If you’re looking for a healthy way to add some color to your fall and winter meals, look no further than squash vegetables. From pumpkins to acorn and spaghetti squash, the options are plentiful, and the health benefits numerous.
Here are some of the many benefits that go along with eating squash vegetables.
Lower blood pressure
Many people with high blood pressure take steps to reduce their sodium intake, and while doing so is important, it’s only part of the solution. You also need to make sure that you consume plenty of potassium (around 4,700 mg a day, according to the American Heart Association).
Squash vegetables contain loads of potassium—enough to help have a positive impact on your blood pressure.
Beta carotenes are antioxidants that can help your body resist several diseases and health conditions, including asthma. Squash contains large amounts of beta carotenes, so adding it to your diet can help ensure your long-term health.
In addition to squash, make sure to consume plenty of other brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Bright colors indicate beta carotenes, so papaya, sweet potatoes, and carrots are all fantastic food choices as well!
Reduced risk of cancer
As mentioned, beta carotenes and other carotenoids can also help keep your body from developing other conditions, including cancer. Many studies indicate that they can help reduce your chances of developing colon cancer, in particular (1).
A high-fiber diet can be one of the best ways to manage both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. People with type 1 who get enough fiber have lower blood sugar levels. Those with type 2 have better insulin, lipids, and blood sugar levels.
The American Heart Association recommends getting around 25 grams of fiber a day. With almost 7 grams of fiber per cup, squash can help you reach that number!
Fiber also plays a huge role in your digestive health. Getting enough fiber in your diet will help prevent digestive issues like constipation, as well as inflammation.
As inflammation can lead to health conditions like diabetes, obesity, and cancer, turning to squash is a great way to set yourself up for long-term health success.
Healthy skin and hair
Squash vegetables also contain high amounts of vitamin A, which helps improve the appearance of your hair and skin. Vitamin A regulates sebum production, the oil that your body uses to keep certain areas moisturized.
In addition to healthy skin and hair, vitamin A can also help with other bodily functions, like tissue growth.
Stronger immune system
If you’re looking to boost your immune system (not a bad thing to look into given the times), squash vegetables can help you do that. Certain squash vegetables contain high amounts of vitamin C and beta carotenes.
Both of these can help give your immune system the boost it needs.
Squash your health problems away
Given the number of essential vitamins and nutrients they contain, squash vegetables are a great way to promote your overall health. Look for ways to add them into your diet as the sky turns dark and the weather gets cold!