Winter Squash: A Cornucopia Of Health

Winter Squash: A Cornucopia Of Health

Hello Fall and all of your goodness. This may sound odd but when I think of the winter squashes I think of fall. This may be because pumpkins are used for Jack-O-Lanterns in October and pies in November.

But winter squashes are so much more than decorations and sweet treat. Think of what the cornucopia stands for: an abundant supply of good things. And squashes are just that, an abundant supply.

Pumpkins alone are loaded with slow-digesting healthy carbs (hello energy); as well as manganese, vitamin C, fiber and the antioxidant/anti-cancer carotene compound. Whew!

And just like the root vegetables we talked about last week (if you missed it, check it out here), winter squash was also prized by traditional societies because they are inexpensive, nutrition powerhouses and give a meal staying power to keep you satisfied and fueled until the next meal. Plus, they could (and still can) be stored for many months ensuring that food was readily available for the long, cold winter.

Nowadays, there is a wide variety of winter squashes available at the grocery store ÔÇô acorn, butternut, pumpkin and spaghetti ÔÇô but look to the farmerÔÇÖs market for heirloom varieties such as turban or Hubbard.

The skinny on the squash:

  • Loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and complex starches.
  • High in the antioxidant/anti-cancer carotene compound and therefore protective against many cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • The edible seeds are an excellent source of unsaturated fat and quality protein
  • Good source of lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health

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