Butternut squash provides an abundance of vitamins and nutrients known for preventing a wide variety of diseases. Its deep, golden color is a sign that it is packed with carotenes, an important antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of a number of life-threatening conditions. These winter squashes are easy to cook, making them an even more of appealing part of a healthy diet.
High in Fiber, Low in Fat
According to the Mayo Clinic, fiber is good for the gastrointestinal system, as it aids in the digestive process. Low-fat foods help with weight maintenance and can lower the risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Dr. George Obikoya, recognized for his work on the importance of vitamins and minerals, claims that the electrolyte potassium is known to help lower blood pressure and be good for the cardiovascular and nervous systems. It can reduce joint stiffness due to conditions like arthritis, and is identified as being a natural pain reliever. Stored in the muscles, it can help manage headaches and migraines, and lead to rapid improvement of cuts and bruises.
Commonly recognized by the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society, folate gets a lot of attention for its ability to help prevent brain and spinal-cord birth defects like spina bifida. It also aids in the prevention of heart attacks.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The American Heart Association supports the use of omega-3 fatty acids to help prevent heart attacks and strokes in people with coronary artery disease. It is believed that they lower risk for heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are also recommended for the treatment of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.
The Mayo Clinic endorses vitamin B6 to fortify the nervous and immune systems, help normalize blood pressure, and prevent heart disease.
Beta-carotene and Vitamin A
The antioxidant beta-carotene has amazing disease-preventing talents, according to the Mayo Clinic. The human body transforms beta-carotene into vitamin A, which can help reduce the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer and age-related macular degeneration. It also aids in the development of healthy lungs in unborn babies. Beta-carotene can even help prevent heart attacks and strokes by halting the build-up of oxidized cholesterol in the body. In terms of diabetes, it has been known to regulate blood sugars. Its anti-inflammatory powers can reduce symptoms of arthritis and asthma.
The Mayo Clinic approves the mineral magnesium to help with calcium absorption and to build strong bones and teeth. These qualities make it an excellent dietary choice for people with osteoporosis. It also promotes heart health by preventing blood clots and maintaining blood pressure to reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke.
- Photo Credit Butternut squashes image by Elzbieta Sekowska from Fotolia.com
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