Is Butternut Squash Healthy? : All Advantages and Disadvantages of Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is a winter squash that is grown in wine. It is tasty and has a sweet and nutty flavor. What we need to know about it is, is butternut squash healthy? As it is used diversely in a number of ways, like in the form of salad, soup, sandwiches, side treats with pasta, and in many other forms. So, one should know about all of its health facts.

So, one may ask, is butternut squash healthy?

Yes, butternut squash has many beneficial health factors as it contains vitamins, fibers, proteins, calories, carbohydrates, and many essential trace minerals including potassium and magnesium in it. Although it contains many nutrients, essentially it is a good source of vitamins and minerals.

If you want to learn more about it, keep studying this article.

Is Butternut Squash Healthy? 9 Benefits Explained!

Butternut squash is good for health because it contains essential nutrients. Even though it is low in carbohydrates, due to butternut squash vitamins and minerals, it is of great importance. Vitamins and minerals are abundant in butternut squash. These vitamins and minerals are of great importance in the maintenance of metabolism in the human body.

10 benefits of butternut squash Infographic

Vitamin in Butternut Squash

Many of you want to know what vitamins are in butternut squash? Butternut squash contains a considerable amount of vitamin A, B, and C as well as carotenoids in it. The bright color of butternut squash is also due to alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin, which are all carotenoids.

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On entering the body, these carotenoids are converted into retinol and retinoic acid, which are the active form of vitamin A. Vitamin A is needed for good visual health, better immunity, and also acts as an antioxidant. It means vitamin A can destroy and fight free radicals formed in the body. These radicals may form due to direct contact with UV rays and inhalation of any toxic substance due to pollution. These free radicals are a cause of cancer, so vitamin A prevents cancer after destroying these free radicals.

Butternut squash is also abundant in vitamin C, which is crucial for immune system functioning, muscles and cartilage health, collagen production, wound healing by repairing blood vessels, and also acts as an antioxidant.

Vitamin E is also present in butternut squash and acts as an antioxidant.

Minerals in Butternut Squash

Furthermore, it’s an excellent source of magnesium, potassium, and manganese, all of which contribute to bone health. Magnesium also regulates the functioning of enzymes and also takes part in nerve conduction.

Butternut squash can prevent us from several health complications, as discussed below:

Prevent Cancer

As discussed above, vitamins present in butternut squash including vitamin A, C, and E act as antioxidants. They can kill the free radicals formed in the body, which are potential causes of cancer. Thus, it can prevent cancerous diseases.

Prevent Heart Diseases

With butternut squash being low in fat, one might wonder, is squash is good for the heart? Vitamin C and E present in butternut squash can prevent and even treat heart diseases. Antioxidants that are present in plasma are primarily composed of vitamin C. 

As a water-soluble vitamin, vitamin E serves to trap free radicals in plasma, preventing them from entering low-density lipoprotein particles (LDL is a group that is used to transport fat molecules within the body). 

Also, vitamin C increases the excretion of cholesterol, thus lowering the amount of cholesterol in the blood. Less cholesterol means there is less chance of plaque accumulation, thus decreasing the chance of heart stroke and other heart diseases.

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Mental Health

Carotenoids present in butternut squash can help to maintain mental health. Recent studies show that people who use more carotenoids in their diet are at much less risk of undergoing depression. They often enjoy adequate sleep that helps further to soothe mental conditions.

Lose Weight

Butternut squash can also help a person to reduce his/her weight. As it is, the diet, which contains zero calories in it. Excess calories are a major cause of weight gain. Diets that contain more fat make people appear fatter.

So, one should take a diet, less in fats. In addition to the low calories, the butternut squash fiber level is much higher. Food containing high fibers helps a person to reduce weight. But, how eating more fibers helps people to reduce their weight?

Fibers are the components of the diet that contain no nutrients in them. That does not mean that fibers in the diet are of no use. Although it does not contain any beneficial nutrients in it, still it helps to maintain the digestive system active and healthy. Fibers can make the digestion process easy. That’s why people suffering from constipation and piles are recommended to eat fibers containing food that helps digestion easier and bowel movements softer.

Strong Immunity

Vitamin A present in butternut squash also plays an important role in the immunity of the body. It acts as an anti-inflammatory vitamin, taking part in the defense part of the body. It mainly regulates the cell and humoral immune responses in the body. 

Also, it plays a significant role in immunity by maintaining the integrity of the body’s epithelium and mucus.

Maintain Blood Pressure

According to recent studies, potassium plays a critical role in regulating blood pressure. Consuming potassium in the body reduces the effects of sodium. Perhaps you will be surprised to learn that potassium can lower the sodium effects in the body. Sodium is actually the primary cause of high blood pressure in a person. So, is butternut squash a good source of potassium? Potassium is one of the minerals in butternut squash, which has already been discussed. Hence, butternut squash can be used to prevent it.

