HOW HEALTHY IS BUTTERNUT SQUASH REALLY?

How healthy Is Butternut Squash Really?

How healthy Is Butternut Squash Really?

  
Butternut squash is a winter squash with a bright orange skin and bright orange interior. Both the skin and the flesh are hard and tough, it makes it look like an elongated pear. Like pumpkins and zucchini, butternut squash is part of the cucurbitaceae family.

Butternut squash is also very health. Here is a look at all the benefits you can get from the second most festive gourd.

 Immunity
 
Butternut squash is rich in four carotenoids: alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are the pigment that gives it its orange color. Beta-carotene—and to a lesser extent, alpha-carotene—will be converted into vitamin A (retinol) in the body. Evidence suggests that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of carotenoids may also help prevent heart disease, cognitive decline and cancer.
 
Caution: Carotenoids are better absorbed when consumed with fat, so add oil when roasting for better absorption. 

Read also:7 ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS TO EAT EVERY DAY FOR LONG-TERM HEALTH

Fight inflammation
 
Butternut squash is also rich in vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. Both carotenoids and vitamin C work to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals can damage cells and cause inflammation that can lead to chronic disease.

Cognitive function

Lutein and zeaxanthin, found in butternut squash, can help maintain good health. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only two carotenoids that can cross the blood-retinal barrier to form the macular pigment in the eye. Research shows that the macula concentration of lutein and zeaxanthin is associated with brain lutein and zeaxanthin status and can be used as a biomarker to evaluate mental health. One study found that having enough lutein in the brain is associated with better cognitive processes, such as language, learning and memory.

 Eye health
 
Vitamin A is important for healthy eyes and skin. The provitamin A, beta-carotene, found in butternut squash is converted into vitamin A. Vitamin A helps prevent dry eyes and night blindness. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids found in the retina, as they act as antioxidants and can prevent age-related problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Read also:FOODS THAT SOFTEN STOOLS: 10 FOODS THAT HELP SOFTEN STOOLS

 Digestion
 
Butternut squash contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber quickly passes food through the stomach and intestines; Soluble fiber retains water and turns into a gel during digestion. It slows digestion and absorption of food from the stomach and intestines. Soluble fiber can help lower cholesterol by binding to cholesterol and transporting it out of the body. One cup of raw cubed butternut squash (140 grams) has 3 grams of fiber. 

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