This weeks #foodiefact is all about the humble fruit, Butternut Squash. Often found in warm climates such as central and south America, this orange fruit is one of natures best kept secrets. Used primarily as a vegetable, and often used for recipes as a substitute for pumpkin, it brings vibrant flavour to most dishes and adds colour to a gloomy winters day.
Not only is it cost effective, and can be used in soups, stews, currys and roasts, it is jam-packed with health benefits, which can help your heart, your skin and hair, benefit eye-sight and aide in weight loss plans. Check out some highlights below:
Butternut squash compose of many vital poly-phenolic anti-oxidants and vitamins. As in other Cucurbitaceae members, butternut too has very low calories; 100 g provides just 45 calories. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, is rich source of dietary fibre and phyto-nutrients. Squash is one of the common vegetables that often recommended by dieticians in the cholesterol controlling and weight-reduction programs.
- Be Bold: Butternut squash has more vitamin A than that of a pumpkin. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin, strength in eye-sight and enhances the body fight against disease.
- Be Beautiful: It is rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid. If like me, these mean absolutely nothing to you, all you need to know is B vitamins are essential in healthy hair, nails and skin.
- Be Bright: It contains adequate levels of minerals like iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, which ultimately help you grow, encourage strength and flexibility and ultimately make you bright and breezy.
- Be Breaming: Butternut squash seeds are a good source of dietary fibre and mono-unsaturated fatty acids that benefit for heart health. In addition, they are rich in protein, minerals, and numerous health-benefiting vitamins. The seeds are an excellent source of health promoting amino acid, tryptophan. Tryptophan converts to health benefiting GABA neuro-chemical in the brain.