creation, and bone-building as well as improves the mineral density of the spinal column. Vitamin c is involved in the production of collagen, which is vital for building bone mass. Magnesium also contributes to the health of joints and bones. Other minerals in squash such as iron, folate, zinc, and phosphorus contribute to the mineral health of bones and protect against osteoporosis.

Good for Colon Health

The abundant content of fiber in yellow squash makes it beneficial for colon health. Fiber helps in the excretion of toxins from the body and maintains colon health by preventing constipation. A cup of yellow squash provides about 2.52 grams of fiber.

Maintains Prostate Health

Yellow squash is effective in alleviating the symptoms of a condition called benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH. This disease is characterized by a problematically enlarged prostate gland that causes difficulties in both urinary and sexual functions.

Maintains Prostate Health

Yellow squash is effective in alleviating the symptoms of a condition called benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH. This disease is characterized by a problematically enlarged prostate gland that causes difficulties in both urinary and sexual functions.

Reduces PMS Symptoms

Summer squash is a good source of manganese. A study proved that the women who consumed high amounts of this mineral as part of their daily diet experienced lesser mood swings and cramps than others. Thus, eating squash is a great way to increase your intake of magnesium.

Boosts The Immune System

Vitamin C in squash boosts the immune system, in a way preventing colds and fighting allergies. The rinds of a few varieties of squash are a rich source of fiber, which aids in proper digestion and can prevent many types of diseases. Thus, you should consider eating the peel or rind along with the squash to avail these benefits.

Vitamin-Rich

Summer squash is especially rich in vitamins like Vitamin C, and Vitamin A, and other minerals like magnesium, folate, copper, riboflavin, and phosphorus. It has a high concentration of carotenoids, like beta-carotene. Summer squash also contains a high amount of potassium and manganese, which help balance fluids and process glucose. Summer squash is rich in other essential nutrients like dietary fiber as well.

Low-Calorie Count

Summer squashes are low in calories. The carbohydrate content is also quite low. Moreover, it does not contain any cholesterol. So, if you are looking to get into shape, summer squash is the best choice for you.

Prevents Constipation

The high-fiber content promotes colon health and prevents constipation. So, if you are suffering from constipation, have some summer squash.

Vegetable Source of Protein

A lot of people resort to animal meat for meeting the protein requirements of their bodies. However, with animal meat, you often get fat. Acorn squash can serve as a vegetable source of protein. While its protein content is not very high, you may eat it to supplement your overall protein intake.

Provides A Boost to Digestion

Doctors recommend that you should consume plenty of fiber-rich foods to augment the body’s digestion process. Acorn squash contains good amounts of dietary fiber, and you can include it in your diet to facilitate bowel movements. Its consumption can help relieve symptoms of digestion-related problems and conditions like constipation and bloating.

Helps Fight Diabetes

The dietary fiber in this vegetable also helps you fight elevated blood sugar levels. This way, it can help resist the onset of diabetes.

Regulates Blood Pressure

This vegetable is rich in potassium. Intake of this mineral can help in the relaxation of blood vessels and arteries. It effectively reduces high blood pressure. Potassium is also required by the body for fluid balance in tissues and cells. The vegetable also contains magnesium, and this mineral essentially helps in the absorption of potassium. It contains zinc, which also plays a role in maintaining normal blood pressure in the human body.

Antioxidant Benefits

Acorn squash is rich in antioxidants like beta carotene and vitamin C. This helps the body to counter the damaging effects of free radicals. So, you can fight off signs of skin aging and other cognitive disorders that are triggered by exposure to free radicals.

Reduces Cholesterol Levels

The fact that butternut squash is high in fiber is a clear indication that it can lower and maintain your cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is one of the reasons for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Hence, you can manage your cholesterol levels better if you eat butternut squash regularly.

Asthma Prevention

Beta-carotene is an antioxidant. This antioxidant is present in high levels in butternut squash. Studies have found people who have a high intake of beta-carotene have a lower risk of developing asthma. So, now you know this delicious orange vegetable can prevent the onset of asthma in you or your loved ones.

Improvement in Muscle Contraction and Transportation of Nerve Impulses

Butternut squash contains three very important electrolytes, namely calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These electrolytes aid in the contraction of muscles and also help in stimulating nerve impulses. These minerals help greatly if you suffer from muscle cramps. Potassium helps to start those electrical impulses that help in regulating your heartbeat while in conjunction with sodium it helps stimulate muscle contraction. On the other hand, magnesium is known to relax heart muscles, whereas calcium is responsible for their contraction.

Nutrition Value of Squash

Several types of squash are rich in vitamin C, which is important for growing and repairing cell tissue. Squash is also high in fiber, which aids in digestion.

Additionally, squash is a good source of:

  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6

Nutrients per Serving

When served raw, one cup of cubed butternut squash contains:

  • Calories: 63
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: Less than 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 16 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Sugar: 3 grams

Squash Side Effects

Weight gain

Despite the ability to consume squash to help lose weight, the opposite can occur for those who consume it. However, this has less to do with the vegetable itself and more to do with what it is consumed with. For example, making smoothies or other items with added sugars will offset the squash’s benefits. Also, the seeds do have a high caloric content, meaning that consuming too many of them can lead to weight gain despite their touted health benefits.

Digestive problems

Though the fibers in squash can regulate and greatly improve digestive health, excessive consumption can cause digestive issues like bloating and indigestion.

Hypoglycemia

As consuming regular amounts of squash can lower blood sugar, consuming too much can lower blood sugar to dangerously low levels.

Hypotension

As the potassium in squash helps dilate blood vessels and lower the risk of high blood pressure, it follows that excess consumption of squash can lower blood pressure to dangerously low levels.

Antioxidative Stress

Antioxidants are compounds, usually found in fruits and vegetables, that reduce the buildup of free radicals in the body, therefore slowing the progression of oxidative stress, cancer, and related diseases. However, excess consumption of antioxidants can lead to antioxidative stress, weakening the immune system’s normal defense mechanisms against new threats.

Pregnancy Risks

Once again, the risk mostly stems from over-consumption, and one should talk with a doctor to assess the potential reaction of other medications with the consumed squash.

Allergic Reactions

If you have any allergies to any type of squash, it is advisable not to consume them, as consumption could result in asphyxia, rashes, and other symptoms.

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