Awesome Health Benefits of Squash for Skin, Hair and Health

Squash is a fruit that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family and is a relative of both the melon and the cucumber. It comes in many different shapes and color. The fruit has a thick outer shell that is orange or deep yellow in color. However, some varieties may be green, red or grey in color. The interior has a deep orange color. Plenty of edible seeds known as pepitas are found inside the fruit which is rich in nutrient and beneficial for health and skin.  Squash is believed to have originated in Mexico and North America. Depending on the time of the year when it is harvested, it can be classified as Summer Squash and Winter squash. Summer squash has a delicate flavor and soft shell which is meant to be consumed quickly. It is actually available all throughout the year.  Winter squash are more mature and can be stored over a period of time. It is mainly grown in the warm weather. They have hard, thick skins and seeds and a high content of vitamins A and C, iron and riboflavin.

Health Benefits of Squash - Cucurbitaceae gourdBoth summer and Winter squashes have their own diverse set of benefits. If taken in a substantial amount in our food squash can really work wonders for our health, especially hair and skin. Spaghetti Squash which is a form of winter squash can be used as Pasta. Squash can also be used to make sandwiches or sprinkled on salads. Squash soup and squash pudding are other delicious varieties of food made from squash.

Benefits of Squash for Health:

  1. Rich In antioxidants which help in preventing cancer: Squash is rich in carotenoids, Vitamin C and beta-carotene. Antioxidants help in removing free radicals from the body. High level of beta carotene protects the body form pollutants and other carcinogenic chemicals.  Squash also being a rich source of Vitamin A provides protection against cancer of lungs and oral cavity.
  2. Helps in preventing Cataract and maintaining healthy eyes: One of the major constituents of squash is lutein and zeaxanthin-the two pigments which are crucial in preventing cataract according to scientific studies.
  3. Helps to keep blood pressure under control: Winter Squash is a rich source of Potassium which helps in lowering the risk of high blood pressure.  When consumed regularly, say one cup of Hubbard Squash daily by a person suffering from High blood pressure, it may also help in decreasing the pressure levels.
  4. Helps preventing Diabetes:  Winter Squash contains carbohydrates which are mainly of the type Polysaccharides including pectin. These specially structured polysaccharides have insulin regulating properties and therefore are anti-diabetic.
  5. Helps in losing weight: Squash can be a good replacement for calorie and carbohydrate rich foods. It keeps you full preventing you from resorting to other food items to fill your stomach. It is low in calories and is fat-free. Whatever less calorie it has, it is derived from the carbohydrates which has a special starch-like composition including polysaccharides that is anti-diabetic.
  6. Helps in maintaining healthy bones: Manganese is a mineral which is essential for healthy bones as it helps in calcium absorption, enzyme creation, bone building and increasing the mineral density of spinal column. Yellow squash is a rich source of Manganese and Vitamin C.
  7. Helps in improving the Immunity system and Bowel movements:  Both Summer and winter squash are rich in Vitamin C which is beneficial in improving the Immunity system, fighting cold and allergies. Also the outer shells of a few summer squashes are rich source of fiber. Therefore eating the rind along with the squash will be a good option for clear bowel movements.

Benefits of Squash on Skin:

Yellow Squash Benefits - Rich in Vitamin CSquash being a rich source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and beta-carotene is extremely beneficial for maintaining a healthy skin. Vitamin C helps fighting ageing as it removes the free radicals from the body thus preventing wrinkles, pigmentation and other signs of ageing.  Squash being high on watery content also helps in keeping the skin hydrated and protects the skin from harmful sun rays and UV radiation.  Beta carotene gets converted to Vitamin A inside the body which is a powerful antioxidant maintaining the glow and health of skin.

Benefits of Squash on Hair:

Squash Benefits for HairIncluding a considerable amount of Squash in the diet helps in maintaining a healthy and shiny hair as well. As stated earlier, Squash being a rich source of Vitamin A and Beta-carotene, helps in improving the health of hair. Beta carotene is a pigment which is crucial for promoting the hair to grow to its optimum length by preventing breakage.  Therefore eating Squash is essential for maintaining a healthy hair.

To conclude it can be said that due to the multiple benefits of Squash, it can well be called as a one-stop shop for all the healthy nutrients that our human body requires.

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