Common name: Winter Squash
Botanical name: Cucurbitae
Family name: Cucurbitaceae
A vegetable that is visually appealing, flavorful, high in nutrients, has a long storage life, diversity, and adaptability.
Squash originated in Central America and was already being grown by native Americans when the first immigrants arrived. They ate roasted or dried squash as food, then dried and weaved it into mats.
Cherokees used pumpkin seed tea to treat edema, gout, and kidney stones. Squash rescued many people from famine in the early days of the new land, and they embraced it wholeheartedly. They grew to appreciate the versatile fruit and spread it eastward in the mid-1800s. The pumpkin, the most well-known squash, became a traditional Thanksgiving dish. The forefather of today’s pumpkin pie was created by early pilgrims who chopped off the top of the pumpkin, removed the seeds, filled it with milk, spices, and honey, and baked it in hot ashes.
Despite the fact that Dr. W.H. Graves noted in “Medicinal Value of Natural Foods” (published in 1936) that winter squash is “recommended in instances of diarrhea, piles, colitis, and stomach and bowel ulcers,” it was only lately that we began to discover squash’s nourishing and healing characteristics.
The Tokyo National Cancer Institute ranks winter squash as the most important vegetable in cancer-free populations. Deep orange squashes, in particular, have been linked to a lower risk of esophagus, stomach, lung, bladder, laryngeal, and prostate cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute, squash is one of the top three foods for lung cancer prevention and management. In one research, smokers who consumed 212 servings of squash per day significantly lowered their risk of lung cancer. In addition, eating squash and other orange vegetables on a regular basis protects against second-hand smoking.
Winter squash is heavy in fiber and carbs, but it also contains alpha and beta carotene, vitamins C, E, and B6, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and magnesium. Squash includes a good quantity of vitamin C in addition to beta carotene, which is a cancer-fighting component. This combination makes it an excellent free radical scavenger blocker.
Because of the potassium and magnesium content, as well as the insoluble fiber, squash is an excellent diet for improving cardiovascular health, lowering cholesterol, and preventing high blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks.
The seeds are not only a tasty snack, but they are also high in necessary fatty acids and protease trypsin inhibitors, which hinder viral activation in the digestive system. They also aid in the expulsion of tapeworms and roundworms, as well as the management of urinary and bladder issues and constipation. The seeds are employed as a laxative in various African nations.
Buy solid, not waxed, heavy-feeling, undamaged winter squash with the stem intact and keep in a cold, dry area. They have a two-month lifespan. Squash keeps for approximately three weeks at room temperature.
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