Winter squash, or butternut squash, is a rich source of fiber, antioxidants, and minerals, which is why dietitians recommend eating more of it.
Technically, butternut squash is a fruit, but it is often treated as a vegetable. It is easily recognized by its twisted, oblong shape, which is why it is sometimes referred to as a “hook-necked gourd”. It’s bright orange like pumpkin and sweet potato, and it tastes like that, too. Butternut squash has a mild but nutty flavor, slightly sweet, so it can be used in sweet or savory recipes.
Butternut squash not only looks vibrant and tastes delicious, but it also has an impressive nutritional profile. Butternut squash is low in calories but rich in nutrients like potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Butternut squash can be julienned, spiralized, cubed, and pureed, making it versatile in dishes like soups, pilafs, salads, garnishes, pastas and more. You can also roast chopped butternut squash on a baking sheet for a hearty side dish.
Butternut squash is in season during the fall and winter, which is why it is considered a winter squash, but canned and frozen varieties are generally available year-round. It’s no wonder dietitians are big fans of butternut squash—it’s great to eat, nutrient-dense, and full of potential health benefits. Here are seven to consider.
1. Butternut Squash May Help Lower Blood Pressure
You’ve probably heard that bananas are a rich source of potassium, but they’re not your only option. Butternut squash contains a good amount of potassium. This nutrient is essential to a heart-healthy diet, especially if lowering blood pressure is one of your health goals.
Since high blood pressure can damage your heart and increase your risk of heart disease, don’t discount your numbers if they fall outside of the healthy range. One of the factors that contribute to high blood pressure is a diet high in sodium. Sodium is common in processed foods like chips and cookies, to make them more palatable. In the case of high blood pressure, an electrolyte in sodium causes blood vessels to constrict over time.
The good news is that potassium-rich foods can help relax them. Potassium has been shown to have hypotensive effects, according to a 2020 meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
One cup of cooked pumpkin provides almost 20% of the daily value for potassium. Eating butternut squash regularly (a few times a week) could help to significantly increase potassium in the diet, naturally promoting more balanced blood pressure.
2. Butternut Squash May Play a Role in Preventing Eye Diseases
Butternut squash has a bright orange hue that you can’t miss, and that’s thanks to the presence of beta-carotene. This pigment not only gives the fruit its color, but is also a source of antioxidants, which help fight free radicals to prevent damage and disease. In many ways, beta-carotene is great for the eyes.
Carotenoids found in orange fruits and vegetables, such as the beta-carotene in butternut squash, support eye and vision health and help prevent eye-related diseases. According to a study, the consumption of beta-carotene, along with other nutrients, has protective effects against eye diseases and macular degeneration. Researchers have also discovered that this antioxidant helps protect the body against inflammation, an infamous marker of disease risk.
3. Butternut squash is high in gut-friendly fiber
Meeting your nutritional needs isn’t always easy, but if there’s one nutrient that doesn’t get enough attention, it’s fiber. 28 to 34 grams of fiber per day is recommended, depending on age and gender, and eating more fruits and vegetables is often the key to getting more fiber.
With almost 7 grams of fiber per cooked cup, a serving of butternut squash is an important part of your daily fiber intake. These fibers have many potential beneficial effects on heart health, intestinal motility, and blood sugar levels.
The fiber in butternut squash helps remove “bad” cholesterol from the blood and bulks up the stool, making it easier to digest. Fiber also helps lower the glycemic index of a meal, which helps regulate blood sugar after the meal. This promotes sustained energy levels as it prevents a rapid spike and crash in insulin and blood sugar levels.
4. Butternut Squash May Support a Healthy Immune System
While certainly powerful, beta-carotene isn’t the only antioxidant in butternut squash. It is also a rich source of vitamins A, C, and E. All of these nutrients help strengthen the immune system and its ability to fight off foreign invaders. Butternut squash is full of antioxidants, especially vitamins A and C, as well as beta-carotene. These antioxidants fight free radical damage in the body and support the immune system. During cold and flu season, you can reach for vitamin C-rich foods like oranges and strawberries, and now you can add butternut squash to the list. It is not for nothing that vitamin C is known as the vitamin that supports the immune system: without it, the body is more exposed to infections, according to a study.
5. Butternut squash is a good source of antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances that prevent or delay cell damage. Examples include beta-carotene, lutein, and vitamins A, C, and E, which are found in butternut squash. Making antioxidant-rich foods like butternut squash a staple in your diet can help keep you healthy in many ways.
