Have you heard of or seen acorn squash before? Well, as its name implies, it is a squash. However, this squash is no ordinary squash! I am telling you, this squash is wholesome! Give this article a read to learn about the different health benefits of acorn squash.
What is Acorn Squash?
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Acorn squash is pertinently named because, when they are fully grown, they look like large acorns. The only exception is that they are green and have a heavily ribbed exterior. Scientifically, it is referred to as Cucurbita pepo.
Also called Des Moines Squash or pepper squash, acorn squash is considered a winter squash due to its seasonal maturity. Both the trumpet stem and the flesh of the squash are edible, while the flowers and leaves of the plant are more typically eaten in countries such as the Philippines. Like many other squashes, acorn squash can be baked, steamed, mixed with vegetables and meat dishes or sautéed.
Originating in North and Central America, acorn squash was historically beneficial for Native Americans. Apart from its delicious taste and punitive growing conditions, it’s also denser in nutrients than any other summer squash. This is what makes it a beneficial part of a well-balanced and healthy diet.
Nutritional Value of Acorn Squash
Despite its small size, the amount of nutrients this squash possesses is staggering. The table below outlines all of the contents.
|Principle||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Total Fat||0.10 grams||<1%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.5 grams||4%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.400 milligrams||8%|
Health Benefits of Acorn Squash
Here are some of the most staggering health benefits of acorn squash:
- Helps prevent cancer. This is probably the best health benefit of acorn squash. It contains many antioxidants, as well as high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C.
- Helps build strong bones. There is a wide variety of minerals in acorn squash, including copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and calcium. A lot of these minerals are an essential part of the development of new bones, as well as the healing and regrowth of existing ones.
- Helps regulate blood pressure. The high levels of potassium in acorn squash help maintain blood pressure. Remember, the potassium is a vasodilator, which means that it helps relax the arteries and blood vessels, thus reducing stress on the heart.
- Helps control diabetes. The dietary fiber in acorn squash is thought to be its most significant component, regulating digestion by bulking up bowel movements and getting rid of bloating, cramping, diarrhea and constipation.
- Helps boost immunity. Acorn squash has ample amounts of vitamin C, thus making it essential in boosting the immune system. It also helps with bodily development, including the teeth, skin, organs, blood vessels and muscle tissues. Finally, the vitamin C functions as an antioxidant, helping protect the body from serious illnesses.
Caution for Eating Acorn Squash
Since acorn squash is high in carbohydrates but lacking simple sugars, it is extremely filling and calorie-rich. Those following a low-carb diet might lean towards other fruits to complement their restrictions.