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Health Benefits of Squash

Squash are high in antioxidants, particularly beta-carotene, vitamin C, and polyphenols. These nutrients help our bodies fight a number of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. Higher circulating levels of beta-carotene, in particular, have been shown to reduce all-cause mortality.

1. Good for Your Eyes

Eating squash regularly can keep your vision keen too. The beta-carotene and lutein in squash, as well as vitamin C and other antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, are good for the eyes and can help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.

2. Good for Your Heart

Squash can keep your heart ticking through their abundant supply of carotenoids, which can help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and downregulate the expression of specific genes linked to heart disease. A 2016 analysis of a data set from rural China in the 1980s found that the more fruits and vegetables people ate, the more they were protected from heart disease, as well as gastric cancer and stroke. And yellow and orange squash, in particular, were linked to avoidance of these diseases.

3. Good for Balancing Blood Sugar

Banana squash have traditionally been used as hypoglycemic treatments in northwest Iran as well as China and Mexico. Researchers in Iran tested the power of banana squash to control blood glucose in critically ill diabetic patients. They gave the patients twice-daily doses of powdered banana squash for three days and measured blood glucose and the amount of insulin each patient required. Within 72 hours, the patients’ average blood glucose had dropped from 215 to 178 mg/dl, while insulin requirements decreased around 20%. The study, published in 2018, concluded that the powdered banana squash was a “fast and effective” treatment for critically ill diabetic patients.

EXCERPT FROM THE FOOD REVOLUTION NETWORK

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