Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter Squash>>>>
Did you know that one cup of winter squash may provide up to 146% of your daily value of vitamin A since it is rich in beta carotene, the pre-cursor to vitamin A? Beta-carotene is one of the carotenoids found in winter squash that provides it with its deep orange color and has been shown to have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants help prevent the progression of atherosclerosis by inhibiting the oxidation of cholesterol in the body. Since it is only the oxidized form of cholesterol that builds up in the blood vessel walls, these antioxidants help protect against both heart attack and stroke. The anti-inflammatory properties of winter squash may help reduce the severity of conditions such as asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, which all involve inflammation. And that's not all. The carotenoids found in winter squash protect against diabetic heart disease and may be beneficial to blood sugar regulation for those suffering from diabetes. Research suggests carotenoids may be inversely associated with insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels.

Food Chart

Description: Most have yellow or orange flesh. Butternut and acorn are two popular varieties. Spaghetti squash becomes like long strands of spaghetti upon cooking.

Selection: Choose hard winter squash that feels heavy for its size and has an intact stem.

Storage and handling: Store in a cool, dry place for several weeks. Wash before cutting.

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