If you have never had or heard of acorn squash it is exactly as it sounds-it is an acorn looking vegetable that tastes more like a squash. Just like its summer squash cousins, the flesh of this vegetable is the part you want to be eating, as it is loaded with a host of beneficial nutrients.
This food has been around for hundreds of years and has been used by the people where it is native, and if you’re American you may be surprised to learn one of the places it is native is your country. Don’t feel embarrassed as you are in the same boat as many other people, but don’t let that stop you from trying this really healthy vegetable.
Acorn squash is loaded with vitamin C, which is extremely effective in fighting against disease and infection. Vitamin C does this because it is involved in the production of white blood cells, the cells which our body produces to fight off disease. Low white blood cell counts can leave us prone for infection, which will lead us to become ill.
Vitamin C is not only effective in actively fighting off disease in its involvement in white blood cell production, but can help prevent disease in the long run because of its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants prevent the accumulation of free radicals, which can cause things like inflammation which leads to disease itself.
Because of these two factors acorn squash is a really powerful food which can help us both fight off, and prevent disease.
Another vitamin which is found in acorn squash is vitamin A, and it is found in abundance. Vitamin A is usually found along with beta carotene is the antioxidant which gives many foods a distinctive orange color, like the acorn squash.
Beta carotene helps to protect eye health by reducing oxidative stress in the eyes, which can come as the result of various chemical processes that happen within the eye itself.
When it comes to reducing high blood pressure, most people first think of things like fats, and sodium. While those things definitely do affect blood pressure, many people neglect other important minerals they need to maintain proper blood pressure, such as potassium.
Potassium is important in maintaining proper blood pressure because it essentially balances out the levels of sodium in the blood. When sodium levels in the blood are high, the kidneys react by taking less water out of the blood to maintain equilibrium.
More water in the blood means more volume, and that leads to higher blood pressure.
Acorn squash is not only rich in potassium but is also has a decent amount of water content as well, making it an excellent choice for hydration and maintenance of blood pressure.
A major cause of concern for many people especially in the western world is obesity, and along with it the potential for developing type 2 diabetes. Acorn squash can help to fight against diabetes because along with the many other benefits it provides, it is a great source of fiber.
Fiber is great for our overall health because it regulates the digestive process. More fiber means that our body takes longer to digest and synthesize the nutrients within these foods, including sugar.
One of the biggest problems concerning the high risk of diabetes for many people is the lack of fiber in their diets, which means that the sugars and other nutrients found in the food they eat are immediately digested and then quickly absorbed in to the blood stream.
This extra fiber in the diet helps to regulate our bowel movements as well, reducing discomfort from extra gas, indigestion and reducing the chances of diarrhea as well.
One health issue that is becoming more and more prevalent among the general population as a whole is cancer. Cancer can be caused by many various things as well, and for these two reasons we should be doing everything we can to reduce our chances of developing cancer.
Acorn squash contains both vitamin A and beta carotene, both which are effective cancer fighters. These antioxidants help to do so by neutralizing harmful cancer causing free radicals, which cause other harmful effects like aging and other stresses to our cells and body.