Spaghetti squash gets its name from the fact that when it is cooked, the inside flesh pulls out of the shell in long strands, resembling spaghetti pasta. Oval shaped and yellow, spaghetti squash can be considered a summer or winter squash and is available year-round in most grocery stores. It originated in China. In 1921, it was introduced to Japan by a Chinese agricultural research firm and was brought to the United States fifteen years later. It was commonly planted during World War II but only gained popularity in the late 20th century. Adding it to your menu will bring a tasty treat to your mouth and several health benefits to your body:
Ø Aids Weight Loss
One cup of cooked spaghetti squash only has 42 calories, compared to a cup of cooked pasta with over 200 calories. It only has 10 grams of total carbs, which is 1/4 the amount you get from pasta. You’ll also get 9% of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber, also delivering a range of nutrients, including vitamins C and A, Potassium & Calcium. Spaghetti squash contains a fair amount of fiber, with 2.2 g, or 9 percent of the RDI, per 1-cup serving. Fiber also helps with weight reduction as it makes you feel fuller longer.
Spaghetti squash is nutritionally superior to regular white pasta, which doesn’t contain vitamins or much nutritional content. This versatile squash contains vitamin A and vitamin C, which can help prevent free radical damage to cells. Spaghetti squash is also rich in the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin, which promote optimal cellular function.
Ø Promotes Cardiovascular Health
The fact that spaghetti squash has a lot of potassium makes it the ideal diet for people with blood pressure. It can amazingly lower high blood pressure if consumed over time. The folate contained in the spaghetti squash helps in strengthening the walls of blood vessels besides enhancing blood circulation. Potassium is a mineral that maintains proper muscle and nerve function, and it is also found in spaghetti squash, making it helpful for people with high blood pressure.
Ø Anti-Inflammatory to Fight Cancer & Arthritis
Spaghetti squash contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to help prevent heart diseases, inflammation, arthritis and different types of cancers. The Omega-6 fatty acids are also ideal for promoting proper brain function, and are also essential for proper functioning of the body.
Ø Proper Functioning of the Brain
Once an individual becomes older, the most common thing that happens to them is that they lose memory as well as control over some parts of their bodies. This occurs due to the aging of the nervous system and the brain. Free radicals are the agents that are responsible for this process, making the nerves weaker as well as brain tissues to degenerate. One of the spaghetti squash health benefits is that it helps the brain neutralize their effects while rejuvenating your system at the same time. Spaghetti squash are also rich in iodine that helps the nervous system and the brain function properly.
Ø Eye Health
Other antioxidants found in this squash variety are beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are all linked to healthy vision and optimal eye health. Beta-carotene can also prevent atherosclerosis by lowering the cholesterol levels. It is also beneficial for people with insulin resistance.
Ø Helps Prevent Birth Defects
Folate is also found in this bright-colored vegetable, which supports the formation and development of new cells and helps prevent birth defects, making this squash an ideal food for pregnant women.
As you can see, spaghetti squash is super beneficial. It is not only low in carbohydrates but is also rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins A and C, B-vitamins, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and essential minerals. It also contains the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6, and has potent antimicrobial properties. It is a guiltless treat and definitely a better choice than your regular pasta. Try it out!