The Benefits of Butternut Squash
Butternut squash are part of the Cucurbita family of fruits. The nutritional value of butternut squash is immense. Butternut squash has over four times the recommended daily value of vitamin A in just one serving, over half the recommended intake of vitamin C, and an impressive list of other vitamins and minerals. I endorse the idea of using this fruit as a staple in your home.
Their vibrant orange flesh is sweet and a bit nutty with a smooth texture. The color signals an abundance of nutrients known as carotenoids, that protect against heart disease. A 1 cup serving, provides you with almost half of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C.
Antioxidants are free radical collectors. Free radicals are compounds that are created by various bodily functions. They may also enter the body through various ways, including exposure to certain chemicals, the sun or processed food products. In the body of someone eating a balanced, healthy diet, free radicals perform their normal functions, and any negative impact they may have is overpowered by antioxidants.
Heightens Immune System:
Vitamin A is responsible for the increased immune power of butternut squash. It has the ability to fight diseases like cancer and autoimmune disorders, and it can help prevent the common cold and other infections. Vitamin A protects against infections and diseases by reducing inflammation, which is at the root of most diseases. Inflammation is caused by an overactive immune system that attacks more than it should. Eating foods high in vitamin A keeps your immune system in balance, and reduces inflammation. Butternut squash contains high levels of vitamin C that prevent and treat colds, and lessens the development of more serious conditions from common infections, such as pneumonia and lung infections.
Butternut squash can help you maintain strong healthy bones. The high potassium content in this fruit is an important part of having stronger bones. High levels of potassium are associated with denser bones, even in postmenopausal women and older men, both of whom often have more brittle bones and are at a higher risk of osteoporosis. The manganese in butternut squash is beneficial for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis, especially in women who have undergone menopause.
Selecting, Cooking and Storing Butternut Squash:
When selecting butternut squash, look for a solid beige color skin without bruising or damage marks. Brown spots or large nicks along the surface may allow bacteria to enter the squash, so avoid options that look damaged in some way. Butternut squash can be stored in your kitchen outside of the refrigerator, but place it in an area without direct sunlight, because sunlight speeds up deterioration.
Butternut squash is often roasted, but it can be prepare in a variety of ways. Cut into cubes before cooking. Preparing the squash in this way isn’t very difficult but does involve a few steps. First, cut the top and bottom from the squash, then cut the thinner “neck” from the fatter bulb area. Use a sharp peeler or paring knife to remove the thick skin. Slice the squash into cubes, about an inch to an inch and a half in length.