Acorn squash is a type of winter squash with astounding health benefits. Winter squash are so prized in Native American cultures, that they are often found in tribal cemeteries as gifts for the deceased.
The acorn squash is dark green with hints of orange on the outside, and has a pale, orange flesh with a nutty, sweet flavor.
Acorn squash is known for providing the following health benefits:
- Cancer-fighting properties. Acorn squash contains a large amount of phytonutrients and antioxidants that have anti-carcinogenic effects on the body.
- Men’s health. This particular squash may help reduce the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
- Immune system support. There’s nothing the acorn squash can’t do! Eat, and protect yourself from this year’s cold and flu season.
- Protects against birth defects. Expecting mothers would do good to add some acorn squash to their diet this fall and winter.
- Lung health. Asthma sufferers can help alleviate their symptoms by consuming acorn squash.
- Heart and cholesterol benefits.
- Arthritis alleviation. By using its anti-inflammatory benefits, acorn squash can help ease the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- Digestive health.
Acorn squash can do all of the above, and more, because of its high nutritional content. The nutritional profile of an acorn squash is jammed packed with the following:
- Beta-carotene (Vitamin A)
- Dietary Fiber
- Omega 3 fatty-acids
- Vitamins B1, B3, B5 and B6
- Vitamin C
There are a couple of things to remember when purchasing acorn squash. The rind should be hard and dull, not shiny or soft. Choose the firmest and heaviest of the selection to ensure that it’s fresh and has good flavor.
Acorn squash can be used in a variety of fall and winter holiday dishes. It’s in season from August to March, with a peak in October and November. When cooking squash, you can go for a sweet recipe, like Orange Baked Acorn Squash or a more savory recipe, like Stuffed Acorn Squash. There are millions of ways to create dishes with squash. Let us know what your favorites are!
(Image via utmedicalcenter.org)