Beta-carotene, one of the antioxidants in butternut squash, helps the body fight disease. Specifically, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties give it strong potential for disease prevention, especially against certain types of cancer, heart problems, and other diseases, according to a study. Diets rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene may help boost our natural immune response and reduce the incidence of certain types of cancer, due to their tendency to reduce cellular oxidation. Although antioxidants are not considered primary methods of cancer prevention because they can prevent free radical damage associated with the development of cancer.
Antioxidants are not only helpful for immune health and disease prevention, but they are also good for your skin. Beta-carotene helps maintain healthy skin, as its antioxidant properties help fight oxidation (cellular damage caused by free radicals, which is the main cause of aging at the cellular level).
6. Butternut squash may be beneficial for the treatment and prevention of diabetes
Food gives your taste buds a nice ride, but its purpose goes far beyond that. When you eat, your body converts food into energy, and carbohydrates are broken down into sugar. For many of us, blood sugar levels are not something to be strictly controlled, but that is not the case for people with diabetes.
Although there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, this disease can be prevented or put into remission to some degree. One of the ways to do this is to change your lifestyle, including adopting a balanced diet. This is where the butternut squash comes in. According to research, it has some anti-diabetic properties.
It is mistakenly believed that carbohydrates like butternut squash are not recommended as part of a diabetic-friendly diet, but some carbohydrates are recommended in moderation and as part of a larger diabetic-friendly diet. How to fill a quarter of your plate with foods that contain quality carbohydrates, rich in fiber and vitamins. In this context, butternut squash is definitely one of those foods.
7. Butternut squash can help you maintain a healthy weight
When it comes to losing weight, improving your health is a good motivator. Overweight or obese people are at higher risk of health complications such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, hypertension, etc. Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight can start with what’s on your plate. Foods high in fiber and nutrients, like butternut squash, help control weight and hunger because you can fill up in bulk for a low cost of calories. Butternut squash is low in calories and fat, but high in fiber and essential nutrients. Fiber helps keep you full longer, but it also promotes weight loss, according to a study.
7 good reasons to eat more broccoli
Is broccoli the healthiest vegetable? It’s definitely near the top of the list thanks to all the nutrition broccoli provides. Ask any nutritionist, doctor, naturopath, or nutrition researcher for their personal list of the most nutrient-dense foods, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are sure to be on it. No wonder, considering broccoli is a real vegetable: loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and loads of vitamins and minerals.
What are the proven benefits of broccoli? It’s hard to know where to start.
What is broccoli?
Broccoli is technically an edible green plant in the cabbage family, part of the large family of plants called Brassica oleracea. Because it’s closely related to cabbage and has many of the same nutritional benefits, the word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means “the flowery ridge of a cabbage.”
What are the benefits of broccoli?
As a member of the cruciferous (brassica) family—the same family that includes other green vegetables like bok choy, cabbage, kale, and Swiss chard—broccoli is an excellent source of damage-fighting phytochemicals called isothiocyanates. by free radicals. In addition to isothiocyanates, this vegetable also contains sulforaphanes and indoles, two types of powerful antioxidants and stimulators of detoxifying enzymes that protect cells and DNA structure. It also contains glucosinolates, carotenoids, chlorophyll, vitamins E and K, essential minerals, phenolic compounds, etc.
The little story of broccoli
Broccoli was first cultivated as an edible plant in the northern Mediterranean region around the 6th century BC. Since the time of the Roman Empire, it was considered a valuable food, exceptional for health and longevity. Although it may be considered a recent vegetable, today broccoli is enjoyed around the world and eaten in almost every cuisine, be it Indian, Japanese, American, or French. Today, the largest producers of broccoli are China, India, Italy, Mexico, France, Poland, and the United States.
Top 7 Health Benefits of Broccoli
Why is broccoli healthy for your body? Research links broccoli nutrition and cruciferous vegetable consumption to numerous health benefits.
1. Helps fight cancer
Why is broccoli a superfood for cancer prevention? As you just learned, it is one of the best sources of cancer-fighting isothiocyanate compounds by reducing oxidative stress, protecting cells’ mitochondrial function, neutralizing carcinogens, and fighting toxins. They do this by reducing the toxic effects of toxins from poor diet, environmental exposure, heavy metals, and the aging process.
