The many health benefits of eating summer squash

The many health benefits of eating summer squash

  • Summer squash is in season during the summer, just like the name suggests. There are three varieties of summer squash available during this period: zucchini, yellow squash, and patty pan squash. We have already seen the benefits of winter squash, yet the health benefits of eating summer squash while almost the same and some unique properties.
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  • Let’s take a look at the health benefits of eating summer squash:
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  • Antioxidant rich:
  • Squash is a great source of antioxidants such as vitamin C and manganese. Antioxidants protect the body from the effects of oxidative stress, which may help strengthen the immune system and ward off diseases.
  • Dr. Andrew Weil explains, “oxidative stress is the total burden placed on organisms by the constant production of free radicals in the normal course of metabolism plus whatever other pressures the environment brings to bear (natural and artificial radiation, toxins in air, food and water; and miscellaneous sources of oxidizing activity, such as tobacco smoke).”
  • The effects of oxidative stress are often linked to chronic illnesses such as heart disease and many types of cancers.
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  • Anti-inflammatory properties:
  • Squash is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Inflammation is considered a major risk factor for chronic diseases including heart disease and many types of cancers.
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  • Anti-microbial properties:
  • The seeds of summer squash and the oils from the seeds have been used since ancient times for its anti-microbial and anti-parasitic properties. They are still used in some parts of the world to treat intestinal parasites and tapeworms.
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  • Blood sugar regulation:
  • Squash has shown benefits in the area of blood sugar regulation and the prevention of type 2 diabetes. A study from the China Agriculture University showed that the protein-bound polysaccharides found in squash may have anti-diabetic effects. More studies need to be performed to confirm these benefits, but the results are promising.
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  • Eye health:
  • Squash is high in beta-carotene and lutein, which are antioxidants that promote overall eye health. These antioxidants protect from age-related diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration.
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  • Heart health:
  • The antioxidants in squash such as vitamin C and manganese provide anti-inflammatory benefits, promoting overall heart health and reducing the risk of heart disease. The magnesium and potassium in squash help lower blood pressure.
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  • Low in calories:
  • One of the things that makes summer squash so healthy is that it is low in calories. One cup of summer squash contains just 20 calories.
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  • AS ALWAYS: Check with your health practitioner before you change your diet. This organic food is not meant to replace any treatment or drugs you are taking.
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  • For the health benefits of winter squash.
  • For a healthy squash bar recipe.
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  • REFERENCES:
  • 1. “A Water-soluble Extract from Cucurbita Moschata Shows Anti-obesity Effects by Controlling Lipid Metabolism in a High Fat Diet-induced Obesity Mouse Model.” Science Direct. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 03 Aug. 2007. Web. 29 July 2014.
  • Anticancer and Antiinflammatory Activities of Cucurbitacins from Cucurbita Andreana.” Research Gate. Cancer Letters, Feb. 2003. Web. 29 July 2014.
  • 3. “Antioxidative Activity of Water Soluble Polysaccharide in Pumpkin Fruits (Cucurbita Maxima Duchesne).” National Center for Biotechnology Information. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, June 2009. Web. 30 July 2014.
  • 4. “Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Squash, Summer, Zucchini, Includes Skin, Raw.” Self Nutrition Data. Self Nutrition Data, n.d. Web. 30 July 2014.
  • 5. “Effects of Protein-bound Polysaccharide Isolated from Pumpkin on Insulin in Diabetic Rats.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, Mar. 2005. Web. 30 July 2014.

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