What is Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash is one of the most popular winter-squash vegetables. Butternuts are annual long trailing vines. This squash is usually cultivated under warmer climates of South and Central American regions for their edible fruits, flowers, as well as seeds. Butternut can be identified as a large pear-shaped, golden-yellow pumpkin instead of squash. Externally, butternut is a large-sized fruit featuring upper long, thick neck attached to pear-shaped lower base. Its external surface has smooth, ribbed skin. Even so, the fruit varies widely in its shape and size; with individual fruit may weigh up to 15 kg. Inside, its flesh is golden-yellow to orange depending up on color pigments. The fruit’s unique golden-yellow color comes from yellow-orange phenolic pigments in their skin and pulp.
Health Benefits of Butternut Squash
Good for Your Eyes: Butternut squash nutrition is also a great source of two other powerful antioxidants known as zeaxanthin and lutein, which are especially good for protecting your vision.Your body concentrates these two carotenoids in the macular region of your eyes where they protect your vision from damaging UV and blue light radiation.The more zeaxanthin and lutein you have in your diet, the lower your chance of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, leading to blindness later in life.
Normalize Blood Pressure: The key to a low and normal blood pressure is to engage in a diet that is rich in potassium at the same time low in sodium. One very helpful benefit of butternut squash consumption is that it has blood pressure lowering effects. Eating this fruit on a regular basis will surely help in preventing high blood pressure. It is important to avoid high blood pressure at all times because if blood pressure is high, risk to heart failure and malfunction is increased.
Stops Asthma: Butternut squash is a very excellent source of beta-carotene. This mineral is a powerful antioxidant that lowers risks of developing respiratory issues such as asthma. Studies found that those who consume high beta-carotene food sources are less likely to have asthma. If you are asthmatic, it is highly recommended to increase butternut squash consumption. Together with butternut squash, fruits and vegetables such as papaya, broccoli, cantaloupe, pumpkin, carrots and apricots are all-together very good sources of beta-carotene.
Helps Prevent Cancer: Butternut squash is concentrated with antioxidants that help in reducing risks of cancer. Antioxidants play an important role in keeping the body healthy in general. First and foremost, presence of powerful and effective antioxidants like those contained in butternut squash assures that the cells are healthy and repaired when needed. When the self-repair ability of the body is impaired, the tendency is for them to die and for the cancer cells to proliferate. Butternut squash contains manganese, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C that all-together work for the maintenance of healthy cells. The manganese content assures that the cellular structure of the cells is protected. Vitamin E ascertains that water and oil keeps separated so that fat-soluble substances in the body are kept away. Lastly, Vitamin C ensures that fluid is properly circulated throughout the body thus eliminating free radical formation. This significantly thwarts off risks of cancer.
Because of its high antioxidant content, butternut squash may have anti-inflammatory effects, helping you to reduce your risk of inflammation-related disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
Aids in weight loss
The fiber content helps increase the feeling of fullness, which can help you manage your weight.