Butternut squash, known as winter squash, is a member of the gourd family that has a tough rind which allows for storage during winter months. Although winter squash has been recognized as a great source of carotenoids, recent research is showing just how fantastic it really is.
This amazingly bright, deep orange colored squash is loaded with skin rebuilding nutrients. Just one cup of diced butternut squash provides a whopping 22869 IU’s of Vitamin A, which research shows can help repair damaged skin cells.More nutrients for great skin:One cup of this nutrient-packed winter squash also provides 31.0mg or 52 percent DV of wrinkle-fighting vitamin C, 84mg calcium, 582mg potassium (more then a banana), fiber, magnesium and lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin (three more health supporting carotenoids).QUIZ: Are You Eating for Younger Skin?Assist in the prevention of diabetes:Butternut squash also provides a decent amount of five B-complex vitamins; they are B1, B3, B6, pantothenic acid and folate. Research has shown these nutrients to have benefits in the regulation of blood sugars and insulin levels.Anti-inflammatory and weight loss benefits, too!And, as this weren’t enough, one cup of butternut squash contains approximately 340 milligrams of anti-aging, skin beautifying omega-3 fats in the form of alpha-linolenic acid. While this amount is only one-third as much as you would get in walnuts, it is still very valuable especially since less then 15 percent of the calories in winter squash come from fat unlike almost 90 percent in walnuts.Because one cup of baked butternut squash contains only about 80 calories and about 5 g of fiber it can help you lose weight or maintain weight loss.MORE: The Anti-Inflammatory DietHow to buy: Butternut Squash should be firm, solid and heavy for their weight and size. They should be free of blemish and it is wise to purchase butternut squash that have a small bottom and a big top or neck. Reason is that the seed cavity is the bottom portion and the solid part is in the top or neck part of the squash. So you’ll have an easier time and greater yield if you peel and cut butternut squash that have large thick necks and smaller bottoms that are hollow, have little flesh and contain all the seeds.Beautify your body with this Butternut Squash, Pear, Carrot and Ginger SoupIn soup pot add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, one cup diced onion and sauté on low flame until onions are transparent. Add one cup peeled and diced carrots and sauté 10 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger, sauté two minutes then add 4 cups peeled, seeded and medium diced butternut squash, 2 ripe Bartlett Pears, peeled, cored and medium diced, 5 cups vegetable stock and pinch cayenne pepper if desired, bring to a boil, turn heat to medium low heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Puree with a vertical immersion blender until smooth and serve. This will make eight 1 cup servings.Winter is a great time for winter squash and outshines the health benefits of most summer squash varieties. Try this marvelous soup that will keep your insides warm and your outsides glowing.MORE: Debunking Weight Loss Myths: The Plateau