Healthy Living

Acorn Squash Health Benefits That Will Surprise You

Shaped like the acorn nut, the acorn squash is a nutritious and low-calorie winter squash similar to pumpkins, zucchini and butternut squash. Though scientifically categorized a fruit, the starchy vegetable, which is comparable to potatoes, is a rich source of vitamins C and B. 

Backyard farmers grow the vegetables since they can be stored for up to a month in the absence of the growth of fresh vegetables during dry spells. Grown most popularly in North America, the winter squash has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. The way to consume acorn squash is to cook it in the oven or microwave as a tasty side dish. Some of the major benefits of consuming acorn squash are as follows according to Healthline.

Nutrition

One cup or 205 grams of cooked acorn squash holds 30 grams of carbs, 22 percent of the required daily intake (RDI) of magnesium, 26 percent of the RDI of potassium and 25 percent of the RDI of manganese. All this for only 115 calories and whole lot of vitamins and minerals. As a good source of fiber, it could contribute to the feeling of fullness and limit appetites to lose weight. Maintaining weight could help prevent diabetes, obesity and cancer. 

Antioxidants

Carotenoids provide the yellow and orange pigments to the acorn squash and are rich in antioxidant compounds. Apart from carrots, some winter squash fruits such as the acorn squash are the most abundant source of alpha carotene that helps protect against several chronic health conditions, cancers and neurodegenerative disorders. 

Aids Digestive Health

Studies have shown in the past that eating fiber-rich fruits and vegetables could prevent colon cancer and irritable bowel syndrome (IRS). Acorn squash has both soluble and insoluble fibers that can aid the growth of probiotics in the gut. Acorn squash could prevent constipation as well and add bulk to the stool. 

Protects Against Diseases

Increased vegetable intake in general has been associated with lowering risk of mortality. There is no research that directly highlights the health benefits of acorn specifically. People who stick to eating vegetables are protected from heart disease factors such as low cholesterol and high cholesterol. 

GettyImages-129068123 Organic acorn squash waits to be sent to a client from Grant Family Farms on October 11, 2011 in Wellington, Colorado. Although demand for the farm's organic produce is high, Andy Grant said that his migrant labor force, mostly from Mexico, is sharply down this year and that he'll be unable to harvest up to a third of his fall crops, leaving vegetables in the fields to rot. He said that stricter U.S. immigration policies nationwide have created a "climate of fear" in the immigrant community and many workers have either gone back to Mexico or have been deported. Although Grant requires proof of legal immigration status from his employees, undocumented migrant workers frequently obtain falsified permits in order to work throughout the U.S. Many farmers nationwide say they have found it nearly impossible to hire American citizens for labor-intensive seasonal farm work. John Moore/Getty Images

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