Eye Health

You may have a question in your mind, is butternut squash good for the eyes? Butternut squash contains carotenoids that are essential for eye health. These carotenoids usually work by preventing the absorption of blue light in the eyes, and oxidative damage due to this light in the eyes.

Further, carotenoids are crucial in the development of the eye’s lens and retina, as well as its protection from aging. Through the absorption of UV rays, they protect the eyes against the effects of aging.

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Butternut Squash Nutrition Facts

The value of nutrients in butternut squash weighing 100 grams is as follows:

  • 12 grams of carbohydrates, including 2 grams from dietary fibers and 2 grams from sugar
  • 1 gram of protein
  • 0.1 gram of fats
  • 21 mg of vitamin C
  • 0.2 mg of vitamin B6
  • 10630 amu of vitamin A.
  • 352 mg of potassium
  • 34 mg of magnesium
  • 48 mg of calcium
  • Zero cholesterol
  • 45 calories

Is butternut squash healthier than sweet potato?

Both of them are good for health, depending on the requirements of the body. Butternut squash typically contains less amount of carbohydrates, calories, proteins, and fibers as compared to sweet potato. Here, a question may appear in your mind, is butternut squash a bad carb? Actually, butternut squash is low in carbs, so it can be consumed while on a keto diet. You cannot consume it in large amounts on a low-carb diet.

Butternut squash also contains vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin K in it. Essential minerals including potassium and magnesium are also present in butternut squash. More fibers are present in sweet potatoes, which can be beneficial for the body. 

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How To Add Butternut Squash To Your Diet

Butternut squash is packed with nutritional value, so it’s a good choice to eat. Butternut squash is a fruit that can be used in a variety of dishes. It can be served as a sweet dish if you love sweets. And if you like spicy food, you can take it as such. Many people want to know how to prepare butternut squash.

 So, the recipes for butternut squash are as follows:

  • Putting cooked butternut squash halves into a food processor and processing until smooth. And adding cheese and grains to make a vegetarian dinner.
  • Forming quick, tasty side dishes by roasting butternut squash cubes with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • While making homemade fries, replace potatoes with butternut squash.
  •  Taking roasted butternut squash is a great fiber addition to salads.
  •  Using butternut squash can be used as a pasta sauce or added to pasta dishes.
  • Blending beans, spices, tomato sauce, and butternut squash for vegetarian chili.
  • A creamy side dish can be made by mashing butternut squash with cinnamon, salt, and milk.
  • Use butternut squash along with eggs for breakfast.
  • For quiches and frittatas, consider caramelizing butternut squash.
  • Raw butternut squash can be sliced thinly over salads for a unique taste and texture.
  • Try substituting butternut squash for other starchy vegetables, such as potato, pumpkin, or sweet potato in your kitchen.
  • Curry dishes can be made with butternut squash instead of potatoes.

FAQs (frequently asked questions)

Question: Is butternut squash a bad carb?

Answer: No, butternut squash is not a bad carb. It is very healthy because it is an unprocessed carb. Organic carbohydrates are seldom harmful. Butternut squash contains a moderate amount of carbohydrates in it. It cannot cause any type of increase in sugar level in the blood. Thus, it can prevent diabetes and can also be used by diabetic patients.

Question: Is butternut squash high in cholesterol?

Answer: You will be surprised to learn that there is zero cholesterol in butternut squash. As you know, high levels of cholesterol cause an accumulation of plaque in the blood vessels, mostly in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart strokes. Further, a high cholesterol level can cause obesity in a person. So, one should eat food with a low cholesterol level as needed by the body. Low levels of cholesterol in the body can also cause health problems. So, you should maintain your cholesterol intake by using butternut squash with some other diet.

Question: What does butternut squash taste like?

Answer: Butternut squash itself has a sweet, nutty taste. But its taste varies, depending on the way of cooking it. Butternut can be tasted as sweet if used in making sweets. It can be salty and spicy if you use it as a sauce with pasta.

Conclusion

So, in response to the question, is butternut squash healthy? You can simply say yes. Butternut squash contains unique proportions of nutrients in it. 

Most importantly, it contains zero cholesterol in it. Further, it contains proteins, fats, calories, fibers, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals including potassium and magnesium in it. All these nutrients are of vital importance in the human body.

Dr Umme Hurayra

Dr Umme Hurayra

Hi, I'm Umme Hurayra. I am currently studying MBBS in Mymensingh Medical College. Medical science is an incredible thing. I like to share my knowledge with everyone.

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