Isothiocyanates work by stimulating the release of special “carcinogen-killing chemicals” that speed the removal of toxins from the body. Numerous studies show that antioxidant-rich foods, such as cruciferous vegetables, inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors and prevent DNA damage. Therefore, they are known to significantly reduce the risk of colon, bladder, prostate, breast, and other cancers.
In addition to offering high levels of isothiocyanates, broccoli is also valuable for cancer prevention due to its high levels of a phytochemical called sulforaphane. This disease-preventing compound increases the activation of enzymes known as phase 2 enzymes that powerfully fight carcinogens in the body. In fact, sulforaphane is the strongest phase 2 enzyme inducer of any known phytochemical and helps reduce the risk of some of the deadliest forms of cancer, including prostate cancer.
Cruciferous vegetables are linked to a lower risk of breast and cervical cancer, making them especially important for women. This is due to its effects on estrogen in the body.
Try to eat cruciferous vegetables several times a week for the best protection. Eating broccoli enhances the body’s ability to fight cancer in a variety of ways, including providing antioxidants, regulating enzymes, and controlling apoptosis and cell cycles.
2. Maintain a strong framework
Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are essential for healthy bones, nails, and teeth. High levels of vitamin K and iron are essential for maintaining bone mineral density (as well as having many other benefits, such as promoting blood health and increasing energy levels).
Some even say that vitamin K builds bones better than calcium, and just one cup of broccoli provides more than 270% of your daily vitamin K needs. Human studies have shown that vitamin K and vitamin D work together to positively impact bone metabolism and that vitamin K or D deficiency increases the risk of bone-related diseases. Vitamin K also has a positive effect on the balance of calcium, a key mineral in bone metabolism.
3. Maintain heart health
Why eat broccoli if you want to protect your heart? Eating broccoli benefits heart health in multiple ways, including preventing heart attacks and strokes and keeping arteries clear, as well as correcting high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Epidemiological studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition easily show that higher consumption of fruits and vegetables, especially cruciferous ones, is correlated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The high fiber content of broccoli is excellent for reducing cholesterol naturally and quickly. It prevents cholesterol from entering the bloodstream by binding to it and removing it from the body.
Sulforaphane can also significantly improve high blood pressure levels, as well as kidney function, while the compound called lutein found in this vegetable can prevent the thickening of the arteries and the buildup of plaque that can lead to cardiac arrest.
Is broccoli anti-inflammatory? Yes, it contains high levels of minerals important for reducing inflammation, fighting free radical damage, and protecting cardiovascular health. These include calcium, potassium, and magnesium. For example, it is well known that calcium plays an essential role in maintaining strong and healthy bones, but it also helps in blood clotting and the proper functioning of muscles and nerves.
4. Improves Intestinal and Digestive Health
In addition to supporting heart health, fiber-rich foods also keep your digestive system healthy.
Does broccoli make you poop? It can definitely help you. Eating whole foods as part of a high-fiber diet promotes regular bowel movements, better colon and intestinal health, a more alkaline digestive tract (which boosts immunity), and prevention of constipation, IBS, and other digestive disorders.
Sulforaphane isothiocyanate compounds found in abundance in broccoli also powerfully fight harmful bacteria in the gut and prevent oxidation that can lead to cancer in the digestive organs. Studies have found that when mice are fed diets rich in broccoli, they show reduced gastric bacterial colonization, decreased expression of tumor growth and inflammation, and increased immunity-boosting antioxidant activity. The broccoli diet further supports the body’s natural detoxification processes through its phytonutrients glucoraphanin, gluconasturtian, and glucobrassicin, which contribute to liver function.
5. Maintain healthy eyes and vision
A lesser-known benefit of eating broccoli is that it protects the eyes from age-related disorders. It has a positive impact on eye health thanks to its high levels of carotenoids called lutein and zeaxanthin, which are essential for eye health and maintaining good vision in old age. They help protect night vision and prevent UV damage to the retina and cornea of the eye. Eating a diet rich in foods that provide antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin A is a natural way to prevent macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in older adults.
6. Promotes healthy skin
Do you want to maintain healthy, youthful-looking skin even in old age? Thanks to its sulforaphane that helps repair skin damage, eating broccoli benefits the look, feel, and health of your skin. Its high levels of vitamin A and vitamin C prevent collagen breakdown, skin cancer, UV damage, wrinkles, and skin inflammation. Additionally, a derivative of vitamin A found in broccoli, beta-carotene, is essential for immune system function and has been shown to help fight cancer, including skin cancer.
