Try Winter Squash for a Pick-Me-Up

Posted under Gardening By Season, Nutrition, Vegetables, Winter | No Comment

 Squashes are a great way to help boost your body’s energy levels, plus they can aid you in your fight to keep your blood sugar even, and they can even fight wrinkles from the inside out. According to an article in FOR WOMEN FIRST, here are some squashes you should try out to get these benefits:

Kabocha squash has up to 12 grams of fiber in each, half of the soluble and half of the insoluble type.  This can help to stabilize your blood sugar swings by almost 30%.  This little guy is also a great source of tryptophan, a protein your body uses to make serotonin from, which is one of the key hormones for making us "feel good."  Kabocha squash is good mashed or puréed and added to soups and stews or baked like butternut squash.

Speaking of butternut squashes, they are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown in some studies to help your body burn its stored fat, converting it to energy better.  So, for some people, they can help give you a "wake-up" boost when you need it, and help you lose the right kind of weight (fat, rather than muscle) at the same time.  Also high in fiber, they help you feel full longer, helping you to eat less.

Another squash powerhouse, pumpkin is really high in alpha-carotene (hence its deep orange color).  Alpha-carotene is used by your body to create retinol, a Vitamin A derivative that your skin cells use to stay renewed.  It’s also a key compound for creating collagen, which is a key to maintaining the firmness of your skin.  Based on research, eating pumpkin regularly helped some women reduce lines on their faces and have smoother, firmer skin in as little as 2 weeks.

So, next time you’re at the store, why not pick up a winter squash or two and see what they can do for you?



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