While pumpkin gets a lot of attention during the fall season, the shining star of autumn is butternut squash. Let’s calm down on the pumpkin spice for a second and focus our attention toward this fall and winter squash because it’s amazing. It is definitely the one ingredient you need to start using more of this year.
Butternut squash has some pretty amazing health benefits. It is rich in vitamins A & C, potassium, folate, iron, and zinc, among a few others. You can roast it, bake it, sauté it, blend it, boil it, stir-fry it, shred it (we’re starting to sound like Bubba in Forest Gump), or even add it to salads. No matter which way you eat it, you’re guaranteed to reap its awesome health benefits.
#1: Improves Eyesight
Butternut squash is overflowing with vitamin A, which is important for healthy eyesight. One cup of butternut squash has more than 350% of your daily vitamin A requirement. It also contains other antioxidants that are conducive to healthy eyesight.
#2: Strengthens Your Bones
A lot of people think dairy makes your bones strong, but it is actually bad for your health. Butternut squash helps your body absorb calcium, helps maintain bone structure, and even improves the density of the spinal column. Iron, folate, and zinc, all of which contribute to healthy bones and help osteoporosis, are all in butternut squash.
Quick Tip: Peeling a butternut squash can be difficult. Before you hack away at the squash with a peeler, heat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice off the ends of the squash, poke it all over with a fork, and place it in the oven on a baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Remove it from the oven, let it cool, and it’ll peel like a charm.
#3: Prevents High Blood Pressure
If you want to lower your blood pressure, butternut squash is the key. Potassium helps to lower your blood pressure by counteracting the negatives of sodium in your diet. And one cup of butternut squash has about 500mg of potassium! This doesn’t mean you can eat as much sodium as you want if you eat butternut squash. Taking steps to lower you blood pressure is beneficial because it helps you avoid issues like stroke or heart disease.
#4: Keeps Skin Looking Healthy
Vitamin C is great for healthier skin because it helps rebuild bodily tissues. A medical study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition actually found that women who had higher intakes of vitamin C were less likely to develop wrinkles and have dry skin. FYI…1 cup of butternut squash has about half your daily dose of vitamin C.
#5: Helps You Lose Weight
How does it butternut squash help you lose weight? Well, it is high in fiber, which helps you feel full, meaning you won’t go sneaking into the fridge or cupboards for snacks. Plus, there are only 100 calories and 26 carbohydrates in 1 cup of butternut squash.
If we haven’t convinced you that butternut squash is awesome, it also helps reduce inflammation, boost your immunity, and can aid with proper digestion. Feature this in your meals this fall to reap all the benefits.