There are different species of Cucurbita pepo and one of them is the acorn squash. By its name, this squash features an acorn-like shape with longitudinal ridges. They are generally dark green in color, as others are yellow, and come with yellow-orange flesh. Acorn squash is a popular ingredient in stew or soup. They are also good when baked especially with some mixture of meat or vegetable at the center and finished with melted cheese.
The delicious taste of acorn squash also tells something about the health facts it brings.
Acorn squash is an excellent source of antioxidants that include vitamins A and C. Antioxidants, in general, help protect the cells from harmful free radicals which could later result to some serious condition. Vitamin A promotes healthy eyesight and skin. It ensures proper growth of bone and teeth. On the other hand, the natural antioxidant that is vitamin C is responsible for the body’s resistance against infectious agents. One cup serving of acorn squash contains 37% of its recommended daily value.
Apart from said vitamins, this vegetable has adequate supply of B vitamins, which include Thiamin, Pantothenic Acid, Folates, and Pyridoxine. Although they have their own functions, vitamin B complex is generally tasked for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat, and protein.
In terms of minerals, acorn squash is gifted with good quantity of potassium, magnesium, and manganese. The common knowledge we have with potassium is its function to maintain fluid balance in the body. But aside from that, potassium is also involved in muscle contraction and nerve transmission.
Magnesium, meanwhile, finds great importance in the breakdown of macronutrients turning them into energy for the body to utilize. It is also significant to release insulin, which is necessary to control blood sugar level.
Manganese is part of several enzymes systems such as metabolism of energy and blood sugar regulation. It assists in wound healing for the production of collagen and cartilage required.
Acorn squash is low in calorie content. A one cup serving of it yields only 115 calories- 107 calories from carbohydrates, 6 calories from protein, and 2 calories from fat. This proves to show how acorn squash can give much energy for the body. Consuming acorn squash will make you feel full faster as it contains 9g or 36% of the recommended daily value of fiber.
Acorn squash is a winter squash. This means that it makes a good food to save throughout the winter season.
The Amazing Health Benefits of Acorn Squash
Immune System Booster
Acorn squash is known to be an excellent source of Vitamin C which plays vital role in the entirety of human health. Vitamin C regulates the white blood cell proliferation to establish the body’s defense against bacteria and pathogens accumulation. Pathogens and bacteria in the body can lead to infection and irregularities that trigger various disease and illnesses. This means that if you eat a lot of acorn squash, the likelihood of you getting sick is very minimal. The body will be protected from infection-related sickness such as flu, cough, cold, and others more. In addition, Vitamin C also significantly contributes to the condition of the skin, teeth, tissues in the muscle, as well as in various body organs. Consuming healthy foods that are great sources of Vitamin C, such as acorn squash, will promote the body’s overall optimal condition.
Good for the Eyes
Acorn squash contains the two most needed mineral to improve eye health and they are Vitamin A and beta-carotene. Vitamin A and beta-carotene effectively work together for the maintenance and protection of vision. Intake of this vegetable has the ability to eliminate free radicals and oxidative stress in the eyes. This means that age-related eye disorders are paved away. If you eat a lot of this vegetable, you will not have to worry with having problems with your vision and eye health. This will reduce risks of blindness, cataracts, macular degeneration, and impairment of vision.
Nourishes the Skin
As mentioned, acorn squash is concentrated with Vitamins A and C which have good effects to the skin. Vitamin A is essential to the protection and health of the skin. It serves as an antioxidant that eliminates the possibilities of skin problems like wrinkling, blemishes, scars, etc. This compound also fights the effects of ageing in the skin. Furthermore, acorn squash’s Vitamin C keeps the skin healthy on a cellular level. Sufficient Vitamin C levels in the body have glowing and nourishing effects on the skin because it assure that skin cells are maintained and further repaired when needed. If you want to have a youthful, glowing, and healthy skin from the inside, increased intake of this vegetable have effective and visible results. Remember that it is not enough to have a beautiful skin because a beautiful but unhealthy skin will not last. It is important to keep the skin healthy from the inside so that it would naturally reflect on what meets the eye.
Acorn squash is also a great source of fiber. In fact, if you eat a single serving of this vegetable, almost 40% of the daily fiber requirement of the body is met. Fiber plays an important role in the digestive process. It assures proper breakdown of food intake plus boosts the nutrient-absorption ability of the body. It also serves as a bulking agent to achieve normal and regular bowel movement discouraging digestive problems like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, indigestion, and various gastrointestinal issues. This explains why acorn squash consumption is told to support weight loss. If you have been experiencing digestive issues, consumption of acorn squash is of great help.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Acorn squash’s abundance in potassium greatly contributes in keeping blood pressure in track. Potassium is known as a vasodilator that has relaxing and calming effects in the arteries and blood vessels. This eliminates stress in the pumping of blood from and to the heart thus keeping the pressure of the blood low. It is important to keep blood pressure normal because high blood pressure affects the stability of the heart. In addition, potassium is also very helpful in maintaining normal fluid levels in the tissues and cells thus strengthening metabolism and proper functioning of the body’s cells and enzymes. This vegetable has magnesium content which also supports in keeping blood pressure normal. Magnesium and potassium are both very effective in achieving the ideal blood pressure so make sure to regularly consume acorn squash for such matter.
Strengthen the Bones
This vegetable is very rich in minerals that all work together for the quality and strength of the bones. Acorn squash has calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and copper which are all known to support the health of the bones. Calcium is the primary property that is keeping the bones strong. Magnesium boosts the calcium-absorption ability of the body therefore increasing the potential to be strong and healthy even as you grow old. As ageing happens, the quality of the bones deteriorate so make sure to observe a diet that will preserve their strength as well as thwart off bone disorders like bone loss, osteoporosis, and the likes.