Squash: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Squash: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Overview

Squash refers to many different kinds of vegetables that are all popular around the world.

Zucchini, pumpkins or courgettes are typical examples of squash.

The origin of squash is believed to be from America over 10,000 years ago.

It was as important as corn and beans in the diet of American tribes.

When Spanish and Portuguese explorers arrived in the New World, they brought squash along with them around the world.

This elevated the popularity of squash as we know nowadays.

In this day and age, the United States exceeds other countries in terms of the cultivation of squash.

Over 5 billion metric tons of squash come out every year to meet the global demand.

The flexibility of using squash in cooking and its various health benefits have urged scientists to dig deeper into squash nutrition facts in recent years.

Nutrition Facts

Squash: Nutrition Facts

In general, squash is very low calorie in its content because 100 grams of raw summer squash contain only 16 kcal (1).

There is also very little fat in squash.

Meanwhile, dietary fiber is present much in squash.

It seems that vitamins and minerals are truly the stars in squash nutrition facts.

It provides a diversity of vitamins, some of which exist in considerable amounts. For example, there is 17 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of serving.

Folate, beta-carotene and thiamin are outstanding elements that constitute some of the best squash health benefits.

Regarding minerals, it will be a flaw if we do not mention potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium.

Squash is also full of carotenoids which have amazing effects on our well-being in general.

Health Benefits of Squash

After examining squash nutrition facts, you might have a better understanding of this vegetable.

Here are top 8 health benefits of squash that will help you comprehend why squash was such an important food for native Americans.

1. Neural Tube Defects

One of the very first benefits of squash that any woman should know is to reduce the risk of neural tube defects significantly (2).

It is because squash contains a considerable amount of folate.

There is a close association between folate and the development of infant’s neural health (34).

One study analyzed the information from over 23,000 women.

The report suggested that a relative rise in the consumption of folate during early pregnancy could reduce the risk of neural tube defects (5).

Bottom Line: The supplement of folate from squash will increase the chance of giving birth to infants who are healthier in neural aspects.

2. Immune System

Many nutrients in squash are important for our immune system.

That’s why to boost immunity is definitely one of the best health benefits of squash.

There is no doubt that vitamin C can have great influence on your immunity and so can other antioxidants (67).

The antioxidant compounds are powerful enough to limit hazardous effects of free radicals which are the root of many health problems (89).

For example, free radicals might trigger premature aging or more seriously, cancer.

Moreover, the number of carotenoid phytonutrients in squash also contributes to a stronger immune system (1011).

Bottom Line: With many essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, squash can give your immune system a significant boost.

3. Lung Health

One of vitamins that exist in the most considerable amount in squash is vitamin A.

And this type of vitamin is associated with emphysema (12).

Vitamin A is beneficial for people who have consistent exposure to carcinogens, such as cigarette smoke, to prevent coming consequences in your lungs (1314).

In addition, some carotenoids in squash, namely, beta-cryptoxanthin, might help lower the risk of lung cancer significantly (1516).

Bottom Line: Vitamin A and carotenoids from squash are great supporters to protect your lung from harmful effects of carcinogens.

4. Eyes

Fictional as it might sound, the amount of vitamin A in squash might outnumber what you need for a day.

It is claimed that squash provides over 400 percent of an ordinary person’s daily need.

Therefore, it is reasonable to state that one of top health benefits of squash is to strengthen your eye health.

Beta-carotene in squash takes part in the transformation into vitamin A which your eyes need to function better (17).

Furthermore, the presence of lutein and zeaxanthin in squash is a great addition when it comes to eye health.

Both of them are super beneficial for the eyes (1819).

5. Cardiovascular Health

The combination of some minerals in squash is the key factor to benefits of squash on your heart.

Potassium and magnesium play an essential role in relaxing your arteries and blood vessels (2021).

As a result, your heart suffers from less pressure and more blood flows to it.

Besides, other body parts might profit from this improvement in blood circulation.

On the other hand, squash is a rich source of fiber which has cholesterol-lowering effects as well (22).

Thanks to it, you are safe from many problems, from stroke to atherosclerosis…

Another nutrient that also participates in this benefit is folate.

Folate has powerful effects on preventing the concentration of bad homocysteine that increases the risk of heart disease (2324).

Bottom Line: Providing many essential nutrients, squash is a good choice for those who desire to prevent and cope with heart-related ailments.

6. Bone Health

Squash: Bone Health Improvement

Once we talk about squash health benefits and its nutrition facts, it is hard to skip its positive impacts on the bones.

This quality mainly comes from its abundance of minerals and vitamins that benefit bone density.

A number of studies have supported the link between higher bone density and these minerals, like calcium, manganese or zinc… (2526).

7. Weight Loss

Providing too little calories and fat, squash is a promising agent for weight loss undeniably.

In other words, among top squash health benefits is to support weight loss.

Additionally, its provision of fiber will improve your fullness, which results in a decrease in the amount of foods you consume.

Fiber is also important for a better metabolism which aids the fat-burning process.

8. Diabetes

The proper function of metabolism is important to control diabetes.

Fortunately, thanks to many vitamins B-complex in its content, one of the best health benefits of squash is to facilitate the metabolism.

Moreover, pectin in squash may make great contributions to the control of your blood sugar (2728).

It also plays an important role in guaranteeing that the activities of glucose and insulin are smooth inside your body.

This is crucial to many other organs.

Side Effects

Normally, most of us can profit from squash without worries.

Nevertheless, some people had better pay attention to its use because there might be some side effects.

In particular, squash is not suitable for people who experience hypertension due to its ability to lower blood pressure.

In this case, squash may cause an extreme drop in the blood pressure, which puts their life in danger.

Infographics

This section is designed to provide you with some infographics to grab a quick understanding of squash nutrition and health benefits.

Do you agree with all of these amazing health benefits of squash? You can comment your ideas on the box below or simply share your own experience. 

And do not forget to LIKE, SHARE or PIN this article on social media.

(One Quick Tip: You can pin it onto Pinterest directly with the button on the left top of each picture).

Squash Nutrition Facts

Squash Health Benefits

Squash Health Benefits

Squash Side Effects

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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