7. Helps in weight loss
Why is broccoli good for dieters? Because it’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods on Earth. A cup of this cooked vegetable has just over 50 calories, but a healthy dose of fiber, protein, and detoxifying phytochemicals.
Is broccoli a carbohydrate? As a fiber-rich complex carbohydrate, broccoli is an excellent choice for maintaining balanced blood sugar levels, sustained energy, and a feeling of fullness. Do you want to know the secret to lose weight fast? Include more high-volume, low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods in your meals.
Broccoli is a very bulky food due to its high water content. Thus, it takes up space in the stomach and eliminates cravings or excess food without adding calories to meals.
Can you eat broccoli every day?
Some people are concerned about eating large amounts of cruciferous vegetables and their effects on thyroid health. Fortunately, there is nothing to worry about.
According to research, it would take a large amount of cruciferous vegetables to cause any type of hypothyroidism. It also appears to be a risk primarily for people with an existing iodine deficiency. If you have a thyroid problem, eat cooked cruciferous vegetables and limit them to one or two servings a day. Otherwise, most people benefit from eating plenty of cruciferous vegetables.
9 Surprising Benefits To Learn About Spelled
It’s time for you to discover this delicious and rich cereal that is spelled! Rich in protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins, spelled offers multiple health benefits that make it worth adding to your diet. With its nutty flavor and chewy texture, it’s easy to see why this ancient cereal is still popular today. Whether you’re looking for a nutritious breakfast cereal or an alternative baking ingredient, here are nine things to know about incorporating spelt into your lifestyle.
1# Did you know that: Spelled contains more vitamins and minerals than other cereals such as wheat.
It is an excellent source of iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium, thiamine, and B vitamins, which are essential for normal bodily functions, including digestion, metabolism, and cell production.
2# Did you know that spelled is also rich in dietary fiber?
Spelled contains relatively high levels of dietary fiber. Eating high-fiber foods can help improve digestion and increase energy levels, while promoting satiety, which can potentially aid in weight management efforts.
3 # Did you know that: Spelled is full of antioxidants.
Spelled contains many powerful antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E. These important antioxidants help protect cells from daily damage caused by free radicals. In addition to these traditional antioxidants, spelled also contains lignans, compounds that have been studied for their health benefits. Lignans can help regulate estrogen levels, reduce cancer risk, and balance hormones in the body. Spelled also contains phenolic acids, compounds that help reduce inflammation in the body and boost the immune system.
4# Did you know that: Spelled is rich in 8 essential amino acids.
They are protein building blocks that the body needs to produce energy, repair tissue, and build muscle. Amino acids found in spelled include:
- Lysine: important for good growth.
- Tryptophan: produces serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood.
- Leucine: Helps build lean muscle.
- Phenylalanine: An aromatic amino acid used to create important regulatory molecules in the body.
- Methionine – Essential because it helps break down fat stores and choline, an important nutrient that supports brain function.
- Threonine: supports the health of the immune system.
- Isoleucine: forms hemoglobin and stabilizes blood sugar levels.
- Histidine: favors the growth and development of tissues.
5# Did you know that: Spelled is perfect for vegetarians or vegans.
This cereal is not only high in protein, fiber, and manganese, but it is also highly digestible for most people and contains vitamins B3, B2, and B1. All important nutrients that can support a vegan or vegetarian diet. Plus, because it’s packed with energy in its carbohydrate form, providing fuel for any fitness enthusiast, it’s perfect for those looking to switch to a plant-based diet without giving up good sources of energy.
6# Did you know? Despite its high gluten content, it is tolerated by people with celiac disease.
People with celiac disease tolerate spelt for a number of reasons. First, spelled contains a different type of gluten that some people find easier to digest than other types of wheat gliadin. Second, the molecular structure of spelled resembles that of wheat proteins found in ancient cereals, which could explain why it is better tolerated than modern wheat varieties.
Finally, the high dietary fiber content of spelled may benefit people with celiac disease, as the fiber helps improve digestion and nutrient absorption in the intestine. With all this in mind, spelt is an option to consider for people who can’t tolerate regular wheat but want to continue consuming gluten-containing foods.
7# Did you know that spelled can be a basic ingredient?
