Butternut squash is closely related to spaghetti squash and other gourd varieties. It’s packed with nutrients, including powerful antioxidants. Butternut squash benefits include the ability to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation and keep the bones healthy, among other benefits.
Butternut Squash Benefits
1. Provides Antioxidants
Butternut squash benefits include the ability to provide the body with disease-fighting antioxidants. As a high-antioxidant food, butternut squash can help reduce oxidative stress in the body to fight off free radicals that cause damage. Butternut squash contains beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, which are linked to reduced inflammation and cancer prevention.
2. Boosts the Immune System
Butternut squash benefits include a natural immune system boost. The beta-carotene in butternut squash works to fight off illness and infection, while Vitamin A works to reduce inflammation and prevent inflammatory conditions. Butternut squash also contains Vitamin C, which give the immune system a natural boost. (1)
3. Helps Fight and Prevent Cancer
Butternut squash benefits include cancer prevention. Thanks to the many antioxidants it contains, butternut squash is considered to be a cancer-fighting superfood. It fuels the body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and fight off infection. Studies have shown that a protein found in butternut squash can help inhibit the growth of melanoma. Other research suggests that the Vitamin C in butternut squash may help treat lung and ovarian cancers. (2)
4. Keeps Bones Healthy
Healthy bones are among butternut squash benefits. The potassium in butternut squash works to maintain strong bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Butternut squash also contains manganese, which works to prevent osteoporosis and increase bone density.
5. Fights Fatigue
Butternut squash benefits include the ability to improve physical performance and fight fatigue. Researchers in Taiwan found that the nutrients in butternut squash can help increase exercise performance by decreasing fatigue and providing the body with energy. The Vitamin C in butternut squash also works to improve physical performance by fighting off infection. (3)
6. Aids in Weight Loss
Butternut squash benefits include the ability to aid in weight loss. It’s low in calories, but packed with nutrients, making it a diet-friendly food. In a 2012 study, researchers found that an extract from butternut squash works to stop the body from producing new fat to store. Research also suggests that the manganese in butternut squash, along with potassium, can aid in weight loss by supporting the body’s nutritional needs. (4)
7. Reduces PMS Symptoms
Butternut squash benefits include the ability the reduce PMS symptoms, without the use of pain pills. Butternut squash benefits also include the ability to prevent and alleviate muscle cramps, whether they are linked to PMS or not. The manganese in butternut squash helps to reduce mood swings, while Vitamin K, Vitamin E and potassium help prevent cramping.