You can use it as a base ingredient for breakfast bowls like muesli or granola. But also to prepare healthier versions of traditional desserts such as cakes and cookies, thanks to its natural sweetening power as it is not refined. While other grains like oats or wheat flour require the addition of additional sweeteners before being cooked and processed into ready-to-eat finished products!
8# Did you know that spelled has been considered an anti-stress food for millennia?
Spelled is a type of wheat that has been around for centuries and is known to be a stress-relieving food. Its ability to promote relaxation can be attributed to its high content of vitamins B1, B2, and B6 which help the body convert carbohydrates into energy. Additionally, spelled contains tryptophan, an amino acid that helps reduce anxiety while promoting learning and cognitive performance. Finally, spelled is packed with antioxidants and essential minerals such as magnesium, selenium and zinc, which help strengthen the immune system and promote proper hormonal regulation, two factors considered key to reducing stress. .
9 # Did you know that: You can make coffee with roasted spelled grains.
Making coffee with spelled can be a great way to enjoy your favorite beverage while enjoying the health benefits of this ancient grain. To make spelled coffee, start by simmering a cup of water and two tablespoons of spelled over medium heat for ten minutes. Once the mixture starts to bubble and looks creamy, pass it through a French press or sieve and discard the grounds. Then add two tablespoons of coffee grounds to the remaining liquid, let sit for five minutes, depress the plunger, stir if desired, and add milk or cream if desired. Enjoy your creamier and healthier alternative to regular coffee!
To limit your salt intake, opt for these less salty cheeses
Do you want to reduce your sodium intake, but love cheese? You are not the only one ! Cheese can be a great source of salt, especially in processed varieties, making it difficult for those trying to cut back. Fortunately, there are delicious cheeses that are less salty than others, and there are many ways to incorporate them into meals or snacks. In this article, we’ll explore the least salty types of cheese (and show you which ones to avoid) so you can still enjoy your favorite dish without consuming too much sodium. So get ready to say “cheese” while still living a healthy lifestyle!
Low-salt diet: what the WHO recommends!
The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly recommends a low-salt diet for people who want to improve their health. Excessive salt intake can increase your risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to several dangerous conditions, including stroke, heart attack, and kidney disease. To adopt a healthier lifestyle, the WHO suggests reducing daily salt intake to less than 5 g per day.
In addition to limiting the amount of table salt added to food, the WHO also encourages people to be careful about the types of processed foods they eat. Processed foods are often high in sodium and should be avoided or limited as much as possible. In addition, canned goods, such as soups and sauces, can also contain high levels of sodium; therefore, it is advisable to check the labels carefully before any purchase.
For those seeking an alternative form of seasoning to table salt and processed seasonings, the WHO recommends using fresh herbs and spices for cooking at home. Herbs like thyme and oregano not only add flavor, but can also provide vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and magnesium. Also, adding lemon juice or vinegar is a great way to enhance the flavor of dishes without adding salt or sugar.
A healthy diet is essential for general well-being and to reduce the risk of preventable diseases. Reducing your daily salt intake is just one way to help people stay healthy over time. With proper knowledge of food choices and portion control, it’s within the reach of anyone who wants to live a low-salt lifestyle with more energy and fewer risks associated with excessive sodium intake.
For cheese lovers, we have selected the top less salty cheeses so that you can savor your delicacies without depriving yourself.
A 60 g piece of Emmental contains approximately 0.45 g of sodium.
Also, Comté has a lower sodium content than other varieties of cheese. A 60g piece of Comté contains approximately 0.41g of sodium.
Fresh goat cheese:
Another low-salt variety, with just 0.297g of sodium per 60g.
Ricotta is one of the most recommended cheeses for people looking to lose weight due to its low sodium content. A 60 g piece is equivalent to only 0.070 g of sodium
An appetizing cheese that you can use in all your baked dishes without feeling guilty. A 60g piece contains only 0.216g of sodium.
High sodium cheeses to avoid include:
High-sodium cheeses are a common staple in many of our diets, but these five varieties are the ones to avoid if you want to limit your sodium intake. Parmesan has the highest overall content of the five, at 360 milligrams per 60g. Roquefort reaches 354 milligrams, while cheddar and boursin contain respectively 324 and 327. Feta is the least rich with 313 milligrams per 60 g. Remember that it is therefore important to make wise choices when selecting cheeses.
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